“As the End of All Things Draws Near…”

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on May 11, 2024 in

The Sunday after Ascension: Exaudi  (Mother’s Day) May 12, 2024 

Text:  1 Peter 4:7-11              Historic Series                               24:2445

Theme:  “As the End of All Things Draws Near…”

We have a saying that goes like this: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” For example, when the teacher leaves the classroom, boys and girls are tempted to forget the rules of classroom living. When the manager leaves the business or the foreman leaves the floor, the employees are tempted to slacken their efforts. And because our ascended Lord has withdrawn His visible presence from us, we may be tempted to relax a bit in living the Christian life. But Jesus is “gone” for just a little while.
This past Thursday the Christian Church celebrated the Festival of our Lord’s Ascension. Forty days after He rose from the dead, Jesus went back to heaven. Since His departure, almost 2,000 years have passed. During that time no one on earth has seen the Lord in His full glory, for as “the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, no one has ever seen or can see Him until He displays Himself at the proper time” (1Tm.6:16,14). A day will come when He steps out of His “unapproachable light” and steps back into this world of sin to judge the living and the dead. This is certain. It was the first promise that God proclaimed right after Jesus ascended.
The disciples stood on the Mount of Olives, gazing upward at the sky, watching as a cloud hid Jesus from their sight. “Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them and said, ‘Why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you have seen Him go into heaven” (Ac.1:11).
In that hope they comforted themselves and encouraged one another during times of great stress and tribulation. People would harass and murder them thinking that they were doing a service to God – getting rid of these Christians (Jn.16:2). All manner of temptations to quit the faith confronted them. So, Peter and the rest knew it was necessary to keep in mind: “The End of All Things Is Near.” In light of that truth, what kind of people ought we to be?

I.  Peter instructs, “Have sound judgment and be self-controlled for the sake of your prayers.” Let’s call that being sober-minded, as the original Greek words do. It’s interesting that Peter begins with the mind and the disposition of the Christian. Be sober-minded.
This is what we might call mental, spiritual sobriety. It is not about drunkenness with alcohol but is a Greek expression for soundness of mind in matters of faith-life. Spiritual intoxication is dangerous. It leads to fanaticism and extravagance in which people, as with drunkenness, don’t know what they are really doing. Instead, we are to develop a sense of eternal fitness of things in our lives as we cultivate a heavenly sense of God-fearing values.
Remember who you are by the grace of God. You are His redeemed child, an heir of heaven. Through faith in Christ, you have the forgiveness of all your sins because His blood cleanses you from everything (1Jn.1:7). With sins forgiven and remembered no more (Is.43:25), you have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Ro.5:1). By faith you are always His, despite what the world or Satan or a guilty conscience try to tell you. The Apostle Paul assures every believer, “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Ro.14:8). Sober-minded Christians know and rejoice in it.
They also know that we live here as pilgrims and strangers in a foreign land. Heaven is our home. The sober-minded “desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Phlp.1:23). They put the right price-tag on things. They note that which is of the earth, which is temporal and perishing, and they know that which is of eternal worth and lasts forever.
The story is told of a young man writing home, knowing that he would soon be leaving the place where he was. At the end of the letter, he simply wrote the phrase: “Not here long.” How appropriate those words are for the sober-minded Christian.
Moses writes, “For all our days pass away…The days of our lives add up to seventy years or eighty years, if we have the strength…Yet they disappear quickly, and we fly away” (Ps.90:9f). How important then that as Christians we cultivate a sense of the brevity of life, the certainty of death, and the conviction of The End of All Things Drawing Near.
In no way is this a negative warning – a so-called “Doomsday” thought. No! Paul does not just mean “the end to it all.” He uses a word that contains the thought of a goal, an outcome, or a success (telos). We are headed towards that which God has planned, the victory over all things that Christ has reached for all who believe and hang on to their faith in Him as Savior. Fulfilled, filled up, done, completed when our Lord returns. He did not leave this world without reminding us of the greatness of what lies ahead in Him, who accomplished it. It’s important then that we live sober-mindedly, constantly aware of things eternal for the End Draws Near – God’s goal…completion…the fullness of His desires.
As a result, the sober-minded Christian makes every day a day of worship and prayer, even amid the upsetting and difficult times of life here. He goes “boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hb.4:16).
If we live each day that way, as if our departure at His return draws near, then we shall also make each day a day to fervently love fellow sojourners here. What kind of people ought we to be?

