Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent
Rev. Gregory Mech | March 15, 2020 | Sunday Morning | 10:30 am | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, MO
In response to growing concern over the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Pastor Mech clears our thinking and focuses our action with the same truth and assurances from God’s Word that Martin Luther shared during the bubonic plague in 1527. Let us cling to Christ during uncertain times!
“Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” Hymn 901
Invocation, Confession and Absolution
Psalm 95: 1- 9
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
Gloria and Kyrie
Collect of the Day
The Lord be with you.
And with Thy spirit.
Let us pray. O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massahand Meribah [(testing and quarreling)], because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
[O come, let us fix our eyes on] | Jesus,*
the founder and perfecter | of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despis- | ing the shame,*
and is seated at the right hand of the | throne of God.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,
for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
The Holy Gospel according to St John, the fourth chapter.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
Hymn of the Day
“Lord Jesus, Think on Me” Hymn 610
Offering and Prayer of the Church
Service of the Sacrament
“Chief of Sinners Though I Be” Hymn 611
“Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds” Hymn 867
“Salvation unto Us Has Come” Hymn 555
Salutation, Benedicamus and Benediction
“Almighty Father, Bless the Word” Hymn 923
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.