Pulling Focus | Sermon for April 26, 2020

Pulling Focus | Sermon for April 26, 2020

Worship Service for The Third Sunday of Easter

Rev. Gregory Mech | April 26, 2020 | Immanuel Lutheran Church ONLINE – Joplin, MO | Today’s Sermon: “Pulling Focus”

See how Immanuel is responding to Coronavirus. Click here.

Use these Easy Devotions and Daily Scripture Readings with your family! Taking Faith Home.

Thank you for supporting Immanuel Lutheran financially. Learn more at immanueljoplin.com/GIVE.

Martin Luther School is Joplin’s Lutheran School, serving children from age 2 through 8th grade. Learn more and receive a FREE Educational Success Consultation! Call 417-624-1403.

Special thanks to all who helped to make this broadcast possible today:
Rev. Gregory Mech, DCE Jason Glaskey, organist Betty Lingenfelter, congregation president Darrell Ideker and altar guild member Susan Ideker.

Cross sunrise to empty tomb. Pulling Focus sermon. Rev. Gregory Mech. Immanuel Lutheran Church LCMS. Joplin, Missouri.

You were ransomed not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Jesus.”

1 Peter 1:17-21 is the text for Today’s Sermon from Pastor Mech entitled, “Pulling Focus.”

The Third Sunday of Easter

April 26, 2020


“Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won” LSB 490 st. 1-3

1 Jesus lives! The vict’ry’s won!

Death no longer can appall me;

Jesus lives! Death’s reign is done!

From the grave will Christ recall me.

Brighter scenes will then commence;

This shall be my confidence.

2 Jesus lives! To Him the throne

High above all things is given.

I shall go where He is gone,

Live and reign with Him in heaven.

God is faithful; doubtings, hence!

This shall be my confidence.

3 Jesus lives! For me He died,

Hence will I, to Jesus living,

Pure in heart and act abide,

Praise to Him and glory giving.

All I need God will dispense;

This shall be my confidence.


P In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C Amen.

P Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

C He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

P Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

C who has given us new life and a living hope by raising Jesus from the dead. I Peter 1:3

P Rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. I Peter 1:6

C We shall be counted worthy when Christ appears.

A [We] were ransomed from our futile ways … not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot… through Him [we are now] believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that our faith and hope are in God. I Peter 1:18-21

P God has claimed us as His own.

A [We] are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession

C that we might proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

A So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Abstain from the passions of the flesh, which war against your soul. Keep your conduct honorable, so [others] may dee your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:1, 11-12

P Let us consider our conduct in light of the apostle’s admonitions, and confess our sins before God.

(silence for reflection)

P Our hesitance to proclaim clearly and boldly the faith in Christ we believe in our hearts, we confess to the Lord.

C Forgive us, Lord.

P Our failure to witness to Jesus as the one and only Savior in whom there is life and salvation for all who believe, we confess to the Lord.

C Forgive us, Lord.

P Our misuse of the resources God has entrusted to us and our failure to put first the Kingdom of God in our words, actions, and lives, we confess to the Lord.

C Forgive us, Lord.

P The doubts and fears that paralyze us in the face of temptation and deprive us of the Easter joy God means for us to know and live, we confess to the Lord.

C Forgive us, Lord.

P Our failure to keep God’s commandments, our temptations to resist the authorities our Lord has placed over us, our sins of thought, word, and deed, our failure to love God above all and to love our neighbor as ourselves, we confess to the Lord.

C Forgive us, Lord. Merciful Father, give us pardon and peace and free us from our sin for the sake of Christ our Savior.  Amen.

P In the mercy of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins.  To those who believe on His name He gives power to become the children of God, and bestows on them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:12; Philippians 1:6

C Amen.


P The Lord be with you.

C And with your spirit.

P Let us pray. (Silence is kept for prayer)

O almighty and eternal God, now that You have assured us of the completion of our redemption through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, give us the will to show forth in our lives what we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C Amen.