II. Loving! We await The End of All Things lovingly. Peter says, “Above all, love each other constantly, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
If it is true that The End of All Things Draws Near, God exhorts us to exert love to the limit of its strength. Love each one as if it were the last chance you have. Who knows? That may be truer than we realize, if the fulfillment, God’s goal, is at hand.
You know, often we are not easy persons to love. We have our quirks; God knows I do. We have things that other people don’t like at times. We’re human, still sinful people while here. Redeemed in the blood of Christ? Yes!!! Indeed! Every day! But we are also not-yet-perfected every day. So, it takes effort in a hate-filled world to practice love to fallen creatures, yes, even to fellow Christians.
Just turn on the news in these present days. I don’t care which station it is. Just listen to the daily anger, hate, vitriol, and charges against others that spew out of so many mouths and comes from ours too. We are imperfect people living in a sin-filled world. That is not hard to see. Imagine where we would all be without the Savior! Thank goodness we know Him and as Christians trust in His redeeming love for us, and for all! His love covered a multitude of sins. If His redeeming love so covered us, cannot we become loving people, understanding the impact of it all before it’s too late? For The End of All Things Is Drawing Near!
The story is told of two young boys eating dinner at the home of their wealthy aunt. The table was covered with the finest linen and set with expensive china and gleaming silver. Unnoticed by others at the table, the younger boy accidentally spilled some gravy on the immaculate tablecloth. The older boy, eager to spare, not highlight, but spare his younger brother unnecessary embarrassment quickly took his napkin and spread it over the offending spot. What an excellent parable of that which St. Peter meant when he said, “Above all, love each other constantly, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Unlike so much that goes on in our world today, Christian love’s primary object is not to expose, or condemn, or highlight accounts that reveal the erring brother in faith, but to help him. The older brother could have exclaimed, “Ah! Look what he’s done!” Instead, he kept silent, doing his best to rectify the situation.
Albeit, truth must be told. But then Matthew 18 should be followed – at least among us as Christian brothers and sisters in the faith. But how desperately we need to learn the older brother’s lesson. There are those occasions when Christian love looks the other way, not to excuse sin, but to help overcome it in Christ.
How different our world would be if each of us would learn:
– to overlook our Christian brother’s or sister’s frailties and to
bear with them in their infirmities;
– to exercise Christian patience and forbearance;
– to be loving, as Christ was, to those who aren’t loveable;
– to be hospitable to each other without complaining;
– to use the gifts with which God has richly blessed us…and
each has been blessed with gifts for the good of His Kingdom;
– to exercise Christian love as sober-minded people;
how different we and our world would be!
True, there is a time for corrective action for sin, “to speak the messages of God” against it. But there is also time for healing silence, a time “when love covers a multitude of sins.” In such a life of sober-mindedness and Christ-centered love to the faithful, we would glorify Christ who has now left us in His ascension, and we would be prepared in faith As the End, the Fulfillment, God’s Goal of All Things Draws Near. God grant that to us in our lives of faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

 Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)

Church phone: 417.887.0886   Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244 


Sunday after the Ascension of Our Lord    May 12, 2024

Exaudi – “Hear me, O Lord”

When the Counselor comes, He will testify of me; you also will testify.” John 15:26 

WelcomeThe 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.  Be merciful to me and answer me.  Your face, LORD, I will seek.  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

The Spirit of Truth Will Help You.     The realities of Jesus’ return to heaven in His ascension were celebrated Thursday – 40 days after Easter.  Our Savior went ahead, paving the way to life with Him above. It is a meaningful event and a happy occasion for believers.  But for the Eleven disciples it was a sad and confusing time.

So it was that Jesus promised to send them another Counselor, the Holy Spirit.  He would guide them into all truth, and they would become witnesses of all that Jesus had done. He would hear (“Exaudi”) their cries for aid and grant it.

As believers today go out to what has become an increasingly hostile world, there is no cause for alarm or fear.  The same Spirit promised to the disciples is promised to us as well. He is our comfort and guide.

To that end we pray:  Lord Jesus, King of Gory, You ascended far above the heavens and at God’s right hand You rule the nations.  Leave us not alone but grant us the Spirit of Truth that we may be Your witnesses in all the world; in Your name we pray. Amen.

T h e   W o r d   o f   G o d   f o r   T o d a y

(The Lessons of the Day are from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)

The Old Testament Lesson:  Isaiah 32:14-20

Israel often experienced times of desolation and fear.  So also will the Lord’s Church.  But He will pour out His Holy Spirit on those who believe.  The Spirit will restore righteousness, peace, and security will to the people of God.

The Epistle Lesson:  1 Peter 4:7-11

As the final goal of God’s plan of salvation nears, Christians strive to remain clear-minded and controlled while they pray.  Love dominates their hearts and makes them faithful managers of God’s abundant and gracious gifts by which the Spirit helps them in their witness.

The Gospel Lesson: John 15:26-16:4 

Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples.  As the Counselor, the Spirit will help them testify concerning the truth about the Savior.  But their witness to Him will not always be easy for the world will persecute them when He is gone, falsely thinking that they do God a service by getting rid of those who follow Him.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Organist: Jane Rips is visiting her mother in Iowa this week.                

The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Points to Ponder  “One cannot paint the cross any differently.  It is the cross of persecution…. The suffering is golden when we are persecuted and put to death with ignominy, when our persecutors have the praise, when right and honor are apparently on their side, while shame, disgrace and injustice are on our side.  There can be no right in our cause.

