Sermon for Easter 2 Sunday – Quasi Modo Genitii April 24, 2022
Text: Revelation 1:5b (4-18) CW-22 3 Year Series C 22:2320
Theme: The Risen Lord Jesus says: “Live as My Royal Priests”
How do you take the loss of people close to you? Over the past years we have lost members and friends who were close to us. Some of you have lost dear family members. Many people are devastated when they lose people close to them in death. But there is a way that I find peace, solace, and inspiration in their passing. Don’t get me wrong; I will miss the departed and their companionship here. But God has blessed them with lives in Him that will not end. Life is transformed to a perfect existence above. There is nothing to lament in their passing. It’s what the meaning and joy of Easter brings us.
Over the next couple of weeks our texts will be taken from the book of Revelation that describe what our friends’ and our lives are like because of Him who rose from the dead. In our text today The Risen Lord Jesus Says: “Live as My Royal Priests…”
I. …Live like royalty.
Oh, Christians do live like royalty in the Father’s House above. Later we will hear that “they are in front of the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple. He who sits on the throne spreads His tent over them. He leads them to springs of living water and wipes away ever tear from their eyes” (Rv.7:15f). That’s how John describes those who are in heaven 6 chapters after our text. Wouldn’t you say that’s living like royalty, without any care or danger confronting them? What a luxury that is, befitting any king!
But the risen Savior is not only addressing those who are already in heaven, who have passed this life in faith in Him. No, Jesus says to all His followers: “Live as My Royal Priests.
John writes, “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom and priests to God His Father.”
Wow! He says to all who cling to Him in faith, He says that He made us a kingdom, priests to God.
He doesn’t say that you are kings, for there is only one King, our Lord, and He is King over all things. But He calls us a kingdom. Well, what is a kingdom.
A kingdom is a country, state, or territory ruled by a king. We tend to think of it as a place in a particular spot on earth, like Britain, the United Kingdom; or Holland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. But here the Lord is not talking about a place but people, those who cling to faith in Christ Jesus.
You, you are a kingdom, His kingdom. It encompasses believers everywhere, of every place, every type, and every time. In faith you are a part of that Kingdom of Grace where He rules in your hearts and lives through the Gospel. And one day, when you depart this life, you will make up that Kingdom of Glory above, to which our friends in Christ have now gone.
To me it’s astounding that He makes us a kingdom. He is the King and rules over all things. But here I believe that He also wants us to think of ourselves, whom He has washed clean in His blood, I believe He wants us to catch the idea of royalty for ourselves alongside Him. He once told His disciples that when He returned, they would sit on thrones with Him, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt.19:28). Royalty, heavenly royalty at His side. But remember, here He is not as much addressing those who have passed this life in faith. But those who follow Him here, now! Royalty? So often I feel like anything but royalty, certainly not heavenly royalty.
Sin seems to pop up so frequently in my life, and then the troubles of living in a fallen world can make me feel as though I must be far away from Christ. I wonder if the Apostle John felt that way too because when John wrote these words, things weren’t going well for him or the church on earth. They were enduring much persecution at the hands of Rome. Christians were being killed for their faith and their refusal to renounce their faith before the Roman emperor. John himself had been exiled to this island of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, sometimes described as being dry and desolate(?) – exiled “because of the Word of God and his testimony about Jesus.” God’s people were suffering and enduring so much pain and hardship. Does that describe living like royalty?
Often Christians feel like anything but royalty when sin and the troubles of life pop up all around them. And then, to think of putting ourselves on a similar scale of royalty that Christ is on, kings who are ruling along with Him, who is “the ruler of the kings of the earth”? It just doesn’t seem possible or right.
Ah, dear friends, but God would not have us judge by outward appearances, nor by earthly considerations. In Christ you live like royalty in God’s eyes because the Savior has freed you from your sins. Believe it in all humility because it brings richness, comfort, and strength to your life in Him – even now in the turmoil of this existence. Such wonderful assurance and peace is hard to find. Even John didn’t find it at first.
When Christ first appeared to John in this marvelous vision, portraying Jesus’ great majesty, purity, and glory, John fell on his face to the ground. “I fell at His feet like a dead man,” he writes. But Jesus gently touched him on the shoulder and said, “Do not be afraid.”
It’s similar to what He told a doubting and worried Thomas in the Gospel Lesson today when He said, “Peace to you.” To live unafraid, to live in peace before such a glorious God, unencumbered by sin and its doubt, that’s living like royalty. The Risen Lord Jesus Says: “Live like royalty…
II. …because I have the authority to deliver on it.” He can and will deliver on that which He promises.
Many can’t deliver on what they promise because they lack authority. They just don’t have it to back up what they say. It’s like me coming to you selling a brand-new kind of shampoo that guarantees it will make your hair grow thick and luxurious. Would you believe it? No! Look at me. We’re talking about authority and the ability to deliver on what is promised.
Now, consider. Who can tell you not to be afraid, especially of death? Only the person who can show His authority over death by conquering death could do that. And that person is the risen Lord Jesus. He died; He rose again; and now hear what He says: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last – the Living One. I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell” because He conquered them. He is in control.
When the risen Lord Jesus talks to us that way, He is not just sharing an opinion about death. He’s sharing His experience with it and more, His authority over it. He’s not saying, “I think that death will be okay; you don’t have to be scared.” No. He is saying much more. He is saying with firm, divine authority, “Do not be afraid. I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever. And because I live, you also shall live, for I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even if he dies…and he will never perish” (Jn.11:25f). Firm, divine authority spoken for our confidence.
You know, there are times when I get to hear Christians who are near death reflecting the calm and peace those words give to them. People of the world are terrified as they feel life slipping away. Ask Christians if they are afraid of dying, and so often they peacefully say something like, “No. I am going to see my Savior.”
He is “the faithful witness…the Living One. ‘I was dead,’ He says, ‘And see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell.’ I have the authority to deliver on what I promise…
III. …to those whom I call priests.”
“Priests to God, His Father,” that’s what He calls you. What do you think of when you think of priests in the Bible?
Well, you probably think of those who performed the sacrifices in the temple, right? True. But their higher significance was that of having the privilege of giving the people access to God. They served in God’s House, where God met with His people. They stood before His presence, who declared that He was their inheritance (Dt.18:2).
You see, when Israel came into the Promised Land, they didn’t get any land for themselves like the other 12 tribes did. Why not? Because God said that He was their inheritance, not land, not a place to live on earth, but He was their inheritance. Imagine that – inheriting God. And now Christ, since His resurrection from the dead calls you His priests. Peter writes, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the people who are God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light….Now you are the people of God” (1Pt.3:29f).
That’s what you are and have in the Risen Lord Jesus – forgiveness, royalty, life, priesthood. Christ and His redemption are your inheritance. What does that all mean? I will seek to ponder and wonder at its depth in the present, but one day, when I am with Him above, I will understand fully even as I am fully known. But my friends who have gone before me in faith know exactly the eternal joy it brings them. God grant it to us 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
www.zionluthchurch.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find us on Facebook
The Second Sunday of Easter: “Quasi Modo Geniti” April 24, 2022
(“Like newborn babies, crave the pure milk of the Word.” 1Pt.2:2)
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
“Like newborn babies, crave the pure milk of the Word so that by it you may grow up, with the result being salvation. Certainly, you have tasted that the Lord is good! Sing a loud song to God, our strength. Shout to the God of Jacob! (1 Peter 2:2-3; Psalm 81:1)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Blessed Are Those Who Believe. The day of Easter is past, but not its blessings. Christians still bask in the warmth and glow of Christ’s resurrection. Because He lives we have peace and joy, knowing that in His forgiveness and love we can face today and tomorrow in renewed confidence and hope. As we continue in faith, nothing can shake us – no matter what trial might arise in life. He is ours and we are His, now and forever. Blessed are those who believe!
But for those who refuse to believe the resurrection, only sadness, gloom, and uncertainty await. Lord, preserve us from such unbelief which loses the blessings that the risen Christ won for us.
So it is that we pray: O risen Lord, You came to Your disciples and took away their fears with Your word of peace. Come to us also by Word and Sacrament and banish our fears with the comforting assurance of Your abiding presence; for You live and reign now and forever. 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 5:12, 17-32
The risen Christ gave His apostles the ability to perform miracles and to boldly proclaim the peace and joy of salvation in spite of persecution. Even when Israel’s leaders opposed them, their courage did not waver. They had to proclaim the truth of the Gospel.
The Epistle Lesson: Revelation 1:4-18
Many years after Jesus’ resurrection when disciples were martyred for their witness, John is given a glimpse of heaven. Jesus appears not as the Suffering Servant but as the majestic Lord. As He rose from death, the keys of heaven were given to Him. These He passed on to His Church.
The Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31
On Easter evening Jesus appeared to His disciples, quieting their fears and sending them out in His name with the forgiveness He won. Only one was not present, Thomas. He would not believe the resurrection until Jesus came the next week to assure him of its truths.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Victorious – Witness Marches Forward. The Good News of the risen Christ is bigger than a single day. The Easter Gospel will continue to march across centuries and continents. But there will always be forces that try to slow that march. Doubts and fears will arise. Persecutions for the faith will take place. But the Good News of Christ’s resurrection will not be retrained, for it is not some myth or fable, nor hoax or conspiracy. The reality of Easter rests on the testimony of eyewitnesses. So, the Gospel cannot be contained any more than Christ could. Many try, but the march of the Church’s witness goes forward.
