Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost June 23, 2019
Text: Luke 7:1-10 ILCW Series C 19:2138
Theme: Lord, Don’t Trouble Yourself for Me
A violent storm fell upon the lake. The wind blew fiercely; the waves crashed angrily; water swamped the boat; fishermen furiously bailed it out. But it entered faster than they could control. The men panicked. Meanwhile their friend lay sleeping in the back of the boat. Running to Him they cried, “Lord, save us! We are going to drown! Don’t you care!” The Lord Jesus arose, spoke to the wind and the waves: “Hush. Be still.” Immediately all was calm. “Have you so little faith?” He asked.
Lord, I wonder how I would have reacted had I been in that boat. I like to think that I would have remained calm in faith, casting all my anxiety upon you, knowing that you would care for me (1Pt.5:7). But I’m not so sure my faith would have been bigger than the disciples’ faith. I think that I would have reacted desperately too.
Would You call my faith a great faith like You said of the centurion in this lesson? I cry out earnestly, “Lord, help me!” But the centurion meekly whispered, “Lord, don’t trouble Yourself for me.” On the one hand, I’m frantic for You to respond. On the other hand, he seems unruffled. Is that right? Is that the way it should be? How should faith react? Help me understand.
I. “I am not fit that You should come to me.”
Here’s the problem. This man’s servant was sick, paralyzed, about to die (Mt.8:5). What good is a dead servant to his master? No good at all. You can’t get any work out of a dead servant. But it’s not the loss of work about which the centurion seemed concerned for it says that the master valued his servant highly. He was concerned about the person, not about what he could get from him. The soldier’s thoughts were not upon his loss; his thoughts were upon the loss the servant and his family would suffer.
That’s different, because a Roman soldier at Jesus’ time cared little for others, especially those whom he had taken captive in war and made his slave. Such slaves were a dime a dozen. If he wasn’t satisfied with one or if the slave would die, the Roman soldier would just capture another to replace him. Kind of cold-hearted, don’t you think? But this man didn’t seem to approach things that way. He valued a lowly servant highly.
Do I value other people as highly as this man did? I guess he saw something more; he saw a soul in need, wanted to help, and realized that he could not help him.
For a Roman soldier, a centurion no less, to admit such a thing, that was different! It shows an attitude of humility, self-effacement, putting aside one’s self, even placing one’s self below others, considering them just as valuable, just as important as he was.
Centurions were proud, powerful men, commanders in the most powerful army in the world. Normally, a centurion would give no thought when standing before any king in the world, outside of his own Caesar, to demand obedience and respect. Yet, this man throws concern for himself out the window and thinks only of the extreme situation of a slave. And there is more to this man’s character.
Instead of coming to Jesus himself, he sent some of the Jewish leaders in his place. At first, I might interpret that as the typical pride of a Roman centurion, that he was too important a man to waste his time coming to someone like Jesus who was so poor that He had no place to call His own. But when the Jewish elders came, they gave us insight into this man by saying, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”
Really? Do you think Pontius Pilate, the Roman who had Jesus crucified, loved the Jewish nation? I think he held them in contempt. Do you think Pilate would have built a synagogue for them? No. But this man did. Why would a person build a church for others if he didn’t also have some interest in God? These elders knew his heart and went to bat for him, interceding for Jesus’ help.
Lord, do I go to bat for others before You as readily as these men did? Or do I consider it too much trouble?
While they were on their way to the centurion’s house, the centurion sent other friends to Jesus saying, “Lord, don’t trouble Yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you.”
Why, that’s like saying, “I’m not fit that You should come to me.” How could a Roman commander come to such an insight if he had no thoughts of God and of Your Son, Jesus? He couldn’t. Here was a man who had not grown up in the Christian faith, yet He saw Jesus more highly than the Jews did, as Lord of heaven and earth. And he saw himself, a powerful Roman centurion in the eyes of the world, as nothing before the Savior. He didn’t even want to show his face as a sinful man before Him. How he came to such an insight, I
don’t know. But such an example he is to us!
Lord, I too am not fit that You should come to me. In my sin and pride, I have no call to trouble You with my concerns. And yet You come and want to help.
Ah, here I see the right role of faith in prayer as I approach You. It is one in which the Spirit works recognition of humility and our lowly state as weak and sinful people before You. Lord, I’m not fit that You should come to me. Yet in your mercy and grace, before I even ask, You are on Your way. What a reminder that the measure of help is determined by the strength, the ability, and the willingness of the One who helps and not by the one who cries for help.
It’s similar to that which happened to the Prodigal Son as he came to his senses and returned home. In humility he confessed, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not worthy to be called your son.” It’s similar to the humility which John the Baptizer felt when he said, “After me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to tie.” It’s similar to that which the apostle Paul confessed when he said, “I am the least of the apostles and am not even worthy to be called an apostle.”
