April 1, 2020 – Week 5: To Save the Lost
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
Please click the link to view the Sermon Message https://youtu.be/fP4NPWr6cF4
Opening Hymn….. Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain LSB 435 (v.1, 2 & 4)
- Come to Calv’ry’s holy mountain,
Sinners, ruined by the fall;
Here a pure and healing fountain
Flows for you, for me, for all,
In a full, perpetual tide,
Opened when our Savior died.
2. Come in poverty and meanness,
Come defiled, without, within;
From infection and uncleanness,
From the leprosy of sin,
Wash your robes and make them white;
Ye shall walk with God in light.
4. They that drink shall live forever;
’Tis a soul-renewing flood
God is faithful; God will never
Break his covenant of blood,
Signed when our Redeemer died,
Sealed when he was glorified.
Invocation and Litany
P In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
P Let your hand be ready to help me,
C For I have chosen your precepts.
P I long for your salvation, O Lord,
C And your law is my delight.
P Let my soul live and praise you,
C And let your rules help me.
P I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
C For I do not forget your commandments.
Confession and Absolution
P Let us confess our sins to God and ask his forgiveness for the sake of Jesus Christ.
C Almighty God, we have gone astray like lost sheep. We have turned away from your Word and to listen to the tempting voices the world around us. We have followed our own desires instead of following your will. Have mercy on us and forgive us for the sake of Jesus our Savior.
P God has had mercy on us. He sent his Son to seek and to save the lost, to seek and to save us. Jesus suffered, died and rose from the dead to bring us forgiveness and life. I announce to you that your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
P Be our Shepherd, Lord, and hold us safely in your mighty hand!
Prayer of the Day
P Almighty God, you promised through the prophet Isaiah that you would come to search for your lost sheep. You would rescue them all. In the person of Jesus your Son, you kept your promise to seek and to save the lost. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have been rescued from sin, death and the devil and brought safely into your kingdom. Fill us with your Spirit so that we will be bold witnesses for our Savior, seeking those still lost in the darkness of sin and sharing with them the good news of the Shepherd who came to give his life to save them. Hear our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hymn………………….. I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb LSB 740
- I am Jesus’ little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need and well provides me,
Loves me ev’ry day the same,
Even calls me by my name.
2. Day by day, at home, away,
Jesus is my staff and stay,
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
Into pleasant pastures leads me;
When I thirst, he bids me go
Where the quiet waters flow.
3. Who so happy as I am,
Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?
And when my short life is ended,
By his angel host attended,
He shall fold me to his breast,
There within his arms to rest.
Old Testament Reading…………….. Ezekiel 34:11-16
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
Epistle Reading………….. Romans 10:8-13
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in
your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart
one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For
the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of
all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on
the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Gospel Reading………………. Luke 19:1-10
[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing
through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax
collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account
of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead
and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that
way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he
hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all
grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And
Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I
give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it
fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house,
since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save
Sermon Hymn……….. The King of Love My Shepherd Is LSB 709 (v. 1 & 3)
1. The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.
3. Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me
And on his shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.
Sermon…………………. To Save the Lost
P There is more than one way to get lost. Children can become separated from their parents in a store, or they may leave their own backyards, leading to a frantic search through the neighborhood. Adults may find themselves lost on the highway after taking a wrong turn, and they hope that their faithful GPS will get them out of trouble. Older adults suffering from memory loss may become confused and wander away from home or be unable to find their way back home.
But sometimes you might be safe at home, all alone, and yet you feel lost, or maybe feel at a loss. Perhaps you are facing a difficult decision regarding your finances or health or employment. You may be struggling with issues in your relationships with family or friends or co-workers. You may have become lost in grief and feel unable to move forward in your own life after the death of a loved one. You may be lost in guilt or shame as you fight against a particular sin or temptation. Or you may find yourself lost in doubt or fear, feeling as if you are somehow separated from God himself, wondering if he really does forgive all of your sins.
You may feel lost, you may be lost, but God always comes looking for you. He came among us to seek and to save the lost. He said through the prophet Ezekiel that he, God himself, would search for his sheep; he would seek them out. Just like a shepherd lives and works and searches among his scattered sheep, God himself would live and work and search among his scattered people. He would rescue his lost people. Ezekiel proclaimed this message of hope and promise to the people of Israel in exile. God would find them, he said, and bring them back to the land of Israel. But God’s promise to seek and find the lost would be fulfilled in a way that would extend beyond those exiles from Israel. Someday God would come to live on earth; he would come in person, in the flesh, to live among the lost, like a shepherd among his sheep. God would find all of his scattered flock and rescue them and bring them safely to the home he has prepared for them.
In Jesus Christ, God himself had come to live among his scattered sheep. He came, as Jesus said, “to seek and to save the lost.” And, as Jesus traveled through the town of Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, he searched out one of his lost sheep—and found him a tree. This particular sheep, a small one, was named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector in Jericho. The job of tax collector is not popular in any era, but for the Jews in Jesus’ day, tax collectors were an especially despised segment of society. Zacchaeus was a Jew who worked for the hated Roman overlords. He was rich, not because he was paid well, but because he overcharged people in collecting taxes and kept the extra income for himself—something he admits to later in his meeting with Jesus. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus and he wanted to see this miracle-working rabbi for himself. Being too short to see over the crowds gathered around Jesus, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to get a good look. He just wanted to see Jesus, but the short-statured tax collector got more than he bargained for. Jesus walked right over to the tree, looked up and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home. The tax collector hurried down and took Jesus to his home. The people watching were shocked and angry that Jesus would go as a guest to the house of such a person, a man they called a “sinner.” Who would even want to be seen with such a person, much less eat with him! Zacchaeus was a traitor, a Jew who worked for the Romans and stole money from his own people. And Jesus was a guest in his home!
Jesus, the guest who invited himself, found Zacchaeus that day, and the tax collector believed in his guest as Messiah and Savior. Zacchaeus, “the wee little man” of the children’s song, put his new faith into action in a big way, giving half of his wealth to the poor and promising to restore fourfold what he had taken from people through his dishonest tax collecting.
That day in Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to find Jesus in the crowd, but in reality, it was Jesus who found him. That is what Jesus does. He is God in the flesh, God in person, who came among his people to seek and to save the lost—and that is what Jesus is still doing today. Jesus sought and found you. In Baptism he claimed you as his own lost lamb. He rescued you from sin, death and the devil and brought you safely home to himself. And by his Spirit at work in the Gospel message, in the good news of his life, death and resurrection, Jesus is still seeking the lost. He works through our words of witness to find his lost sheep and bring them home.
The people of Jericho grumbled about Jesus and Zacchaeus, scandalized that Jesus had gone to be the guest “of a man who is a sinner.” But that is what Jesus is doing today. He searches for his lost sheep, inviting himself into the hearts and homes of sinners like you and me. That is why he was on the road that day as he passed through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem and the cross that awaited him. He was on his way to suffer and die and rise to win forgiveness and eternal life for every lost sheep. That was Jesus’ purpose; that is why he came—to seek and to save the lost. Amen.
Hymn of Response… The King of Love My Shepherd Is LSB 709 (v. 4 & 6)
4. In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me,
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
6. And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never,
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever!
Offering (Thank you to everyone who has donated their offerings during this time of no in person worship. You may give your offerings at the Pathway Bank Drive up Window.)
Prayers Each response ends with the following petition:
P Jesus, Good Shepherd,
C You came to seek and to save the lost.
P Lord and Savior, in Jericho you found the lost sinner Zacchaeus and called him to faith in yourself. You were born among us, as one of us, as our Shepherd, to find and save your lost sheep. Through your death and resurrection, you rescued us from sin, death and the devil and made us your own in holy Baptism. Jesus, Good Shepherd,
C You came to seek and to save the lost.
P Lord and Savior, so many people are lost in loneliness and despair. They may be lost in grief or fear or doubt. Work through your saving Word to bring to them the comfort that they need. Work through us as we share with them the hope that we have in your name. Jesus, Good Shepherd,
C You came to seek and to save the lost.
P Lord and Savior, by the power of the Holy Spirit, work through our witness as we share the good news of salvation with those still lost in sin. As you did with Zacchaeus, invite yourself into their hearts and homes through the Gospel that we share. Jesus, Good Shepherd,
C You came to seek and to save the lost.
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.
P For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
C As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered,
P So will I seek out my sheep,
C And I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered
P The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Closing Hymn….. How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds LSB 524 (v.1, 3 & 4)
1. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
And drives away our fear.
3. Dear name! The rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place;
My never-failing treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace.
4. O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend,
My Prophet, Priest and King,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.
By Carol Geisler. © 2020 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, Inc., 1564 Fencorp Dr., Fenton, MO 63026. 800-325-9414. www.creativecommunications.com. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.