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Tomorrow is Easter! A reminder that our Lord is indeed Risen!

There’s a parade at 8:45 AM tomorrow for those who can make it.

We’re also continuing with our Sunday home worship guides. To celebrate the greatest moment of our faith, we have a list of Easter-themed resources for you to take advantage of with your household.*

Here is a Scripture Reading about the very first Resurrection Sunday:

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain,

one at the head and one at the feet.

They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord,

and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing,

but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,

and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;

but go to my brothers and say to them,

‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,

“I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

John 20:11-18

The Spotify Playlist is updated with songs to commemorate the Resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus.

We have a ‘Sermon of the Week’ by Tim Keller entitled, “Encountering the Risen King.

Finally, another prayer from the Valley of Vision for us to meditate upon and pray through together:

Resurrection

O GOD OF MY EXODUS,

Great was the joy of Israel’s sons,
when Egypt died upon the shore,
Far greater the joy
when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed
in the dust.
Jesus strides forth as the victor,
conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing
might;
He bursts the bands of death,
tramples the powers of darkness down,
and lives for ever.
He, my gracious surety,
apprehended for payment of my debt,
comes forth from the prison house of the grave
free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.
Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering
is accepted,
that the claims of justice are satisfied,
that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
that his wrongful throne is levelled.
Give me the assurance that in Christ I died,
in him I rose,
in his life I live, in his victory I triumph,
in his ascension I shall be glorified.
Adorable Redeemer,
thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
art ascended to highest heaven.
Thou, who as Man of sorrows
wast crowned with thorns,
art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.
Once, no shame more deep than thine,
no agony more bitter,
no death more cruel.
Now, no exaltation more high,
no life more glorious,
no advocate more effective.
Thou art in the triumph car leading captive
thine enemies behind thee.
What more could be done than thou hast done!
Thy death is my life,
thy resurrection my peace,
thy ascension my hope,
thy prayers my comfort.

Happy Easter! Praying that Christ will reign supreme in our hearts and minds this day.

~ Pastor Theo

* Our latest Immanuel Pastors Podcast is on the topic of worshipping at home and may be an encouragement to you especially during this time of absence from corporate worship.

And he is before all things,

and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,

that in everything he might be preeminent.

Colossians 1:17-18

On Sunday (4/12) we’re having an Easter Parade! This is an optional, extra opportunity. We realize that not everyone has a car or can make it. But for those who do and want to participate, we will be lining up in our vehicles along the west side of Laflin, just south of Roosevelt, facing south. Be there by 8:45 AM.

Nobody is to get out of their cars or share rides with people they haven’t been living with. Feel free to decorate your car if you want!

At 8:45 AM crack your window because Pastor Nathan will be yelling out the ancient Easter greeting, “He Is Risen!” You know what to say next.

Then we will slowly circle the roundabout, honking in celebration.

And here is a parade route on Google Maps that you can follow:

Be safe and follow all rules of the road! It’s not important that we all stay together. But use this time to listen to the Spotify playlist and to pray for what you see. Here’s a guided prayer tour of the UIC Area that you can use on Sunday. You can even do it in your mind’s eye from home if you can’t come!

· Turn right onto Roosevelt and as pass The Meeting Place headed east. Look at the senior citizen home (Roosevelt Place) on the SW corner of Loomis and Roosevelt and pray for all the seniors who live there and in our city who are more susceptible to COVID-19…

· Then look to the right and notice the Brooks Homes (the B in ABLA) in the background – low-income CHA housing, almost entirely African-American. 70% of those who die from COVID-19 in Chicago are Black. Pray for the poor throughout the UIC Area and our city…

· As you turn left on Racine and then right on Taylor Street, pray for the restaurants along this strip in Little Italy. Pray for the whole restaurant industry in our city and workers who are affected by this shut-down…

· As you approach Halsted, look to your left and think about UIC – the largest university in Chicagoland… largely empty right now. Pray for the research that happens here and for the gospel to advance on this campus…

