The Third Sunday of Easter – Misericordia Domini April 26, 2020
Text: Luke 24:13-35 3 Year Series A 20:2192
Theme: Lord Jesus, Walk with Us.
Have you been walking lately? During this COVID epidemic time of distancing when gyms, parks, and other recreation areas are closed, walking is one of the ways that the health professionals encourage us to get out, to exercise, and to relieve some stress.
As I sit at the desk in my study at home, I have watched more people walking this month than I have seen in the past. They go by in couples, in families, as friends much more than usual, and they seem to be enjoying it. I hope that walking relieves their boredom, keeps them healthy, and even more gives them opportunity to talk about matters on their hearts, things important to them. In our modern-day always-on-the-go society, we do not walk as much as people did in the past. Maybe we have regained for a time this opportunity that walking gives of communicating and binding people together. Walking is good and has its benefits.
I. Our walk in life is often a sad one as we blind ourselves to what God is doing.
Perhaps the Emmaus disciples would agree with that. Their walk home that evening was the most beneficial walk they ever took. But it did not start out that way.
It was late in the afternoon when Cleopas and his friend left Jerusalem. They had seven miles to walk before they arrived at home in Emmaus. But they didn’t mind the miles as much as the heaviness within their hearts that made the way home seem so long.
They didn’t notice the beauty of the setting sun or the refreshing late afternoon breeze. Sorrow was etched in their faces. Their feet dragged and their shoulders sagged because of their sadness.
“I just don’t understand it,” Cleopas said. His companion answered, “After all our high hope, such a bitter disappointment!”
What was it that filled these men with such sadness, sorrow, and perplexity? They were followers of Jesus. Just a week before Jesus came riding into Jerusalem amid the happy shouts of His friends. It seemed like the whole city had joined in shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Had Cleopas and his friend been there? Most likely! Very likely they too had taken off their outer garments and laid them in the road for their King to ride upon. It had been a glorious, happy day just one week before this. But since then, terrible things happened.
Their Master, from whom they expected so much, was arrested, tried, and executed on the cross like a common criminal. When His lifeless body was taken down and placed in a grave, all hope died in the hearts of His followers. For who can argue with death? Death is the end of every man’s work in the present, no matter if its death from a virus or death on a cross. Death seems permanent!
As the friends walked and talked so sadly together, another traveler came up beside them. “What is it about which you two are talking?” He asked. “Why such sadness?” The friends stared at Him in disbelief. “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who does not know what has happened? Everybody knows of the cruel torture they gave to that man…the strange black darkness at noon that frightened everyone…the earthquakes, the rocks splitting, tombs opening, the temple shaken to its foundations…everybody in the city saw it. How could you not know these things that happened to Jesus?” The words tumbled out of their mouths – a rushing torrent.
“He was a prophet who spoke such wonderful words and did wonderful things. But our priests arrested Him. We had greatly hoped that He was the One sent by God to save His people! Then the strangest of all happened this morning as some of the women went to attend to His dead body. They ran back from the tomb with the news that His body was not to be found there. They said they saw a vision of angels who told them Jesus was alive again. Some even said they saw Him. We just don’t get it. Whoever heard of a dead man raising himself up again?”
The Stranger replied, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have said about the Savior! Don’t you see that the suffering was the way by which the Savior paid for forgiveness with God and entered His glorious kingdom?” And He began right there and then, as they walked, to explain to them what God said about the Savior from the very first word of the Old Testament to the last word written in it.
Something about what He said and the way He said it with such authority and meaning caught their minds until their hearts burned within them with excitement, joy, and renewed hope. But they never suspected who the Stranger was. What blinded them from seeing their Jesus? Did God hide it from them? Did He look different? Or did they blind themselves with their sad self-centered thoughts. I don’t know. But I do know this: Our walk in life is often a sad walk too because we blind ourselves to what God is doing.
II. So, Lord, open our eyes that we may see, believe and receive Your blessings.
The little group walked on until they approached Emmaus where Cleopas and his friend lived. As they approached the village, they begged the Stranger to stay with them at their house and spend the night. With all the wonderful things He had showed them, and with their hearts burning with the Good News of God’s gracious workings, they could not bear to let Him out of their sight. And so they all turned in to the house and sat down to supper.
The Stranger bowed His head and asked a blessing on the meal. He reached for a loaf of bread, broke it, and gave each of them a piece to eat. All of a sudden, like scales falling from their eyes which had prevented them from seeing clearly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him! It was their Jesus. He was alive, just as the others had said. And even as they saw, believed, and received His blessing, He vanished from their sight.
Can’t you see the disciples’ mouths dropping in wonderment and astonishment. He is risen! He is risen indeed! They got up immediately and turned back to Jerusalem, this time not walking but running the seven miles back to the rest of Jesus’ followers. They had something to tell that could not wait until tomorrow.
What can we learn from this account? Is it just another story to convince us of the Resurrection that took place on Easter? Surely, it is that. The Lord Jesus convinces us in faith through many eyewitness accounts that we might be certain, as Peter later wrote, and have a living hope of our forgiveness through Christ and the eternal life that awaits us in heaven through faith. Such faith is alive and burning within our hearts as it was for these disciples.
