Sermon for Easter 7 – Exaudi May 24, 2020
Text: John 17:1-5(-11) ILCW – A 20:2196
Theme: Father, It’s Time!
“It’s time!” we are told. “Time to re-open from the corona virus shut down! Time to start getting back to normal!” – although not fully. We are only entering phase 2 of at least 3 phases of reopening. The next phase won’t come for another month then it will be time again to take another direction.
Some people I’ve heard seem to be saying, “It’s about time!” or even “It’s past time!” There are probably as many feelings concerning re-opening our society and way of doing things as there are people. I’m not sure that we have a united front.
That wasn’t the case with God the Son and God the Father in our text. They were united in thought and united in action. It was time, time to finish the work of salvation, time to show the world where the true glory of God shines forth – at the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus. This was it; no question or hesitation about it. “Father, It’s Time!”
I. It’s time for the work to be done.
Jesus said it this way, “Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You. You gave Him authority over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him….I have glorified You on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do.”
This is a prayer that the Lord Jesus lifted to the heavens when the most unpleasant task that ever confronted anyone loomed right before Him. It was Maundy Thursday evening. The next day was Good Friday and His appointment with crucifixion. Standing on death’s threshold, the Lord Jesus knew that the time had come for the work to be done, the work of dying for the sins of all flesh. And Christ would not avoid it; He made no excuses; He did not try to dodge the inevitable; He would not run away and hide. Instead, He prayed to the Father for help to finish the great work given Him.
What a Savior we’ve got – determined to finish whatever was needed to be done for our salvation, determined to win for us eternal life, even if it cost Him greatly.
Eternal life – it’s the greatest of all possible things that God could give anyone, because eternal life with Him starts now and
goes on forever. I suppose that one could say, similar to the reopening of our society following the last two months ban on things, that it comes in phases. Phase 1 is now, living and enjoying the life that God gives us through faith in the Savior, understanding the peace of heart and mind in our full forgiveness before Him. And phase 2 continues that in the perfection that is above where eternal life with God goes on forever and ever. But that life you have even now, with no restriction on its joys.
And what is eternal life? How would you describe it? Listen to Jesus’ definition again. It’s not the way that you and I might normally define it. Jesus said, “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.”
Now, that is a bit different from the definition we might give. I might say eternal life is living happily ever after in heaven, seeing my believing friends and family again, living in a place of no sorrows or pain, never dying, and so on. Jesus doesn’t mention any of that here. He simply says, “eternal life is knowing God and knowing Christ the Savior, whom He sent.” That doesn’t deny the other things that we would use to define eternal life because those are the way that the Bible describes it elsewhere. But this is the way Jesus defines eternal life – knowing God and the Savior.
Do you know God; do you know Christ as your Savior from sin, death, and the devil? Yes, you do! This is the knowing of repentance, faith, and trust. With Jesus’ definition, you are already living eternal life. By faith it is your possession now. Granted you are not experiencing its complete fullness above, but this is what makes life eternal – knowing God and our Savior Christ Jesus. The understanding of that truth gives the believer comfort, confidence, peace, and hope in a topsy-turvy world of turmoil. Know God, know Christ and you are living with eternal life. That affects the way you approach things in the present, especially now.
Imagine a man battling a terminal disease. Day after day his daughter assures him that he will get better, that God would heal him. She is determined, like many well-meaning people, that this is the thing her father needs to hear, even if it’s not true.
One day she repeats her empty assurances in front of the pastor. The father simply smiles and makes the sign of the cross over his heart. He is at peace with God, no matter what happens.
You see, he understood better than many do that to know God
and His Christ is the goal and the purpose of one’s existence here:
“This is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” Without it, one exists in death.
Ah, we so often forget or overlook that Christ has already given us eternal life through faith in Him. If we’re down in the dumps with this virus stuff, have difficulties at work or home, have spats with friends or loved ones, the present and the future seem anything but secure. It’s at such times that Jesus comes and says: “In the world you have affliction. But take courage! I have overcome the world (Jn.16:33) by finishing the work the Father gave me to do. Know me, know the Father who sent me – this is eternal life.”
That cannot be taken from you. There are no restrictions on it. God promised it. But ignore it and you lose it. It’s time to have and enjoy it now for the work is done. With it you can face each day with a quiet, unshakable trust that will glorify the Father and the Son in what you do.
II. It’s time to glorify the Father and the Son.
In our text Jesus asked for that this way, “Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You….I have glorified You on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me at Your own side with the glory I had at Your side before the world existed….All that is mine is Yours, and what is Yours is mine. And I am glorified in them.”
