Sermon for the Second Sunday after Pentecost June 6, 2021
Text: Mark 2:23-28 CW 3 Year Series B 21:2264
Theme: Lord, Help Us Find Our Rest in You Alone.
It was the afternoon of the Sabbath. What do you do on a Sunday afternoon? (Some people get married.) Many go for a drive in the country. It is a very enjoyable time to be in God’s beautiful countryside.
Jesus and His friends went for walk in the country. They were strolling through the fields when the ripening grain was growing. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t as simple as it seems. The Jew had rules about taking walks on the Sabbath. In fact, they had hundreds of rules about what you could and could not do on God’s Day of worship. Believe it or not, one of them was about taking walks.
A Jew could walk a limited amount in the city, enough to go to the synagogue and back again. But they couldn’t walk over a half mile in the country and no more than 2 miles in the day. If you did, you committed a sin. That was not God’s word on it. God simply said in the Third Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.” It was man, not God, who decided it was a sin to walk so much.
So, when Jesus and His friends stepped through the gates and left the city streets behind, they opened themselves to suspicion. Some Pharisees took notice and followed. I guess they weren’t concerned about what they were doing. They just wanted to catch Jesus doing something that they considered wrong. They were hoping Jesus would break their rules so that they could accuse Him.
It was a peaceful walk in the countryside. Jesus could talk more easily with His disciples there. As they walked, the disciples picked some ears of wheat that were growing, rubbed out the grains in their hands, and ate them. Immediately, the Pharisees sprang forward: “It’s against the law to work on the Sabbath. You can’t pick and eat grain on this day.” “You are mistaken about the true meaning of the Sabbath,” Jesus replied. “God gave the Sabbath to help and bless man. It wasn’t given to harm and condemn him by catching him doing something wrong. Besides, you don’t understand that I am Lord of the Sabbath who gives it its meaning.” Oh, that made the Pharisees angry. How dare Jesus tell them that they didn’t know the true meaning of the Sabbath.
Had they not studied the Sabbath law very, very hard for a very, very long time? Had they not been the ones to set up hundreds of regulations about it? Yes, they had. And that was the problem.
They were man’s regulations, not God’s. They thought that if they made enough rules and obeyed them, that they could earn their own salvation. Oh, how wonderfully good people they were – so they thought – because they kept their own laws. Like many others, they had no idea how far short they fell of really understanding God in faith and loving Him with their whole heart, soul, and mind.
The true meaning of God’s Day of rest was the opposite of such thinking. In the opening hymn today, we sang: “I through (Christ) am reconciled; I through Him become Your child. Abba, Father, give me grace, In Your courts to seek Your face.” That’s the true meaning of the Sabbath.
On Sunday we stop our hands from working and playing so that we seek and meet God in His House. He fills us with blessings of forgiveness and life in our Savior. Nothing we do can help us and bring saving peace to our souls. It’s what the Lord has done for us.
He did it all. He paid the price for sin in our place and rescued us from it. Grateful people come to Him and respond in worship and thanksgiving. That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said that He was Lord of the Sabbath. It’s about God’s mercy reaching out to help people in their need.
That’s also what Jesus meant when He told the story of the priest Abiathar giving the bread to David in the Old Testament times. The priests were the only ones who were supposed to eat it. But David and his men were in need. So in mercy Abiathar reached out to help them.
Likewise, God’s mercy and grace, reflected in the lives of His people, is the dominant theme in life – not laws and certainly not man-made regulations that go against God’s intent. God once said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” But the leaders didn’t understand.
The next Sabbath Day Jesus gave them another example of His Lordship and God’s mercy. He went into the synagogue. A man was there whose hand was withered and useless. Again, the Jewish leaders watched Jesus closely. They hoped that he would heal the man, not because they felt sorry for the crippled man, but because they wanted another chance to accuse Jesus of breaking their Sabbath rules.
“Stand up here,” Jesus told the man. Then He spoke to the
Pharisees: “Which is lawful on the Sabbath – to do good or to do harm? To save a man or to harm and destroy him?” No answer from the Jewish leaders. Then Jesus said to the crippled man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man did so. And in that very instant his hand was healed. It was good as new and restored to usefulness in his life once more. The Pharisees were furious and began to plot how they could get rid of Jesus.