O Lord, why would anyone lack such humility and think he is deserving of Your intercession in life, as though You respond because we merit Your response? On the one hand, I must learn to say, Lord, I am not fit that You should come to me. Don’t trouble Yourself for me.
II. Just say the word and all will be well.
But wait a minute. On the other hand, Your Word assures that You would not have the sinner die. You earnestly invite, “Come to me you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” You actually want us to trouble You. That’s what Your mercy and love are about. So the soldier continued, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself…But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
If there is one thing a soldier understands, it is authority. When the emperor in Rome gave an order, this centurion and his soldiers carried it out. If that’s the way it is with human authority, I can’t imagine how much more it ought to be with Your heavenly authority. Lord, that is divine and is from above.
If You say, “Let there be,” there will be. If You say, “Be healed,” there will be healing. If You say, “Your sins are forgiven,” they are forgiven. You can talk to the wind, tell it to be quiet, and it quits blowing. You can tell the thunder to quit rolling, the rain to stop falling, the fire to quit burning, or the pain to quit hurting and it happens. Everything must do that which You tell it to do. Just say a word and it will be well with me. That is enough. That is faith.
I see, dear Lord, that such faith is indeed rare and most valuable – but not because of its rarity. It is valuable because of the precious, priceless, one-of-a-kind Savior whom You are. You gave Your life to earn our forgiveness and redemption to God. You promise that to those who trust in You all things will turn out for their good in the end. You are the strong object of faith.
Such faith takes hold of You and salvation. It doesn’t need to see You; it doesn’t demand that You prove Your power. It simply trusts in You completely to know what to do, when to do it, and how it is to be done for our eternal welfare. It approaches You in humble prayer. Then it waits on You. And You never come too late with too little, nor too early with too much. You come at the right time for You are the Savior who loves His people for whom He laid down His life. All are of great value to You. But You are of greater value to those who put their faith in You.
Lord, don’t trouble Yourself for me. I’m not fit that You should come to me. But say the word and all will be well. Lord, grant me such faith in time of prayer; for Your name’s sake. Amen.
Service Bulletin Content:
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(Member 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 You can also find us on facebook
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 23, 2019
“Lord, do not trouble Yourself…But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” When Jesus heard this He said, “I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Luke 7:6,9
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
We extend a warm and sincere welcome in our Savior’s name. Please sign our guest book, located to the right just outside the sanctuary. If you desire more information about Zion Lutheran Church or are in need of spiritual guidance, please call upon our pastor at any time. We are delighted to have you join us today and invite you to return soon.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Worthy of all trust. As we enter the summer and the non-festival half of the Church Year, our Sunday lessons shift our attention from an emphasis on Christ’s life for us to an emphasis on our life in Him as His redeemed people. Now that He has saved us, we are grateful and seek to live our lives to His glory. That includes loving Him above all things, and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. When lives are lived in the Savior that way, they find their highest worth before Him.
Such lives begin with faith that humbly commits all things into the gracious hands of Him who rules over everything. Without wavering it clings to His promise that He will help the redeemed in every circumstance of life. Therefore, we place everything on Christ as we live in Him. He is worthy of all trust.
To that end we pray: O God, You rule over all things in wisdom and kindness. Take away everything that may be harmful and give us whatever is good; through Your Son, our Savior, who reigns with You forever, we ask this. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: 1 Kings 8:22,23,41-43
As King Solomon dedicated the temple, he prayed to the God of free and faithful grace (Jahweh). As the Lord kept His covenant of love with Israel, Solomon prayed that God would show that same love to the foreigner (Gentile) who would come to worship there.
The Epistle Lesson: Galatians 1:1-10
Paul warns believers not to put their trust in things which contradict the Gospel. If any teaching stands opposite God’s Word, “it is no gospel at all.” Such things do not strengthen faith but destroy it. Only the Lord and His clear word is worthy of all trust.
The Gospel Lesson: Luke 7:1-10
A Roman commander asks Jesus for help. Recognizing his own unworthiness, he leaves his request for healing up to Jesus. Jesus calls such faith that totally relies on Him and His ways “great.”
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The Week in Review:
Last Sunday Attendance: 39; Bible Class: 21; Sunday School: 2 ; Communed: 35; The Gardens Bible Class: none this week; Midweek Bible Class: 5; Offerings: $915.
We Serve the Lord with Gladness:
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips
Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
June’s Ushers: Chris Bruck, Randy Jaeger, & Chuck Waples
I am trusting You, Lord Jesus, Trusting only You,
Trusting You for full salvation, Free and true.
I am trusting You to guide me; You alone shall lead,
Ev’ry day and hour supplying All my need.
I am trusting You , Lord Jesus; Never let me fall.
I am trusting You forever And for all.
Christian Worship: #446 st.1,4,6
Lord, Hear Us
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Today’s Order of Worship:
Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.45
Opening Hymn: #235
Lord, Feed Us
Psalm of the Day: #100
1 Kings 8:22,23,41-43
Hymn Response: #446
Sermon Hymn: #409
Sermon Text: Luke 7:1-10
“Lord, Don’t Trouble Yourself… for Me”
The Te Deum: Hymnal p.48
“Lord, Have Mercy”
Prayers, Lord’s Prayer
& Prayer for Grace
Hymnal pg. 50
Lord, Bless Us
Hymnal pg. 51
Closing Hymn: #416
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
Today June 23
9:00 am Divine Worship Service
10:15 am Bible study for all ages
Monday June 24
10 am Gardens Bible Study
Tuesday June 25
Choir is recessed
6 pm Outreach Meeting
Wednesday June 26
Thursday June 27
11 am Midweek Bible Class
Friday June 28
LWMS National Convention
Des Moines, IA Thurs.-Sun.
Saturday June 29
Next Sunday June 30
9:00 am Divine Worship Service Favorite Hymns
Bible study for all ages
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
In our first and third lessons, God shows joy in welcoming sinners of all nations to him. In the second lesson, we begin a series of readings from Paul’s letter to the saints in Galatia (an area today we would call central Turkey).
The Old Testament Lesson (1 Kings 8:22,23, 41-43)
1. When Solomon prayed at the temple’s dedication, with what two names did he address God (vv. 22,23)
2. Could the God of Israel accept foreigners in those days (vv. 41-43)?
3. What would God do for non-Jews (v. 43)?
Synod Convention The synod will meet for its 65th Biennial Convention, July 29-August 1. Brian Dickey from Peace, Mshfld, will serve as our area delegate. Over the next few weeks we will communicate some of the important agenda points to you. Under the Conference of Presidents (COP): 1. For over a decade the Congregation Mission Offerings have not kept pace with inflation and decreased in 2018.For now serious reductions in ministry & missions were avoided, but congregations need to evaluate their mission offerings; 2. Vacancies in pastor and teacher positions have increased with smaller numbers of students going into the ministry. Synod-wide pastoral vacancy rate in the parish is at 8%; 3. Committees have been appointed to evaluate 3 modern English Bible translations: Christian Standard Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version, and New International Version; 4. Committee appointed to review and improve doctrinal statements on the Biblical roles of men and women to be completed by 2021 convention; 5. Committee appointed to draft statement articulating Biblical truths on human sexuality and gender. We are the “synod.” It is not “they” nor is it a “corporation.” It is to us and each member of our congregations that the Lord says “Be faithful. Go! Teach all nations. Preach the Gospel. Baptize. Work in My Kingdom.”
Prayer/Sick List Those We Remember In Our Prayers Bill Seutter; Emily Keeton; Geri Woessner; Angela Meek; Jennifer Bruck; Erma Yancey, recovering at home from hip surgery; Shawn Brehm (nephew of the Brucks); Eryn Chaffin (Pastor & Elizabeth’s foster daughter) with cancer treatments.
Thrivent Members If you have Thrivent Insurance or are a Thrivent member, please let pastor or one of the outreach committee members know. There are some benefits of being a Thrivent member that could aid our congregation. Thank you.
June 27-30- – LWMS national convention in Des Moines, IA (See pastor or Jane Rips for more information)
Point to Ponder Throughout the Week
“On one occasion King David cast a pleading eye to heaven and exclaimed: ‘My times are in Thy hand’ (Ps.31:15). Through faith in God’s unchanging promises…in His beloved Son, I can place my hand into the hand of God and know that He will never let me go. What a comfort, when my cross seems heaviest, when my life has neither plan nor purpose, when I am being pushed about by a blind and merciless fate, to remember that in every valley of affliction my hand is in His. And with my hand in His, I am forever safe. His omnipotent hand holds me; His affectionate hand guides me.” — Herman Gockel on My Hand In His
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Pentecost 3: 1 Kings 17:17-24; Galatians 1:1-24; Luke 7:11-17
Answers to Today’s Old Testament Lesson Brief Study:
4. He called God “Lord,” (His personal name) and “the God of Israel” (a name showing God’s faithfulness to His promises).
5. Yes, the God of Israel accepted non-Jews, even under the old covenant, by grace alone, through faith in the Messiah. Remember: the sacrifices in the temple, and the building itself, pictured the coming Savior.
6. Solomon asked God to hear the prayers of foreigners coming to the temple. He asked Him to do whatever those non-Jews asked, so that all peoples would know his Name and fear Him, and know that the temple truly bore His holy Name.