DCE Jason Glaskey


Acts 2:14a, 36-41  (Hearing what God had done in Christ, the people asked the disciples, “What shall we do?”)

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

      Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.


(You have made known to me the path of life and joy.)

P I love the Lord, because he has heard 

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he inclined his ear to me, 

therefore I will call on him as long as I live. 

The snares of death encompassed me; 

the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; 

I suffered distress and anguish.

C Then I called on the name of the Lord: 

“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

P Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; 

our God is merciful. 

The Lord preserves the simple; 

when I was brought low, he saved me.

C Return, O my soul, to your rest; 

for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

P For you have delivered my soul from death, 

my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;

C I will walk before the Lord 

in the land of the living.

P I believed, even when I spoke, 

“I am greatly afflicted”; 

I said in my alarm, 

“All mankind are liars.”

C What shall I render to the Lord 

for all his benefits to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation 

and call on the name of the Lord.


1 Peter 1:17-21

(You were ransomed not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Jesus.)

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

      Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for  

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.

        The grass withers, and the flower falls,

         but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

 And this word is the good news that was preached to you.


P Alleluia. Alleluia. Since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. Alleluia.  

C Our hearts were burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us. Alleluia.


Luke 24:13-35

(Jesus meets with some disciples on the Emmaus Road and is revealed to them in the breaking of the bread.)

P The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the twenty-fourth chapter.

C Glory to You, O Lord.

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

      So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

P This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C Praise to You, O Christ.


Who Are You Who Walk in Sorrow” LSB 476

1 Who are you who walk in sorrow

Down Emmaus’ barren road,

Hearts distraught and hope defeated,

Bent beneath grief’s crushing load?

Nameless mourners, we will join you,

We who also mourn our dead;

We have stood by graves unyielding,

Eaten death’s bare, bitter bread.

2 Who is this who joins our journey,

Walking with us stride by stride?

Unknown Stranger, can You fathom

Depths of grief for one who died?

Then the wonder! When we told You

How our dreams to dust have turned,

Then You opened wide the Scriptures

Till our hearts within us burned.

3 Who are You? Our hearts are opened

In the breaking of the bread—

Christ the victim, now the victor

Living, risen from the dead!

Great companion on our journey,

Still surprise us with Your grace!

Make each day a new Emmaus;

On our hearts Your image trace!

4 Who are we who travel with You

On our way through life to death?

Women, men, the young, the aging,

Wakened by the Spirit’s breath!

At the font You claim and name us,

Born of water and the Word;

At the table still You feed us,

Host us as our risen Lord!

5 “Alleluia! Alleluia!”

Is the Easter hymn we sing!

Take our life, our joy, our worship

As the gift of love we bring.

You have formed us all one people

Called from ev’ry land and race.

Make the Church Your servant body,

Sent to share Your healing grace!


“Pulling Focus” based on 1 Peter 1:17-21 — Rev. Gregory Mech, pastor


I 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. 

On the third day He rose again from the dead. 

He ascended into heaven 

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. 

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, 

the holy Christian Church, 

the communion of saints, 

the forgiveness of sins, 

the resurrection of the body, 

and the life everlasting. Amen.



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.

Matthew 6:9–13


The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.

That Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.Numbers 6:24-26


The Church’s One Foundation” LSB 644 st. 1, 2, 4 

1  The Church’s one foundation

Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;

She is His new creation

By water and the Word.

From heav’n He came and sought her

To be His holy bride;

With His own blood He bought her,

And for her life He died.

2  Elect from ev’ry nation,

Yet one o’er all the earth;

Her charter of salvation:

One Lord, one faith, one birth.

One holy name she blesses,

Partakes one holy food,

And to one hope she presses

With ev’ry grace endued.

4  Through toil and tribulation

And tumult of her war

She waits the consummation

Of peace forevermore

Till with the vision glorious

Her longing eyes are blest,

And the great Church victorious

Shall be the Church at rest.

From Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. 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.

Learn More


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *