Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Our risen Lord and Savior is present with you in your home. As you worship, Jesus will speak to you through the words of hymns and scripture. He will hear your confession and your prayers. He will assure you that His sacrifice for you has purchased your forgiveness, and His resurrection has conquered death for you.
Read the words in bold aloud. If you are fortunate to be worshiping with others, you may designate one individual the leader, and read the liturgy responsively as indicated by L: (leader) and R: (response). Some elements of this service are links to videos which will play when you click on them. Feel free to include as much or as little of the suggested music as you prefer, or to substitute live music in your home for the videos included here.
Each worshiper will need a pencil and paper during the confession.
L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
L: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
R: In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
L: These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)
L: Our Risen Savior calls out to us from His word:
R: “The time has come… The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
At this time, each person silently confesses his or her sin to God. Individual sins may be written (children may wish to draw) on a piece of paper. After an appropriate length of time, continue:
All: If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:3-6)
Scratch out the sins that have been confessed on paper, drawing a cross over the whole page. Then speak out loud the sure and certain word of God that follows:
L: Brothers and sisters in Christ, God has heard your call for mercy. And, through His servant, David, God tells us in Psalm 86 how, “[He is] good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon [Him].” Indeed, our God always promises to listen when we call out to Him, and, through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, God has taken away all our sins. Therefore, go in peace, knowing that we are forgiven.
R: Thanks be to God.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Statement of Faith
An Easter Creed from the New Testament
L: We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
All: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to [Paul] also. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
L: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
All: All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4)
L: This is most certainly true.
I Know the Pews Are Empty
Text: Carl Lehenbauer, 2020
Tune: John Hatton, Public domain
Sermon & Reflection
- How does the resurrection of Jesus impact your actions and attitude during this time of quarantine?
- How do our circumstances this year help us to appreciate the resurrection of Jesus even more?
Never forget: Jesus conquered your sin by His death, and conquered death by His resurrection. He gives you eternal life!
L: We now pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all others according to their needs. Please join me.
Risen Lord, through Your resurrection from the grave, You have given us victory over sin and death, that we may dwell with You in Your Kingdom forever. Though we are unable to gather in Your house today to celebrate this victory, enliven our hearts to joyfully respond, giving thanks for our redemption, and sharing this joy with those who do not know You. Lord, in Your mercy,
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Almighty Lord, You alone are our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Lord, the effects of COVID-19 have gone beyond the change of our daily routines; they have created fear, anxiety, and stress which have shaken numerous lives. Yet, unlike the changes we experience in this life, You do not change. You remain our rock and redeemer, our only true source of comfort. Be now with all who are lonely, isolated or uncertain. Draw them nearer to You and sustain them in this time, that in You they may find peace, patience, and rest. Lord, in Your mercy,
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Abiding Lord, Your Son, Jesus, healed and cured many during His earthly ministry. We now ask You to send Your healing hand upon all those presently sick and/or suffering in this time, along with those whom we now name in our hearts or aloud [brief silence]. Bring them and their families peace and patience in this time, that they may seek You out for all good things. Lord, in Your mercy,
R: Hear our prayer.
L: God of life, You sent Your Son, Jesus, into the world, that all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. We thank You for the life of Keith Schroeder and for giving him faith in You, a faith that has brought him now into Your presence. Comfort all who now mourn Keith’s loss, reminding them that he and all believers will be reunited on the Last Day and dwell eternally in the presence of Christ. Lord, in Your mercy,
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Lord, remember us in Your Kingdom and teach us to pray…
ALL: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen
L: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
R: Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
If you are a member of another congregation, we are delighted that we were able to provide you with the opportunity to worship in your home today. Please honor God by continuing to support your home congregation during these uncertain times.
- It has pleased God Almighty to summon from this vale of tears to Himself in Heaven, the souls of Muriel Going and Keith Schroeder. We look forward to the day when we will see them again, for Christ has risen!
- Thank you to all who participated in the food drive. Your response in these uncertain times was tremendous, and a great blessing to the residents and ministries of our city.
- We continue to gather electronically to be in prayer together. Join us at 10am on Sundays, 8am on Mondays, or noon on Wednesdays. See the front page of the website for details.
Many, many thanks to Marlene Forshee for accompanying the hymn recordings, to our “choir” composed of Dave and Deb Balsiger and Craig and Gail Tews, and to Mike Trinklein for video production, editing, and invaluable advice throughout this time of quarantine.
This hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette inspired the writing of today’s sermon hymn.
Listen to favorite Easter hymns and songs using this Youtube playlist. The music will continue playing through the whole list, so you may start the music and allow this to play in the background as you enjoy your day.
Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
To find past services, or to worship with one of our sister congregations, click the button below.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.