How in the world could people be so angry at such a great show of love and compassion that the Lord Jesus displayed in helping a man who was hurting so badly?
You may not be hurting so badly with a crippled hand, although some of have very bad sicknesses, ailments, and other problems facing you. I wasn’t born with a withered hand. But I and you were born with something much worse – a withered soul. Indeed, it was more than crippled; it was dead in sin. But just as the Lord Jesus can heal a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, He has healed our withered souls of sin, healed them in His blood shed for us, and restored us to life at rest in Him through sins forgiven. The word Sabbath means “rest.” And He has given us rest, eternal rest for our souls. That’s what the Sabbath Day stands for. Do you see it? The Pharisees refused to see it because it wasn’t to their liking.
Sunday is our Sabbath Day. The early New Testament Christians chose it as the day of worship since it was on Easter Sunday that Christ Jesus completed our salvation by rising again from the dead. Week after week, year after year, over and over again, Christians stop their work, they stop what they are doing and go to church and Sunday school. They enter God’s presence here first to praise and thank Him for the eternal salvation and life He has given us through His Son. Secondly, they come to grow in their faith and understanding of all that He has done for us in our lives. When the body is at rest, when the hands aren’t busy with other things, we can give our loving attention to Him who so deserves it for showing us such great mercy in our lives. Every week He reminds us that we cannot survive and live by ourselves, but in His grace, He sent His dear Son to save us.
Maybe this past week has been a bad one for you. Maybe you were disappointed by the way things turned out. Maybe you made a mess out of things – lost your temper, didn’t do what you were supposed to do, neglected to turn to God in everything. On the other hand, maybe this week and today will bring some of you the happiest times in your life. Whether in sad times or in happy times – Sunday is just the day for you. God made the Sabbath for man. It’s not the other way around. Rules and regulations made by man don’t give souls rest and refreshment. Christ, the Savior, does.
And that’s why you are here today, because it was for people just like you, hurting in sin, that He gave this special day. You can lay all your problems before Him, and He will take care of them as He has taken care of your sin that separated you from Him. You can lay all your joys before Him, and He will appreciate your songs of thanks and praise for the grace He has shown you. “Come to me,” He invites, “and I will give you rest. Learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Lord, we come. Help Us Find Our Rest in You Alone, 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
You can also find us on Facebook
The Second Sunday after Pentecost June 6, 2021
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28
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
“How lovely is Your dwelling place, O LORD almighty! My soul years, even faints, for the courts of the LORD. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You. Blessed are they who trust in You.” (Psalm 84)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
The Sabbath and Worship – God’s Blessing to Us. What a blessing it is to be able to go to church on Sunday, to hear God’s Word, and to give Him the honor and praise which is due Him as God!
At church God comes to meet us, no matter what may be going on in our lives. He comes with the intent to soothe, strengthen, and assure us of His redeeming love. How tragic it is for the one who does not understand God’s purpose in worship or who fails to come and be with the Lord in it. Such a person misses out on the blessings that God has in store for His people. Indeed, Sunday worship is God’s special blessing for man in which man gains from God so much for time and eternity.
For that reason 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. As You bless us with Your Word today, grant that all we receive and give is to Your glory and our good; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
Old Testament Lesson: Deuteronomy 5:12-15
God commanded Israel to rest on the Sabbath Day from all their labors. Such physical rest was a gift from Him. But in a greater way such physical rest gave them the time and opportunity to contemplate His mighty deeds in their behalf so that they could be refreshed spiritually.
Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12
In worship the focus is on Christ, not us. The preacher does not preach himself or his own interests or gains; he preaches Christ crucified and risen. This Gospel is a priceless treasure “housed” in ordinary people who could break, but whom God keeps safe.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 2:23-28
The self-righteous Pharisees missed the point of worship and the Sabbath. They wanted to center it on themselves and their work. But God wants our attention to be on Christ and His gracious gifts to us. That is the reason God made the Sabbath – for the blessing of man.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Trio: Lois Wiese, Jane Rips, & Pastor
Points to Ponder: “I believe the apostles themselves changed the Sabbath (to Sunday) because no one else would have ventured to do so. And I believe they did this principally in order to get the notion out of the minds of men that they are just before God because of the Law and its observance, and in order to firmly establish the truth that the Law is not necessary for salvation. But the resurrection of Christ (on Sunday) and the sending of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (also on Sunday) moved them to make this change.” — Martin Luther on Why Sunday was Chosen
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #226
Order of Worship:
The Common Service with Holy Communion: page 15-16
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Trio: I Want To Walk as a Child of the Light
The Gospel Responses: pg.18
The Nicene Creed pg.18
Sermon: Mark 2:23-28 “Lord, Help Us Find Our Rest in You.”
Our Response to the Word
The Offertory & Offering: page 20
Prayers & The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord Blesses Us
Order of Holy Communion Hymnal pages 21-23
(Visitors: Please read the box on page 2 regarding Holy Communion)
Distribution Hymn: #312
Thanksgiving Prayer & Blessing
Hymnal pages 24-25
Closing Hymn: #321
The Second Sunday after Pentecost – Series B
Old Testament Lesson: Deuteronomy 5:12-15 – The Third Commandment
12Observe the Sabbath day by setting it apart as holy, just as the Lord your God commanded you. 13Six days you are to serve and perform all of your regular work, 14but the seventh day is a sabbath rest to the Lord your God. You are not to do any regular work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock or the alien who resides inside your gates, in order that your male servant and your female servant may rest like you. 15Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the day of rest.
Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 – Treasure in Clay Jars
5Indeed, we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For the God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness,” is the same one who made light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
7We hold this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not despairing; 9persecuted, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11To be sure, while we are living, we are continually being handed over to death because of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12So then, death is working in us, but life is working in you.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 2:23-28 – Lord of the Sabbath
23Once on a Sabbath day, Jesus was passing through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick heads of grain as they walked along. 24The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”
25He replied to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry (he and his companions)? 26He entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest and ate the Bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for anyone to eat, except for the priests. He also gave some to his companions.”
27Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is the Lord even of the Sabbath.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.
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
with Holy Communion
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
|Area WELS & ELS Family Camp Out at Heit’s Pt. Sun.pm -Tues.pm||Area Family Camp
Midweek Bible Class
Divine Worship Service
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
There are so many distractions for Christian leaders that may keep them from their primary focus. The message is not about us or rituals to which we must conform, but it is about Christ Himself. Depending on that message gives power and perseverance to our service in Him.
The Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 (answers are found on the back side)
- What was the central focus of the disciples?
- How did they view their personal physical welfare?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Dea Windsor; Clyde Johnson; Dave Ballou; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Bill Buchanan; Norine Richardson; Barbara Long; Jodi Milam; William Moon; Patsy Mickelson; Lance Milam; Jodi Milam; Pastor Tim Buelow and Kathleen Huff in W. Virginia, both recovering from foot surgery; Pauline Jaeger, Randy’s mother, diagnosed with cancer, considering options for treatment; families recovering from Covid and other illnesses.
Book of Psalms The new WELS psalter, a forthcoming book edited by the WELS hymnal committee, is valuable not only for choirs or for Sunday worship. It’s also valuable for personal or family devotions. Two videos and Christian Worship: Psalter Preview feature six psalms from the new psalter. For more information visit christianworship.com/preview/psalms.
No Face Mask Regulations Facemasks are no longer required in a church setting. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, you may do so. Masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer are in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use. Today we will begin to pass the offering plate during the service again, since it is a part of our custom of worship.
Forward in Christ’s latest edition for June has arrived. Copies for family and friends may be found in the narthex. Also, if you haven’t picked up a copy of the next edition of Forward in Christ, there are plenty of copies in the narthex. Devotions began last Sunday and run through August.
June 6-8 – Family Campout for area WELS and ELS congregations at Heit’s Point; Sunday afternoon -Tuesday afternoon
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 23; Bible Class: 15; Offering: $1,241; Midweek Bible Class: 5.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Pentecost 3: Genesis 3:8-15; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18; Mark 3:20-35 (Series B)
Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:
- As far as they were concerned, they could become invisible from the attention of others as long as Christ would shine and affect the hearts of others like He had affected their hearts.
- They were willing to undergo the gamut of sufferings in order to carry the treasure of the gospel to the world. It was that very good news of Jesus that kept them strong through hardships. They realized that their weaknesses displayed the power of Jesus. The “life” they saw at work in others made their efforts worthwhile.
This week I am praying for……