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Wanting to Be Anywhere But Here | Sermon for March 29, 2020

Wanting to Be Anywhere But Here | Sermon for March 29, 2020

Worship Service for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Rev. Gregory Mech | Sunday, March 29, 2020 | Immanuel Lutheran Church ONLINE – Joplin, MO

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Wanting to Be Anywhere But Here SERMON by Rev. Gregory Mech. Jesus Raises Lazarus from John 11.

“Wherever you are on that long journey to resurrection, Jesus has come to be with you. He is the Resurrection and the Life — even in the midst of sorrow, filling our present-days with love, life and hope.”

-Pastor Mech from today’s sermon, entitled “Wanting to Be Anywhere But Here”

Hymn

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” LSB 656

1 A mighty fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from ev’ry need
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The old evil foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.

2 With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the Valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there’s none other God;
He holds the field forever.

3 Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us.
We tremble not, we fear no ill;
They shall not overpow’r us.
This world’s prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none.
He’s judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.

4 The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Though these all be gone,
Our vict’ry has been won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth.

Verses

This is the day the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

The name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  Psalm 84:10

Make me to know Your ways, O Lord, 

Teach me Your ways. Psalm 25: 4

Sanctify us on Your truth. 

Your Word is truth. John 17:17

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

The name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Kids Talk

Readings from Holy Scripture

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Romans 8:1-11 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

John 11:17-27, 38-53

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsory: Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.

The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed

What is the Third Article?

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.

In so saying, what do you confess? What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; 

But the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.

In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. 

In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.

On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true.

Hymn

What Wondrous Love Is This” LSB 543

1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul! 
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss 
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, 
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul! 

2 When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul!

3 To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing, 
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing; 
to God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM, 
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, 
while millions join the theme, I will sing! 

4 And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, 
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; 
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, 
and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, 
and through eternity I’ll sing on!

Sermon: “Wanting to Be Anywhere But Here”

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.

Amen.

Additional Collects 

Morning Prayer

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Blessing

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless and preserve you.

 Amen.

Hymn

Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus” LSB 685, st. 1-2

Let us ever walk with Jesus, Follow His example pure, Through a world that would deceive us And to sin our spirits lure. Onward in His footsteps treading, Pilgrims here, our home above, Full of faith and hope and love, Let us do the Father’s bidding. Faithful Lord, with me abide; I shall follow where You guide.

Let us suffer here with Jesus And with patience bear our cross. Joy will follow all our sadness; Where He is, there is no loss. Though today we sow no laughter, We shall reap celestial joy; All discomforts that annoy Shall give way to mirth hereafter. Jesus, here I share Your woe; Help me there Your joy to know.

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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