Limping at the Shepherd’s Side

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on April 13, 2024 in ,

Second Sunday after Easter – Misericordia Domini April 14, 2024

Text: 1 Peter 2:21-25 Historic Series                      24:2441

Theme:   Limping at the Shepherd’s Side.

One day a traveler in the Holy Land joined a shepherd as he led his flock across a hill. As they walked and talked the traveler noticed one of the older sheep, which walked with some difficulty, always walking within a short distance of the shepherd. Curious, the traveler asked the shepherd why it was that this sheep walked with a noticeable limp, and why it never ventured more than a few feet from the shepherd’s side.
“That sheep,” replied the shepherd, “is one of the oldest in the flock. As a little lamb, it persisted in straying from the flock, where it could not hear my voice. Many times, I had to rescue it from the brink of destruction, until finally I had to inflict that injury on its leg myself. Ever since that day the sheep has limped, but it has also stayed close by my side for guidance and protection.”
Limping at the Shepherd’s Side! What a picture of the blessedness of the Christian cross-bearer! Limping? Yes! But, Limping at the Shepherd’s Side.
The Apostle Paul had such a “limp.” He called it his “thorn in the flesh.” It pained him so greatly that he begged the Lord to take it away. But Jesus answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2Co.12:9). Amidst such weakness, Christ’s power sheltered Paul – in the strength of God.
Our heavenly Shepherd’s love may find it necessary to wound us, to visit us with sorrow, bitter disappointment, bodily affliction, a cross to bear. But we can rest assured in this conviction: it was His love at work to draw us closer to His side.
Limping at the Shepherd’s Side.

I. to this He called us;   II. for this He gave us an example;  and III. in this He enables us.

(I. To this He called us.) Peter writes, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered in your behalf.” Suffering is always a problem. The Son of God Himself went through it. We will too.
When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t create them or their children to suffer in any way. That was not His intent in the perfect world. But now, since we live in a world fallen into sin, suffering will always be a difficulty that we will endure here. Our lives will not always be glad ones.
Jesus told us this quite openly when He said, “If anyone would come after me…he must pick up his cross and follow me” (Mt.16:24). And again, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (10:34). The “cross” and “sword” are instruments of pain and suffering. As a Christian, redeemed in His blood, He called you to this.
When Peter wrote this, he was addressing the Christian slaves of his day. The Roman world had millions of slaves, of all colors – white, black, red, etc. Many Christians were slaves to heathen masters who were ugly and cruel. Sometimes, the very fact that they had become Christian called forth ill-treatment and severe abuse, for Rome declared Christianity illegal in the empire. If pagan masters became angry at their slaves, they could throw them to the lions, burn them at the stake, hunt them down, and crucify them for something they didn’t do or even for no reason at all, other than the fact that they were Christian. Such Christians would be tempted to fight back and lash out, thinking God would want them to do that.
Have you ever felt that way – that God didn’t want you to limp along in life – that God would have you fight back against those who bring hurt, harm, and pain to you and others – especially to Christians? We won’t escape such bad treatment.
On the night before He died, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you….They will treat you this way because of my name….Therefore, in the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn.15:18f; 16:33).
We wonder at the wrongs, the evil, the worldly injustice we see in our day, in our own country! But should we expect anything different? And should we expect it not to affect us, just because we are Christians? If Christ, our Savior and Master, suffered pain and “limped” to His death, why would it be different for us. The servant is not greater than his Master, is he? If they persecuted Him, they will persecute us also” (Jn.15:20).
But remember, Christ rose again; the victory is His. We may limp, for to this we were called. But we limp with sins forgiven for Jesus’ sake and with heaven opened. The One who paid for our sin and rose to give us life is able to guard and keep us safe. He may even allow the limp in our lives to keep us closer by His side.
(II. For this He left us an example.)
Still, it’s hard for us to endure patiently, joyfully, and with quiet understanding. Though forgiven we still can be “sheep going astray.” In order to help us, He left us an example. Peter writes, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in His steps.” He’s our example. In the Greek that’s an interesting word with a picture behind it.
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher, Mr. Nommensen, would hand us a piece of paper in geography class and have us go to the maps that were hanging on the classroom walls. In order to help us learn the different countries of the world and understand where they were, he would have us place the sheet of paper over the country and trace the country with its cities and unique shape on the paper. When we were finished, we had drawn a pretty good representation and had a better idea of the country that lay underneath our paper.
That’s the idea here when Peter says, Christ left you an example so that you could follow in His steps. We trace His life under us.
Do you suffer pain of any kind? Heartache, weakness, anger, persecution? Are you limping along? Place your life over Christ’s. First, He forgives your sin and then He enables you to follow His example.
We just came through Lent watching Him sweat drops of blood while praying in agony to His Father in Gethsemane. He endured the betrayal and denials of His companions. Think of what Peter, who wrote these words in our text, did. Jesus received all manner of insults, verbal and physical abuse, and finally death at the hands of a cruel crowd. But all this He suffered gladly, quietly, and without striking back so that He could pay the price for our sin. As Peter wrote, “When He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself carried our sins in His body on the tree so that we would be dead to sins and alive to righteousness. By His wounds we are healed.” What great things He endured for us in love. And so He saved us!
Oh, to be like Him, who loved us and gave Himself for us. To not want to get back at others, to not make a menacing gesture or dirty look, to respond with unconditional love. Oh, to be like the Savior who left us an example of limping with the pain to which we were called! How can I follow Him in this? It’s just little, old, weak me down here! How can I follow His divine example?
(III. In this He enables us.)
Well, in His Passion and Resurrection Christ Jesus accomplished much more than merely setting an example for us. If that is all His willing death means to us, just an example to follow, then we have no hope, no forgiveness, and no life for in our sin we have no strength of our own to follow the example and do it perfectly. But Christ could and Christ did in order to take away our guilt in our failures and give us new life in Him. In so doing He returned us to the flock from which we had wandered. He is first our Savior. That’s what enables us to endure and follow Him.
The Gospel comfort that our sins are forgiven for His sake, the Gospel encouragement that He holds us in His hand and nothing can pluck us from it (Jn.10:29), the Gospel promise that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives until we dwell in the house of the Lord forever, that’s what will enable you to walk in Him. In addition, He sends us His Holy Spirit to be our Comfort and Guide. It all rests on Him, the Over-seer of our souls, so that whenever you fail and limp, He forgives, picks you up, dusts you off, sets you back on your feet, and carries you forward. With your eyes on Him, He will enable you to endure for His grace is sufficient and His power is made complete in our weakness.
And so, faith inseparably attaches us to the Good Shepherd. We cannot bear to be without Him. We limp because to this we were called. We limp because we have an example to follow but so often fail to follow. We limp because we are weak in ourselves. But we limp at the Good Shepherd’s side who gave Himself for us and enables us to be His own, redeemed in His blood, risen to new life in Him. Without Him we are nothing. But with Him we have everything. Stay close to Him, limping at His side now but limping towards eternity when all shall be restored to us in perfection. God grant us that in 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


The Second Sunday after Easter

Misericordia Domini – “The Goodness of the Lord”

April 14, 2024

You were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned  to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25 

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

“The earth is full of the goodness of God.  The mercy of the LORD fills the earth.  Shout joyfully to the LORD, you righteous ones.  Sing to Him a new song.  Everything He does is trustworthy” (Psalm 33).

W h a t    T h i s    S u n d a y    i s    A b o u t

I Am the Good Shepherd.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is also The Good Shepherd. That title is undoubtedly one of the most revealing and comforting for the Christian.

A true shepherd reveals His goodness in loving concern and merciful compassion for his sheep. He protects and provides for them. The sheep sense his caring concern and gladly follow wherever he leads.  Likewise, we rejoice to follow our risen Savior wherever He guides us until we reach the home that He has prepared for us in His heavenly Kingdom.

So it was that from the earliest of times the New Testament Church chose to portray the risen Savior through this picture of a good shepherd shortly after Easter and called the Sunday Misericordia Domini.  It means “the goodness or mercy of the Lord.”

To that end we pray: Lord Jesus Christ, show us Your goodness as our Good Shepherd. Lead us to the still waters of Your life-giving Word that we may abide in Your presence forevermore; 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:  Ezekiel 34:11-16 

God considered the rulers of Israel to be the shepherds of His people.  But they often misused and abused His flock.  The LORD would hold them accountable for their unfaithfulness to Him.  He promised to rescue the flock and to shepherd them with justice.

The Epistle Lesson:  1 Peter 2:21-25  

As our substitute, Christ Jesus willingly laid down His life in our place for our sins.  He did this as the sinless Son of God, looking out for our souls’ eternal welfare.  In so doing, He also left an example of the righteous life in which His redeemed sheep will walk.

The Gospel Lesson: John 10:11-16 

An ordinary shepherd might risk his life for his sheep, maybe even die for them.  But if he died, the sheep would be shepherd-less and prey for those who wished them harm. The hired hand will not sacrifice himself for them. But our Savior sacrificed Himself for us. As our Good Shepherd, He died so that we would have the hope of life with Him.

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

The Organist: Jane Rips             The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Point to Ponder  “If you know this Shepherd, you can defend yourself against devil and death and say: ‘Alas!  I have not kept God’s commands.  But I creep under the wings of this good hen, my Lord Jesus Christ, and believe that He is my Shepherd, Bishop, and Mediator with God.

“He covers me with His innocence and bestows His righteousness upon me.  What I have not kept He has kept, and the sin I have done, He has atoned for with His blood, for He died and rose, not for Himself but for me.  Even as He says that He lays down His life, not for Himself, but for His sheep.

“Thus, dear Christian, you are secure, and the devil and hell must leave you in peace.  The devil certainly will not be able to do harm to Christ who overcame him and who, if you only believe in Him as His sheep, will, as the faithful Shepherd, not forsake you.  He will stand by you, protect, and preserve you.”               — Martin Luther on How Believers Comfort Themselves in the Time of Trial

Outline of  Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: #452

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

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Ezekiel 34:11-16

The Psalm: Hymn #552

1 Peter 2:21-25

Gospel Acclamation: Easter     pg.161

John 10:11-16

Hymn: #704

Sermon: 1 Peter 2:21,25     Limping at the Shepherd’s Side

The Apostles’ Creed pg.163

Our Response to the Word

Prayer of the Church: pg.164

The Offering

Hymn: #849

The Lord Blesses Us

The Closing Prayers and Blessing     Hymnal page 171

Closing Hymn: #804

Silent Prayer

Second Sunday after Easter “Misericordias Domini”  Historic Series

Old Testament Lesson: Ezekiel 34:11-16 – The Lord Shepherds His Flock

11 For this is what the Lord God says. Here I am. I myself will seek the welfare of my flock and carefully search for them. 12 As a shepherd searches for his flock when his sheep that were with him have been scattered, so I will search for my flock and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own soil. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all the settlements of the land. 14 I will lead them into good pasture, and their grazing land will be on the high mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and they will pasture on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will shepherd my flock. I myself will let them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will destroy the fat and the strong, and I will shepherd them with justice.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 2:21-25–Follow Christ’s Example in Suffering

21 Indeed, you were called to do this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in his steps. 22 He did not commit a sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 23 When he was insulted, he did not insult in return. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself carried our sins in his body on the tree so that we would be dead to sins and alive to righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Gospel Lesson: John 10:11-16 – The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life

11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 Because he works for money, he does not care about the sheep.

14 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me 15 (just as the Father knows me and I know the Father). And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I also have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.             The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®)  © 2019

Calendar &  Announcements  for  Zion Evangelical  Lutheran  Church


April 14


April 15


April 16


April 17


April 18


April 19


April 20

Next Sun.

April 21

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study

Spring Clean-up afterwards


Easter 2 – Misericordia Domini

6 pm

Elders, Trustees, Church Council Meeting

11am  Midweek Bible Class








9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Quarterly Voters Meeting


Easter 3 – Jubilate


A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Jesus is our Good Shepherd. We are His sheep. Our Good Shepherd loves us so much that He gave His life for us. He knows us all by name. He protects us from our enemies. He gives us courage and strength. He continually brings more sheep into His fold. He promises heaven to all who believe in Him. How great is the love that God has lavished upon us!

The Gospel Lesson: John 10:11-18    (the answer is found below)

– Describe Jesus our Good Shepherd.

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; 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; Liz Lisenby; Norine Richardson; Lois Wiese.

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

Spring Cleaning Following worship and Bible Class today, we will do a little spring cleaning, mostly inside the church.  If you can remain for a little while today that would be great.  Or you can come anytime during the week.  There is a clip-board in the fellowship hall with tasks that could be done.  Thank you for your help.

Divine Call Returned Last week Pastor Steven Bauer returned the divine call to be our next pastor to both our congregations.  The church councils will be contacting District President Dennis Klatt to see when another call meeting can be set.  We anticipate another call meeting soon, probably to be held in Marshfield this time, but we have no date. Please keep both congregations needs before the throne of grace as we look for the Lord to provide us with another called worker.

Upcoming Services and Events

Sunday, April 14 – Spring Cleaning at Zion, mostly inside, following Fellowship and Bible Study

Tuesday, April 16, 6 pm – Elders, Trustees, and Church Council Meeting

Saturday, April 27 – LWMS Spring Rally at Grace, Columbia, MO; Mission Speaker: Pastor Nixon Vivar from Ecuador;

9:30 am start with registration.  See Pastor for a ride.

May 3-4 – WELS/ELS Men’s Retreat, Camp Trinity, New Haven, MO – see bulletin board for more information

Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Easter 3 – Jubilate: Isaiah 40:26-31; 1 Peter 2:11-20; John 16:16-23   (Historic Pericope Series)

Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

– Jesus our Good Shepherd willingly gave up his life for us his sheep. He protects his sheep. He knows and loves each of his sheep personally. His sheep know and love him. He continually brings new sheep into his flock.

This week I am praying for……

Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann