Here I Stand Sunday | April 18, 2021

Here I Stand Sunday | April 18, 2021

Worship Service for “Here I Stand” Sunday

Rev. Gregory Mech | April 18, 2021 | The 500th Anniversary of the Diet at Worms | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, Missouri | 8:00 or 10:30 am


The 500th Anniversary of Luther’s Confession at the Diet of Worms — Sunday, April 18

Luther’s Answer at the Diet of Worms:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen” (LW 32:112–13).

Historical Account:
It could have all ended the evening of April 18, 1521. The sun was beginning to set on the city of Worms. The heat was stifling in the packed room of the bishop’s palace where emperor, electors and German princes all waited with anticipation to hear the answer Martin Luther would bring. Would Luther recant? Would he retract what he had written and said against abuses in the church and against papal tyranny? Most of all, would he give up on the Gospel he had preached and taught, giving comfort and certainty to consciences in Christ?

“Martin, answer clearly and without any double-talk: Do you or do you not recant your books and the errors in them?” If Luther were to recant and admit that he was wrong, all would be well before the emperor and the Roman Catholic Church. On the other hand, if he did not recant, his own life would be at risk. He could be burned as a heretic.

This was it: recant or stand firm.

With beads of sweat on his face, Luther responded:

“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen” (LW 32:112–13).

At this bold confession, the room erupted in noise. Some rejoiced; some demanded fire! Yet, in the midst of such commotion, the truth of Jesus Christ rang forth. The gates of Hades had not prevailed over the confession of the Gospel. The proclamation of justification by grace through faith on account of Christ’s work alone did not bend to spiritual tyranny.

Today, we stand in the footsteps of Martin Luther 500 years later. We stand boldly, proclaiming the One who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We stand boldly, renouncing the devil and all his works and all his ways. We stand, by the grace of God, steadfast and ready to suffer all rather than fall away. We do not stand on Luther, but we will gladly stand with him, firm on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures to confess the saving Gospel of Christ, our Good Shepherd, who died and rose, in whose name is forgiveness of sins for all people. Here we stand; we can do no other. God help us. Amen.

Face Masks Recommended, Some Classes and On-Campus Activities Have Returned | In-Person Services and Holy Communion are back! Limited Seating. Learn more.

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Special thanks to all who helped to make this broadcast possible today:
Rev. Gregory Mech, DCE Jason Glaskey, organist Betty Lingenfelter,
the COVID Committee, Board of Elders, and all of our volunteers!


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23–25

Here I Stand Sunday — 5ooth Anniversary of the Diet at Worms
April 18, 2021 — Divine Service, Setting Three with Holy Communion

HYMN “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” 633:1, 6-8

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing 
Praise to our victorious King,
Who has washed us in the tide 
Flowing from His pierced side. Alleluia!

Now no more can death appall, 
Now no more the grave enthrall;
You have opened paradise, 
And Your saints in You shall rise. Alleluia!

Easter triumph, Easter joy! 
This alone can sin destroy:
From sin’s power, Lord, set us free, 
Newborn souls in You to be. Alleluia!

Δ Father, who the crown shall give, 
Savior, by whose death we live,
Spirit, guide through all our days: 
Three-in-One, Your name we praise. Alleluia!


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. Matthew 28:19b

Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God our Father, beseeching Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness. Hebrews 10:22

Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8

I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD,
And You forgave the iniquities of my sin. Psalm 32:5

Almighty God, our maker and redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto You that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against You by thought, word, and deed. Wherefore we flee for refuge to Your infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Your grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

O most merciful God, who has given Your only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Your Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of You and of Your will and true obedience to Your Word, to the end that by Your grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy upon us and has given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgives us all our sins. To those who believe on His name He gives power to become the children of God and has promised them His Holy Spirit. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Grant this, Lord, unto us all. 

HYMN “I Know My Faith Is Founded” 587

I know my faith is founded 
On Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;
And this my faith confessing, 
Unmoved I stand on His sure Word.
Our reason cannot fathom 
The truth of God profound;
Who trusts in human wisdom 
Relies on shifting ground.
God’s Word is all-sufficient, 
It makes divinely sure;
And trusting in its wisdom, 
My faith shall rest secure.

Increase my faith, dear Savior, 
For Satan seeks by night and day
To rob me of this treasure 
And take my hope of bliss away.
But, Lord, with You beside me, 
I shall be undismayed;
And led by Your good Spirit, 
I shall be unafraid.
Abide with me, O Savior, 
A firmer faith bestow;
Then I shall bid defiance 
To every evil foe.

In faith, Lord, let me serve You; 
Though persecution, grief, and pain
Should seek to overwhelm me, 
Let me a steadfast trust retain;
And then at my departure, 
Lord, take me home to You,
Your riches to inherit 
As all You said holds true.
In life and death, Lord, keep me 
Until Your heaven I gain,
Where I, by Your great mercy, 
The end of faith attain.


The Lord be with you.
And with Thy spirit.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the truth of the Scriptures and the comfort of the Gospel found in Christ alone. By Your Holy Spirit and the conviction of the blessed Scriptures, give wisdom and zeal to the preachers of Your Word, give resolve and confidence to all Christians, and preserve the witness to Christ’s resurrection, that all consciences may be bound by His forgiveness; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


FIRST READING Acts 3:11-21

While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

HOLY GOSPEL Luke 24:36–49

The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the twenty-fourth chapter.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to Thee, O Christ.


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; 

who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end. 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

HYMN “We Are Called to Stand Together” 828: 1,2,4,5

We are called to stand together 
With the saints of ages past,
With the patriarchs and prophets 
In the faith they once held fast;
Promises and hopes they treasured 
Now we find fulfilled at last.

Those whom Jesus called apostles 
Journeyed with Him side by side,
Heard His teaching, felt His power, 
Saw the way He lived and died;
Then the news of resurrection 
They delivered far and wide.

Now in many tongues and cultures 
Songs of celebration ring;
Millions who confess our Savior 
Honor Him as Lord and King
And, for courage, grace and guidance 
Every day their prayers they bring.

To each coming generation 
Tell the truth, persuade, explain,
Till the time when time is ended, 
Till the Savior comes again–
Till the saints are all united 
Under Christ’s eternal reign!


OFFERTORY Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
And renew a right spirit in me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence, 
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, 
And uphold me with Thy free spirit. Amen.




The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Bless we the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. 
The LORD lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Amen. Amen. Amen.


Those not partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Table are dismissed with this blessing. Thank you for joining us before God’s altar in fellowship today.

THE WORDS OF OUR LORD Matt 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Distribution of the Sacrament will be by family groups, at the direction of the usher. Children may come forward for a contactless blessing. Once you have received the body and the blood of our Lord Christ, depart in peace.

DISTRIBUTION HYMN “Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure Eternal” 533

Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal,
Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End;
Godhead, humanity, union supernal,
O great Redeemer, You come as our friend!
Heaven and earth, now proclaim this great wonder:
Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal!

Jesus has come! Now see bonds burst asunder!
Fetters of death now dissolve, disappear.
See Him burst through with a voice as of thunder!
He sets us free from our guilt and our fear,
Lifts us from shame to the place of His honor.
Jesus has come! Hear the roll of God’s thunder!

Jesus has come as the mighty Redeemer. 
See now the threatening strong one disarmed!
Jesus breaks down all the walls of death’s fortress,
Brings forth the prisoners triumphant, unharmed.
Satan, you wicked one, own now your master!
Jesus has come! He, the mighty Redeemer!

Jesus has come as the King of all glory!
Heaven and earth, O declare His great power,
Capturing hearts with the heavenly story;
Welcome Him now in this fast-fleeting hour!
Ponder His love! Take the crown He has for you!
Jesus has come! He, the King of all glory!

DISTRIBUTION HYMN “Beautiful Savior” 537

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation, 
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee, Truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine!

DISTRIBUTION HYMN “Christ, the Word of God Incarnate” 540

Christ, the Word of God incarnate,
Lord and Son of Abraham;
Christ, the radiance of the Father,
Perfect God, the great I AM,
Christ, the light, You shine unvanquished,
Light and life You bring to all;
Light our path with Your own presence.
Grant us grace to heed Your call.

Christ, the living bread from heaven,
Food for body, food for soul,
Christ, the manna daily given,
Nourish, strengthen, make us whole.
Feed us with the food of heaven,
Foretaste of the feast to be;
Quench our thirst with living water
Springing up eternally.

Christ, the shoot that springs triumphant
From the stump of Jesse’s tree;
Christ, true vine, You nurture branches
To bear fruit abundantly.
Graft us into You, O Savior;
Prune our hearts so we remain
Fruitful branches in Your vineyard
Till eternal life we gain.

Christ, our good and faithful shepherd,
Watching all Your lambs and sheep;
Christ, the gate that guards the sheep-fold,
Never-failing vigil keep.
When we stray, Good Shepherd, seek us,
Find us, lift us, bear us home;
Lamb of God, our shepherd, keep us;
Let us hear Your voice alone.

Christ, the way that leads unfailing
To the Father’s home on high,
Christ, the truth that frees the captive,
Christ, the life that cannot die,
Mediator to the Father, 
Sacrifice and great High Priest,
Lead us to Your heavenly mansions,
There to share Your wedding feast.

Christ, the Alpha and Omega, 
Christ, the firstborn from the dead,
Christ, the life and resurrection,
Christ, the Church’s glorious head:
Praise and thanks and adoration
And unending worship be
To the Father and the Spirit
And to You eternally.

DISTRIBUTION HYMN “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” 643

Sent forth by God’s blessing, 
Our true faith confessing,
The people of God from His dwelling take leave.
The Supper is ended. 
O now be extended
The fruits of this service in all who believe.
The seed of His teaching, 
Receptive souls reaching,
Shall blossom in action for God and for all.
His grace did invite us, 
His love shall unite us
To work for God’s kingdom and answer His call.

With praise and thanksgiving 
To God ever-living,
The tasks of our everyday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing,
In love ever caring,
Embracing His children of each tribe and race.
With Your feast You feed us, 
With Your light now lead us;
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living 
With praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and His name that we share.

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.

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