Numerous times throughout this text Jesus speaks of “glory” and “glorifying” as the result of His work. It’s what He wanted to accomplish – for His Father and for Himself. What about you? Are you a glory seeker like Jesus was? There are different ways of seeking glory.
Some people will go out of their way to draw attention to themselves and their cause. We’ll probably have a lot of that over the next 6 months as we ramp up for election day in November.
Others do things that by their very nature put them in the limelight and catch attention. It’s been going on for at least 2 or 3 months now with our first responders and medical care people. Many of those fighting the corona virus didn’t do so to gain attention for themselves. But that attention is now finding them.
Whether one seeks attention or attention seeks us, we feel pretty good when we’re noticed. We laugh and enjoy the spotlight for a time. But in the end, glory should neither begin or end with us. It belongs to God for, like Jesus implied, nothing is ours or nothing could be accomplished by us if it were not for Him giving it to us. For that reason, Peter reminds us (1:5:6): “Humble yourselves under God’s powerful hand so that He might lift you up at the appointed time.”
Peter said this about the trials and persecution for their faith that the Christians of his day were enduring. Perhaps, some were asking “Why?” Others may have been complaining and trying to avoid it. Still others might have been seeking attention like a badge of honor that they felt they deserved and would flaunt before others. Peter reminds us all – only one deserves such honor – God. It’s “in connection with the name of Christ” (1Pt.5:14).
We were created to glorify the Father and the Son. But we couldn’t do that, for we had fallen in sin. What could sinful creatures ever give a holy God that would add glory to His name? Nothing. Why would He want us, much less use us? But that’s the height of the glory due Him and the reason Jesus came here. When we were useless in sin, He made us useful in the righteousness He won for us. Just the fact that God did this brings Him glory. And the things we say about Him and do for Him honor Him. Jesus looked for every opportunity to do just that. So He prayed: Father, It’s Time for the work to be done so that I may glorify You.”
In the joy of eternal life, we do the same. “It’s time. Lord, where do you want me to go today; what do you want me to say or do today? Use me. Let me not hide nor make excuse nor avoid, but use me as an instrument in Your hand for Your glory, my good, and the eternal welfare of those around me. It’s time!” God grant us such a spirit in faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
The Seventh Sunday of Easter: “Exaudi” (“Hear”) May 24, 2020
“Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son so that Your Son may glorify You.” John 17:1
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“Hear me, O LORD. With my voice I call. When You say, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart says to You, ‘Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide Your face from me.’ The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
A Glorious, Ascended Savior. How was your Easter? It was different this year, wasn’t it? We didn’t even get a chance to celebrate like we normally do. Six weeks have already passed. It’s long over.
Now wait a minute! Sure, the actual day that we normally celebrate is past, but Easter isn’t over. And you haven’t missed it. Easter is never over for Christians for we daily live in the glory of Jesus’ resurrection. And now with this past Thursday, Jesus’ ascension is added to it.
Your see, the glory of our risen and ascended Savior is not a fading glory. It never ends and we always live in it. Its ever-present joys always belong to those who believe in Him. He is our glorious, now ascended Savior yesterday, today, and forever.
For that reason, we pray: Almighty God, Your Son our Savior was taken up in glory and intercedes for us at Your right hand. Through Your living and abiding Word, give us hearts to know Him and faith to follow where He has gone where we shall see Him in glory forevermore; for Jesus’ sake we pray. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The First Lesson: Acts 1:1-14
Luke tells us the account of Jesus’ ascension. Before He left He told His Church to go and bear witness to Him throughout the world. After He left the disciples did as He commanded and returned to Jerusalem to await the special gift of the Holy Spirit.
Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 4:12-17; 5:6-11
God’s people should not be surprised that suffering remains an essential part of their lives in this world as they proclaim Jesus’ glory. See suffering as an opportunity to glorify God. Turn to him for help and look forward to the eternal glory that awaits.
The Gospel Lesson: John 17:1-11
Jesus prays for the Father and Himself, that their saving glory might be revealed. He also prays for His disciples that they would be kept safe in their gospel witness.
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We Serve the Lord with Gladness:
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips
Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “Few memories of childhood are more vivid in later years than those melancholy moments when, having offended our father by some childish misdemeanor, we were ‘afraid to go home.’ What would Father say? What would Father do? If only someone at home would take our part. If only we had a friend….
“We have such a Friend – in the Father’s House above! At this very moment He is ‘taking our part,’ He is ‘putting in a word for us,’ He is pleading with the Father to forgive and help us. That Friend is Jesus, our ascended Savior. ‘It is Christ who died and, more than that, was raised to life, is the One who is at God’s right hand and who is also interceding for us’ (Rm.8:34)!
“What a comfort and blessing beyond description to know that we have such a Friend in the Father’s house above!”