Point to Ponder: “The greatest of all services I can render my fellow man is proclaiming to him the Gospel, telling him to cling to the works of Christ and firmly believe that Christ’s righteousness is his. This is the greatest of all services – to free my fellow man from sin and to liberate him from the devil and hell.” — Martin Luther
Outline of Our Worship
Lord, Hear Us
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #443
The Order of Service Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.207
Lord, Feed Us
Psalm of the Day: #16
Hymn Response: #510
Sermon Hymn: #456 st.1-6
Sermon Text: Revelation 1:5 The Risen Lord Jesus Says: “Live as My Royal Priests!”
Lord, Accept Our Response
Hymn: #953 (in place of the Te Deum Laudamus)
Hymnal pg.213-214 “Lord, Have Mercy”
Prayers, Lord’s Prayer
Lord, Bless Us
The Benediction Hymnal pg.214
Closing Hymn: #456 st.8-9
The Second Sunday of Easter – Series C
The First Lesson: Acts 5:12,17-32 The Apostles Imprisoned, Released
12 Many signs and wonders were done among the people through the hands of the apostles. With one mind, they all continued meeting in Solomon’s Colonnade….17 The high priest rose up, along with his associates (that is, the party of the Sadducees), because they were filled with envy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and keep on telling the people the whole message about this life.” 21 After they heard this, they entered the temple courts at daybreak and began to teach. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin (that is, the whole council of elders of the people of Israel). Then they sent orders to the jail to have the apostles brought in. 22 But when the officers arrived, they did not find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were puzzled about them, wondering what could have happened. 25 Then someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought the apostles in without force, because they were afraid that the people might stone them. 27 After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin. The high priest asked them, 28 “Did we not give you strict orders not to teach in this name? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring this man’s blood down on us!” 29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you arrested and killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his right hand as Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Epistle Lesson: Revelation 1:4-18 John’s Vision of the Risen Lord
4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his own blood 6 and made us a kingdom and priests to God his Father—to him be the glory and the power forever. Amen. 7 Look, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him. Yes. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, the one who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty. 9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingship and patient endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. 10 I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard a loud voice behind me, like a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write what you see on a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” 12 I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was clothed with a robe that reached to his feet, and around his chest he wore a gold sash. 14 His head and his hair were white, like white wool or like snow. His eyes were like blazing flames. 15 His feet were like polished bronze being refined in a furnace. His voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword was coming out of his mouth. His face was shining as the sun shines in all its brightness. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last— 18 the Living One. I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell.
Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31 Jesus Appears to The Disciples & Thomas
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” 22 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 24 But Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible (EHV), New Testament & Psalms ©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
Fellowship & Bible Study
“Quasi Modo Geniti”
Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion
online – Facebook
Fellowship &Quarterly Meetings
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Imagine someone discovering the cure for cancer, yet, keeping it private. Impossible! The need is too great; the news is too good. So it is with our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. “We cannot help speaking of what we have seen and heard.”
The Epistle Lesson: Revelation 1:4-18 (answers are found on the back side)
- What does the last apostle left on earth call himself as he begins writing the Bible’s last book?
- How does John describe Jesus before he sees Him?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Dave Ballou; John Workentine; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister, long term covid); Lois Wiese; Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter, diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, an autoimmune disease of the brain; Elizabeth Lisenby, looking in the near future at shoulder surgery; Barbara Long, following hospitalization.
Quarterly Meetings Because Easter fell on the normal date for our spring quarterly meetings, we have postponed the meetings till next Sunday, May 1, and wanted to give you notice ahead of time. We hope you can join us following worship as we discuss the ministry among us here at Zion
Forward in Christ’s next edition for May has arrived. You may find copies on the credenza in the narthex.
Sunday, May 1 – Following the service fellowship then the Voters and WWFC quarterly meetings
Friday/Saturday May 6-7 – WELS/ELS Men’s Retreat at Camp Trinity, New Haven, MO
The Week in Review
Last Sunday Worship: 48; Easter Brunch:31; Midweek Bible Class: no class this week; Offering: $1,250;
Good Friday: 17; Communed: 15; Offering: $301.
Next Sunday’s Lessons: His Humility, Our Hope
Easter 3: Acts 9:1-22; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-14 (CW -21, Series C)
Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:
- The last apostle on earth simply calls himself, “John.” This shows a) that he was well-known, and b) that he wouldn’t dream of using any titles that would exalt him.
- Despite appearances, John calls Jesus a) “the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth; b) the One who “loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood; c) “the Alpha and the Omega, who was and is and is to come, the Almighty.”
This week I am praying for……