But it’s not only about the future, it is also about our present. For our walk in life is often a sad one as we blind ourselves to what God is doing.
Think of how sad and angry, frustrated and blind people are at this time to all that is going on around us. Why is this happening? What is taking place? And instead of looking upward, they look at each other and blame one another, each coming up with their own solution to the problem. But do they see the hand of God at work in all things to draw us closer to Him, to see not ourselves and what we do but to see Him and what He has done and continues to do for our eternal blessing. To those who believe, all things, yes, even those we consider to be sad and which sometimes blind us to the gracious ways and working of God, in all things God means it for the good, for the saving of many (Rm.8; Gen.50).
Satan would like nothing more than for each of us to walk sadly and blindly in life. If he can get us to blind our sight of the Lord Jesus because of our tears, or can get us to dwell self-centeredly on what’s happening in our little world, he can eventually overcome us with life’s sorrows and toils and get us to abandon our faith.
But God knows what He has in mind for us. And His works are always great and glorious for the salvation of our souls. To Him it’s about making us His own again, bringing us back to Him, redeeming us from sin, and seeking to turn all things out to our good.
He does not turn away even when we are foolish, but comes beside us and continues to walk and talk with us. He abides with us in His Word and through it opens the eyes of our hearts to see, believe, and receive His blessings because His desire is this – that He might be with His people and His people might be with Him, blessed by His presence.
So it is that He invites, “Come to me…and I will give you rest” (Mt.11:28).
So it is that He assures, “Wherever two or three of you come together in my name, there I am in the midst of you” (Mt.28:20).
So it is that He promises, “If you hold to my teaching, my Father will love you, and we will come to you and make our home with you” (John14:23). Not only to walk with God, but to dwell with Him and have Him share His table with us – all because Jesus died for our sin and rose to give us life. No greater blessing can be had.
Lord Jesus, Walk with Us as we walk during these days. Open our eyes that we may be quick to see and believe, for our walk in life is often a sad one as we blind ourselves to what You are doing. But stay with us and we will be blessed. Open our eyes to see it. God grant it in our lives of 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 You can also find us on Facebook
The Third Sunday of Easter: “Misericordia Domini” April 26, 2020
“Stay with us for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” Luke 24:29
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
“The mercy of the LORD fills the earth. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made. Should joyfully to the LORD, you righteous. The praise of the upright is beautiful” (Psalm 33:5,6,1).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Hearts that Burn with the Word. Jesus’ words affect the lives of all who hear them. Some believe and find joy and hope in all that He says. Their hearts burn with excitement and desire to hear more of the salvation He won for us. Others close their ears and harden their hearts. How sad because only hearing ears and believing hearts will receive His blessing.
The words of the risen Savior have the power to make us alive. They comfort and warm our hearts; they guide and direct our lives. Doubts fade away; trust prevails. May the Holy Spirit open our ears and hearts to happily receive Christ’s words of life. Then we, too, shall look forward to the things imperishable that lie ahead for all who believe.
To that end we pray: O God, by the humiliation of Your Son You lifted up this fallen world from the despair of death. By His resurrection to life, grant Your faithful people gladness of heart and the hope of eternal joys. We long to hear your Word. Sanctify us through it for Your Word is truth. Hear us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
Today’s First Lesson: Acts 2:14, 36-47
As Peter preached the good news of the risen Savior to the crowds on Pentecost, God’s Word burned within them. Going straight to their hearts, it converted many. With their lives changed through Word and Baptism, they devoted themselves to study, prayer, and worship.
Today’s Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 1:17-21
Many years after Jesus’ resurrection assured us of redemption, Peter called upon believers to live their lives of faith as though they were strangers to the world. Keeping their eyes on the imperishable things that the Savior won, they continue to walk in faith and hope in God.
Today’s Gospel Lesson: Luke 24:13-35
Jesus walks with two disciples on Easter evening, admonishing them for their unbelief and opening their eyes to see Him as the risen Savior. As they reach home, they beg Him to stay with them for His words “set their hearts afire” with new hope and understanding.
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We Serve the Lord with Gladness:
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips
Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder “Some learn to creep cautiously upon the Word of God. They think that the lightness of their steps might make His promises more secure. Others are ‘slow of heart to believe,’ if they recall His words at all. The result? Sadness, fear, a downcast spirit, feelings of hopelessness, symptoms displayed by the Emmaus disciples. Jesus did not mince words when He said, ‘How foolish you are! Haven’t you read the Bible? Don’t you know that God’s prophets said that all these things would happen to Christ for your sake so that He could redeem you?’ Then he told them everything the Bible said about Him. All Scriptures point to Him and His saving work on behalf of people. So He comforts the heart that is slow to believe.”
— adapted from devotions by Herman Gockel
Outline of Our Worship
Lord, Hear Us
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #148
Today’s Order of Worship: Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.45
Lord, Feed Us
Psalm of the Day: #116 Hymnal pg.107
Acts 2:14, 36-47
1 Peter 1:17-21
Hymn Response: #452
Sermon Hymn: #588 st.1-5
Sermon Text: Luke 24:13-35 Lord Jesus, Walk with Us.