· Turn right and head south on Halsted. Then turn left, headed back east, on Roosevelt. As you approach the Canal corridor, pray for the retail industry in our city, that these brick-and-mortar businesses would flourish again. And pray for those who work at grocery stores like Whole Foods and Jewel…

· Turn right and go south on Canal and notice the Pacific Garden Mission with the big cross. Pray for the homeless in our city, and those who are working with them to not grow weary in doing good…

· Get ready to turn right on 18th Street, then do a little right-left jiggety-jog at Halsted, and then keep going westward through this main strip of Pilsen. Pray for the artists, pray for the hipsters, pray for the restaurants, pray for the Mexican community, pray for the immigrants, pray for the Lozano Public Library and the civic institutions of our city…

· You’ll keep going for a while, you’ll cross Ashland and go under the CTA Pink Line. Then as you approach Harrison Park, pray for the Chicago Park District and their programs that mean so much to our city. Pray that kids would be playing on the swings again (see Zechariah 8:5)…

· Then turn right (north) on Damen and go through the long, dark underpass, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel (whether God’s common grace to flatten the curve or Christ’s return to remake the earth). Now you’re emerging into the Illinois Medical District. Pray for all the hospitals and other medical institutions here (i.e. Cook County, the VA, Rush, UIC…). Pray for all the patients inside and the healthcare workers putting their lives at risk…

· Make a soft right on Ogden and then another right onto Harrison. Come back east across Ashland, note the Marriott and pray for the hospitality industry…

· Keep going on Harrison and pay attention to Andrew Jackson Language Academy on the left and pray for CPS and all the schools across the city to re-open soon and be places where kids are learning things like how to read, so they can read the Bible (among other things). Pray for teachers…

· Then look to the right just before you get to Racine. That gated community, that’s Westgate Terrace. Pray for the residents there… and all the people of the UIC Area… and Chicago… Illinois… the U.S…. the world… that God would be merciful, not just to stay the plague, but to bring repentance and faith, uniting more people to Christ, so that they would not experience eternal suffering, but have eternal life with our resurrected and returning Lord…

Since we can’t gather for a special Good Friday service, we’ve put together this home guide to do with your family or roommates.

 

You can find the PDF here.

Everyone in our city is sheltering in place. 13% of the country’s workforce is unemployed. And at least 95,000 people have already died in our world from COVID-19, many still in their sins with no further chance to repent…

There’s a spike in hopelessness and a lot of false hopes. Now is most certainly the time to share the sure and good news of what Christ has done to obtain eternal life and his offer to share it with us!

But how can we do that when we can’t interact with people? We get creative.

Pray for outside-the-box opportunities to share the gospel with others and the boldness to seize those opportunities when they arise, even if it’s awkward.

We sent out a mailer to many of our neighbors today that shares the meaning of Easter.

And there’s a social media initiative where Christians are sharing the gospel in 1-2 minute videos, using the hashtag #JesusChangedMyLife. Consider maybe doing this. More info at www.tgc.org/JesusChangedMyLife.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again! Let’s get the word out!

Dear IBC Fam,

Tomorrow (4/5) is Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week which culminates in Resurrection Sunday.

While in quarantined isolation, we can still make the most of this time by corporately commemorating the Good News of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

For this week’s highlighted sermon, we have an older one from the archive on our website of roughly 700 sermons entitled, “What Are Your Expectations?” It was given on Palm Sunday in 2008 by Pastor Nathan. You can listen to it here.

The Spotify Playlist is updated with songs which will help us remember the Crucified Lord during this season of commemoration.

As a church, we always have suggested some sort of fast during this week. It was already our plan, but now especially since we are prone to spend so much time on our screens during this pandemic, this week we are encouraging a media fast from recreational movies/television and social media. We hope that this freed up time will aid in shaking off some of our addiction to visual stimuli and provide space for us to pursue other activities such as prayer, Bible study, reading, and additional spiritual disciplines which focus our minds and hearts on the precious blood of Christ during this Holy Week.

We have also provided another Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision:

The Precious Blood

Before thy cross I kneel and see

the heinousness of my sin,

my iniquity that caused thee to be

‘made a curse’,

the evil that excites the severity

of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

the crown of thorns,

the pierced hands and feet,

the bruised body,

the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt

that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,

born in my birth,

alive in my life,

strong in my character,

dominating my faculties,

following me as a shadow,

intermingling with my every thought,

my chain that holds me captive in the

empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,

the air supply breath,

the earth bear my tread,

its fruits nourish me,

its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,

thy heart hastens to my rescue,

thy love endured my curse,

thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths

of humiliation,

bathed in thy blood,

tender of conscience,

triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

More resources will come out this week. We love you, and are praying for your physical and spiritual heath during this season of trial. Please let us know if there are any other ways we can serve you this week.

Sincerely,

Pastor Theo

For our Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting this week, we will be using the Prayer Guide that’s part of The Gospel Coalition’s “A Day to Fast and Pray.” Consider doing some kind of food fast tomorrow too if you can. Join us at 10:00 AM via Zoom.

Reminder: “Immanuel Pastors Podcast” is now findable on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

Look for the Guide for Palm Sunday in your inbox tomorrow!

PRELUDE – “Celebrate (He Lives)” by Fred Hammond

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP – Matthew 28:1-9

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

Song –

Low in the Grave He Lay (Christ Arose)” by Robert Lowry

CONFESSION OF SIN – 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON – 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Song –

Christ is Risen” by Matt Maher

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The Apostle’s Creed

We believe in God the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Song –

O Praise the Name (Anástasis)” by Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher, and Marty Sampson

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

SERMON – “The Victory of Christ”

THE LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, and Michael Bleecker

Forever” by Brian Johnson, Christ Black Gifford, Gabriel Wilson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Kari Jobe

OFFERING

Song –

Sing to the King” by Billy Foote

BENEDICTION & ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Jesus Is Alive (House of Tea Remix)” by Shai Linne

For this week there will be no Memory Verse.

Instead we will be focusing on the events of Holy Week.

We are suggesting everyone skip one meal a day to fast.

If you don’t really know what fasting is all about, or would like a refresher, we recommend reading the short chapter that is from a helpful book on the spiritual disciplines by David Mathis entitled, Habits of Grace. This would be a good way to start off the week.

Each day you’ll receive an email with:

· a link to a quick VIDEO explaining what was happening on that day in Jesus’ life

· a LOOK AT JESUS directing you to one of the 7 reasons for worshipping Jesus that we talked about in the Palm Sunday sermon

· and some PRAYER POINTS to talk to God about

May the Lord use this season to refresh our perspective and heighten our love for him!

2018 Easter Egg

PRELUDE – “Celebrate (He Lives)” by Fred Hammond

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP – Matthew 28:1-9

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week,

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.

And behold, there was a great earthquake,

for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven

and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.

And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid,

for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.

Come, see the place where he lay.

Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead,

and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.

See, I have told you.”

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy,

and ran to tell his disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!”

And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

Song –

O Praise the Name (Anástasis)” by Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher, and Marty Sampson

CONFESSION OF SIN – Isaiah 53:5-6

He was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON – 1 Corinthians 15:17, 3-4

If Christ has not been raised,

your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

that he was buried,

that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

Song –

Behold the Risen Christ” by The Village Church

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The Apostle’s Creed

We believe in God the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, dead, and buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Song –

Up From the Grave He Arose” by Robert Lowry

SCRIPTURE READING – Romans 8:28-39

SERMON – “The Resurrection in Romans”

THE LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, and Michael Bleecker

Forever” by Brian Johnson, Christ Black Gifford, Gabriel Wilson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Kari Jobe

OFFERING

Song –

Crown Him With Many Crowns” by Elvey, Thring, and Bridges

BENEDICTION & ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Happy Day” by Tim Hughes

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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