— adapted from Herman Gockel on A Friend in the Father’s House
Outline of Our Worship
Lord, Hear Us
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #171 st.1-4
Today’s Order of Worship: Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.45
Lord, Feed Us
Psalm of the Day: #27 Hymnal pg.75
1 Peter 4:12-17; 5:6-11
Hymn Response: #431 st.1-2 & 6
Sermon Hymn: #340
Sermon Text: John 17:1-5 Father, It’s Time!
Lord, Accept Our Response
Te Deum Laudmus – Hymnal pg.48 (“We Praise You, O God”)
“Lord, Have Mercy”
Prayers, Lord’s Prayer & Prayer for Grace
Hymnal pg. 50
Lord, Bless Us
The Benediction Hymnal pg. 51
Lord, When Your Glory I Shall See
The Seventh Sunday of Easter – Series A
First Lesson: Acts 1:1-14 – Jesus’ Ascension: 1I wrote my first book, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began doing and teaching 2until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After he had suffered, he presented himself alive to the apostles with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and told them things about the kingdom of God. 4Once, when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father promised, which you heard from me. 5For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6So when they were together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10They were looking intently into the sky as he went away. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John were there, also James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14All of them kept praying together with one mind, along with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 4:12-17, 5:6-11 – Called to Glory through Suffering: 12Dear friends, do not be surprised by the fiery trial that is happening among you to test you, as if something strange were happening to you. 13Instead rejoice whenever you are sharing in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted in connection with the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or as a meddler. 16But if you suffer for being a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God in connection with this name. 17For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. Now if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who disobey the gospel of God? 5:6Therefore humble yourselves under God’s powerful hand so that he may lift you up at the appointed time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8Have sound judgment. Be alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him by being firm in the faith. You know that the same kinds of sufferings are being laid on your brotherhood all over the world. 10After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you. 11To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Lesson: John 17:1-11 – Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer: 1 After Jesus had spoken these things, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you. 2You gave him authority over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify me at your own side with the glory I had at your side before the world existed. 6“I revealed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me, and they have held on to your word. 7They know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me, and they received them. They learned the truth that I came from you. They believed that you sent me. 9“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, because they are yours. 10All that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine. I am glorified in them. 11I am no longer going to be in the world, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.” The Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible, EHV, ©2017
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service on line – Facebook
| Some weekly activities are curtailed because of the restrictions
Midweek Bible Class will resume with proper distancing
Divine Worship Service on line – Facebook
Bible study resume?
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Even as we come to the close of the Easter season the victorious note of Easter still rings out loudly and clearly. It is the Sunday after the Ascension of our Lord. Thus, there is a spirit of rejoicing over the reigning, glorious Christ. His abiding love continues to sustain us.
The Gospel Lesson (John 17:1-11)
- Why did Jesus pray, “Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You?”
- What comfort do we find in our Savior’s prayer?
Prayer/Sick List Those We Remember In r Prayers Dea Windsor; Barbara Long; Clyde & Sharon Johnson; Angela Meek; Roger & Liz Lisenby’s brother & sister-in-law and granddaughter Jackie; Dave Ballou, recovering at home; Laurie Moon’s father in the ICU in his recovery from a fall.
New Gathering Guidelines were passed this week in Greene County allowing gatherings of 25% of capacity of the building. That would allow the great majority of our members to be present, and if we include the fellowship hall it would allow everyones for sure, if they feel comfortable with it. We still must practice distancing in a gathering. We know that some will still have relevant health concerns, and that’s alright. We encourage you to return when you are comfortable with it. For those attending, please watch your distancing. We will continue live-streaming our service for the immediate future.
Meditations next series of devotions, beginning the end of next week is at church. Copies may be found in the narthex. Northwestern Publishing House is also offering Forward in Christ on-line free at this time along with other materials. You can reach them at: www.nph.net
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 17; Adult Bible Class & Sunday School: no classes at this time; The Gardens Bible Class: no class; Midweek Bible Class: no class; Offering: $1490.
Upcoming Dates Check the weekly calendar for restarting some activities like Bible study. Plans have not yet been made for future events.
Next Sunday’s Lessons: The Festival of Pentecost: Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-21; John 16:5-11
Answers to Today’s Gospel Brief Study:
- In praying for the Father to glorify Him, Jesus was praying for the successful outcome of His work of salvation. The glory would come with Jesus’ victory over Satan on the cross. Through Jesus the glory of the Father also shone brightly since all that the Son did was for the Father’s glory.
- As Jesus prays for the disciples’ protection, the Lord shows once more, that even in the midst of His own anguish before the cross, how dear His own are to Him
This week I am praying for……