Lord, Accept Our Response
The Te Deum: Hymn #278
“Lord, Have Mercy”
Prayers, Lord’s Prayer & Prayer for Grace Hymnal pg. 50
Lord, Bless Us
The Benediction Hymnal pg. 51
Closing Duet: #588 st.6-7
The Third Sunday of Easter – Series A
Old Testament Lesson: Acts 2:36-47 – Peter’s Address on Pentecost
36 Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Gentlemen, brothers, what should we do?”38 Peter answered, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 He testified solemnly with many other words and was appealing to them, saying, “Escape from this crooked generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added. 42 They continued to hold firmly to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers. 43 Awe came over every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They were selling their possessions and property and were distributing the proceeds according to what anyone needed. 46 Day after day, with one mind, they were devoted to meeting in the temple area, as they continued to break bread in their homes. They shared their food with glad and sincere hearts, 47 as they continued praising God and being viewed favorably by all the people. Day after day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 1:17-21 – A Call to Holy Living
17 If you call on the Father who judges impartially, according to the work of each person, conduct yourselves during the time of your pilgrimage in reverence, 18 because you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, not with things that pass away, such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was chosen before the foundation of the world but revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 24:13-35 – On the Way to Emmaus
13 On that same day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about all of these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing this, Jesus himself approached and began to walk along with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” Saddened, they stopped. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked them. They replied, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be condemned to death. And they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel. Not only that, but besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning. 23 When they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb. They found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village where they were going, he acted as if he were going to travel farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, since it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he reclined at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and began giving it to them. 31 Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Then he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking to us along the road and while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” 35 They themselves described what had happened along the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread. got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” 35 They themselves described what had happened along the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread. The Evangelical Heritage Version (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
Today April 26 Easter 3
9:00 am Divine Worship Service on line – Facebook
10:15 am No Bible study at this time
Mon April 27 All normal weekly activities are curtailed because of the virus restrictions
Tues. April 28 No Gardens Bible Study
Wed. April 29
Thurs. April 30 No Midweek Bible Class at this time
Fri. May 1
Sat. May 2
Next Sun. May 3 Easter 4
Divine Worship Service on line – Facebook
10:15 am No Bible study at this time
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Most of our celebrations are very brief. The festival of Easter, however, inspires a certain “afterglow” that by God’s grace burns ever brighter as we celebrate anew each Sunday during the Easter season. Led by the Spirit to believe in the resurrected Lord, we rejoice in holy awe in this glorious truth and are filled with a desire to speak of our hope with others.
The Gospel Lesson (Luke 24:13-35)
1. Why do you think Jesus didn’t reveal His identity to the Emmaus disciples?
2. They had just told Jesus not to go on because of the approaching night. But once Jesus revealed Himself, why did they quickly go back to Jerusalem?
3. What lessons can we learn from the account of the Emmaus disciples?
Prayer/Sick List Those We Remember In Our Prayers Dea Windsor; Barbara Long; Clyde & Sharon Johnson; Dave Ballou; Angela Meek; Roger & Liz Lisenby’s brother & sister-in-law and granddaughter Jackie; Karen Seutter’s step son, Michael; the family of Mag Carter whose son, John, the Lord took home to Himself in March.
Holy Communion During this time of restrictions, if any member would like to receive communion, pastor is willing to do that privately. He will seek to be as health and sanitation conscious as humanly possible. If you so desire it, please call and make arrangements with him – 693.3244. What a measure of peace and joy it will be, when this is all over, to come together as God’s family of faith to receive it.
Forward in Christ’s latest issue for April has arrived. There are copies for family and friends in the narthex. To continue supporting congregations in these times, Forward in Christ is offering free digital access to the issues for March and April. Go to https://online.nph.net/fic-free-issue-form. Also, for a limited time, NPH is offering access to free Christ-Light lesson PDFs to teach your children at home. These Sunday school lessons are available for grades pre-K through 6th. Downloads for each age level include student lessons, a teacher’s guide, and a copy master. Go to www.nph.net
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 5; Adult Bible Class & Sunday School: no classes at this time; The Gardens Bible Class: no class; Midweek Bible Class: no class; Easter Offering: $575.
There are no church related activities, other than Sunday’s online Facebook services, scheduled at this time.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
The 4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 6:1-9; 7:2,51-60; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10
Answers to Today’s Gospel Brief Study:
4. It gave the disciples the chance to openly confess their unbelieving doubts. Jesus was providing them the opportunity to learn from Him again as He reviewed what the Scriptures had to say about the Messiah.
5. Their hearts were burning within them. They couldn’t keep the joy of this wonderful message to themselves, so they had to tell the others in Jerusalem.
6. We need exactly what they received from Jesus. Through the Word we too need a call to repentance because of our foolish and slow hearts. We need a renewed sense of joy that the message of Easter gives us so that with the wonder of our risen Savior before us, we are compelled to proclaim the Easter message to others.
This week I am praying for……