“So also was the lot of Christ.  They put Him to death in the most scornful and disgraceful way.  So Christ says in our Gospel: ‘They will kill you.  And all the world will say that they thereby offer God a service.  But whoever endures to the end, shall be saved!’  Where there is a true, living faith, it presses forward through sword and fire.”                          — Martin Luther on John 16:2

Outline of  Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: #472

Order of Worship:     The Service: Setting One     page 154-160

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Isaiah 32:14-20

The Psalm: #25

1 Peter 4:7-11

Gospel Acclamation: Easter     pg.161

John 15:26-16:4

Hymn: #476

Sermon:  1 Peter 4:7-9     As the End of All Things Is Near…

The Apostles’ Creed pg.163

Our Response to the Word

Prayer of the Church: pg.164

The Offering

Hymn: #761

The Lord Blesses Us

The Closing Prayers and Blessing     Hymnal page 171

Closing Hymn: #730

Silent Prayer

 Sunday after Ascension “Exaudi” – Historic Series

 Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 32:14-20 – Judgment and Restoration  

14 Then the fortress will be abandoned. The crowded city will be deserted. The citadel and the watchtower will become rugged ruins for a long time, enjoyed by wild donkeys, and a pasture for flocks, 15 until the Spirit is poured out on us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest.

16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness will live in the fertile field. 17 The result of righteousness will be peace, and righteousness will bring lasting tranquility and security.
18 My people will live in a peaceful place, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19 Even if hail destroys the forest, or if the city is totally leveled, 20 how blessed you will be, as you sow seed beside streams, and let your cattle and donkeys run free.


Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 4:7-11 – Live as Good Stewards of God’s Grace

The end of all things is near. So have sound judgment and be self-controlled for the sake of your prayers. Above all, love each other constantly, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

10 Serve one another, each according to the gift he has received, as good stewards of the many forms of God’s grace. 11 If anyone speaks, let him do it as one speaking the messages of God. If anyone serves, let him do it as one serving with the strength God supplies so that God may be glorified in every way through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Lesson: John 15:26-16:4 – “The Spirit of Truth”

26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also are going to testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

16 “I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who murders you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do these things because they have not known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes, you may remember that I told them to you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®)  © 2019

Calendar  &  Announcements  for  Zion  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church


May 12


May 13


May 14


May 15


May 16


May 17


May 18

Next Sun.

May 19

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study


Sunday after Ascension: Exaudi

(Mother’s Day)

The floor in the fellowship hall will be cleaned and waxed this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. 11 am  Midweek Bible Class








9:00 am

Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study




A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

At the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament times, God confused the one language of all people because of their arrogance towards Him. The confusion of languages made it a challenge to testify freely to the truths of God.  But God provided other means so that His witness could go out to all people.  Before Jesus’ ascension He promised to send the disciples help in their witness in the form of the Holy Spirit.  He would counsel, help, and encourage them in their lives when things got difficult. 

The Gospel Lesson: John 15:26-16:4   (the answers are found on the back side)

  1. What name does Jesus first give the Holy Spirit (v. 26)? What does this name mean?
  2. What second name does Jesus give the Holy Spirit (v. 26)? What does this name mean?
  3. Why did Jesus tell His disciples all these things ahead of time?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (Long’s son-in-law); Libya, (Jodi Milam’s granddaughter); Barbara Long; Robbie Woessner; Kay Schmidt at Quail Creek Rehab; Norine Richardson; Melissa Morlack-Jaeger undergoing pulmonary tests; Liz Lisenby; Lois Wiese in Mercy Hospital; Barbara Long, hospitalized this past week.

Forward in Christ’s newest edition for May has arrived.  There are plenty of copies in the narthex for family and friends.

Divine Call Sent  At the joint call meeting of Zion and Peace three weeks ago, Pastor Nathaniel Winkel was selected to whom our call for pastor was sent. He is 41 years old and presently serves Mountain Valley Lutheran Church, Eagle, CO.  He and wife Tiffany have four children, ages 10-16 years old.  Please keep Pastor Winkel and family in your prayers over the next few weeks as he prayerfully considers where the Lord would have him serve in His Kingdom of Grace. More information about him may be found on the bulletin board in the hallway.

Upcoming Services and Events

In the month of May, the following two special door offerings will be taken to help two ministries in the work of the Synod:

– Mother’s Day, May 12 – door offering for New Beginnings Ministry to help serve unwed mothers

– May 26, Memorial Day weekend – door offering for the WELS Ministry to the Military

Thursday, May 16, 6 pm – Initial Get-together of the Planning Committee. Can you join us as we seek

to regroup and formulate plans of in-reach within the congregation and outreach into the community?

Tuesday, May 21. 6 pm – Elders, Trustees, Church Council Monthly Meeting

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 34; Communed: 29; Bible Study: 16; Midweek Bible Class: 2; Offerings: $2,427.

Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

The Festival of Pentecost: Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-13; John 14:23-31   (Historic Pericope Series)

Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, “the Counselor” (Paraclete in Greek). That name means He is the one who is called to our side to help us by talking to and for us.
  2. Secondly, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth.” All He speaks is truth. God’s Word is total truth!
  3. Jesus told them in advance so that they would be prepared when it happened and not surprised, lest they should fall from faith. This was all in God’s gracious hands. He would see them through it by sending the Spirit of Truth to comfort and counsel them in fulfilling their task as witnesses to the blessings of Christ’s work of redemption.

 This week I am praying for……



Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann