Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 28, 2020
Text: Matthew 9:35-10:8 3 Year Series-A 20:2201
Theme: Lord, Please Send Us Help!
Do you have any plans for the 4th of July next weekend? I don’t know if we will be able to celebrate it in the usual way. But picture this scenario.
Your house is filled with guests. You’ve been grilling for hours. There are hot dogs, hamburgers, brats, and brisket on the grill; potato salad, guacamole, cole slaw, and deserts on the table. Everyone is hungry, ready to dig in. But there’s a problem. You have only 1 fork. How are you going to allow your guests to enjoy everything you have prepared for them with just 1 fork?
The Gospel of salvation is like a banquet spread before us. God has many good things to share. In fact, He often spoke of His heavenly kingdom and its eternal blessings in terms of a sumptuous banquet. He’s got food enough for everyone’s soul. But more “utensils” are needed for the crowd that is waiting. He uses people to dish out the good news of the kingdom. If there are only a few pastors, missionaries, and teachers who can tell others about the redeeming love of Christ, it’s like trying to enjoy a banquet spread before millions with only 1 fork. Many will have to wait. Will they miss out completely in the end?
The crowd is ready; the banquet is complete; the heavenly Host is waiting. But He needs utensils, Christians ready to dish it up for others. So, Jesus instructs us to pray for such help. He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into His harvest.”
He wants us to pray, literally to beg Him for more help. But it’s not only about people going for us; it’s about our going, too. It’s not just pastors and missionaries who are the workers in God’s field; it’s about every believer. What do we need to help us in this?
Jesus tells us to pray. So we pray: Lord, Please Send Us Help.
I. First, give us eyes that see people the way You saw them.
We’ve all got eyes. Eyes give us the ability to see. Some see better than others because their vision is strong. On the other hand, some who don’t have good eyesight “see” people better than those who have 20/20 vision because the ability to see the way the Lord Jesus sees goes beyond physical sight. It involves a deeper vision.
Our text says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were troubled and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.” When Jesus looked at people, He looked with eyes that really saw them. When Jesus looks at you or me, He really sees us, too. I think He sees much better than I do.
Are you a people watcher? I am. We probably all do a little people watching. When I go shopping with the family, many times I’ll just sit on a bench and observe those going by me. I see how they are dressed; I watch their mannerisms; I observe what they are doing and how they interact; and I often wonder what’s happening in their lives. I wonder what they do, what they think, where they are headed. I have eyes that see, but my deeper sight is limited.
When Jesus looked at people, He really saw them. I suppose you could say He saw right through them for the Bible says that Jesus “knew all men for He knew what was in a man” (Jn.2:24).
I know that as God, He has the ability to see and to know everything about people. I don’t. But I wonder if I use my eyes to see people according to the way my Savior would have me look at them – to see what they are like, to see what they really need, to see the opportunities I have to be of help to them in doing what Jesus did – proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom. So often I just look at people and see outward things without having eyes that really see them the way Jesus did. He saw them for what they were, people lost in a sea of faces, not knowing the Savior had come to rescue them from sin, death, and the devil’s hold on them. He saw them harassed by people and concerns, helpless in the face of so many challenges in life, like sheep without a shepherd to guide them safely from earth to heaven.
Next time you are out wherever people are, look with eyes that see like Jesus sees. How many really know Him? How many understand that He paid for their sin? How many comprehend that He is the Good Shepherd who can help them in every circumstance and guide them safely through this life to the next. Pray: Lord, give us eyes that see people the way You see them. And…
II. …give us hearts that feel their needs the way You feel them.
But there’s more involved than merely having eyes that see.
We need a heart that goes out to people and feels their needs like
Jesus felt them. Our text says, “When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them.”
Compassion – that’s an interesting word. Literally, it means “to suffer with someone.” It’s not just seeing; it’s feeling. It’s not just pity for people over their troubles; it suffers with them and therefore has an urge to help because the pain you see is your own. It’s the picture of a mother watching her child hurt itself and wanting to take it into her arms to soothe it and dry its tears. That’s compassion; that’s a heart that feels the need like Jesus did.
The Apostle John describes (1:3:16f) this way: “This is how we have come to know love: Jesus laid down His life for us. We also should lay down our lives for our brothers. Whoever has worldly wealth and sees his brother in need but closes his heart against him – how can God’s love remain in him? Dear children, let us love not only with words or with our tongue, but also in action and truth.”
At times it seems to me that one of my problems when I look at people is having a heart unmoved by what it sees and not feeling the need. Thank goodness for a Savior who is not that way and readily goes into action for all who look to Him in faith. “Because He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses…we can approach His throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hb.4:15f).
Oh, Lord, as You see and help us in our need, give us eyes that see people the way You see them, and give us hearts that feel their needs the way You feel them. Help us look with compassion.
Tr. But there is one more thing we need and for which we should pray if we are to help sheep who are troubled and downcast without a Shepherd. Lord, Please Send Help by…
III. …giving us legs that willingly go for You.
There must be activity that follows if we are to help others enjoy the eternal banquet our Lord has prepared for them. Like Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome (10:14f), “How can people call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” That calls for action. So, Jesus told His disciples, “beg God for people who will go into the harvest field of the world.” Pray for pastors, teachers, missionaries and others who will use their legs to go in Jesus’ name.
Then, after He encouraged them to pray, Jesus sent His disciples. He also equipped them with whatever they needed to fight Satan and overcome the troubles affecting people’s lives.
And we also should use our legs to go into God’s harvest field. That doesn’t mean that you must travel to China or Africa or South America. Remember, the first step of mission work is prayer. Then, as Christians, we must be willing to do whatever we can do wherever our Lord places us. Enjoy the Gospel for yourself. But don’t just sit on the Gospel. Use your legs. Go with it. And beg God to send other legs to go for you.
Lord, we need help. Please send help! Give Us eyes that see people the way You see them; give us hearts that feel their needs the way You feel them; and give us legs that are willing to go for You to tell others about Your love. O Lord, grant us success in dishing out to others the eternal food that You have set on your heavenly banquet table; for Your name’s 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
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 28, 2020
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said: ‘The harvest is plentiful.’” Matthew 9:36
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
“Serve the LORD with gladness. Come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. He made us, and we are His…the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving…and praise. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever.” (Psalm 100)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
“We Are the Workers of the Lord” Some 45 years ago, an African pastor wrote this hymn. The first verse encouraged, “As workers we must not be afraid of fighting Satan and the world; Our Lord will give us aid.”
The refrain begins with a question: “Our Savior, Jesus, to us says, ‘Why are you waiting to go forth?” It ends with God’s people happily responding: “Amen! We are the workers of the Lord!”
Blessed by the free gift of the Savior, we are the Lord’s workers in a great harvest field. May He give us seeing eyes, compassionate hearts, and willing feet to go and freely seek to spread His Gospel love to all.
To that end we pray: O Lord, Protector of all the faithful, You alone make strong; You alone make holy. Show us Your mercy and forgive our sins day by day. Guide us through our earthly lives that we do not lose the things You have prepared for us in heaven. We are Your workers in a great harvest field. Help us to proclaim Your saving love; for Jesus’ sake.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 19:2-8
After leaving Egypt Israel traveled through the desert and arrived at Mt. Sinai. Moses went up the mountain where God spoke to him of His loving care for Israel in the past and His covenant promises to them in the future. Israel responded by promising their faithfulness to Him.
The Epistle Lesson: Romans 5:6-11
When we were powerless to do anything about our fallen state, God showed His love by having Christ die for our sin. Justified by His death, we are saved through His life and live in a joyful state of reconciliation with God. Christians can’t help but rejoice in it.
The Gospel Lesson: Matthew 9:35-10:8
Jesus sees hurt in the faces of the crowds. He feels their pain and reaches out to help. He tells His disciples to pray for more workers and then He sends them out to proclaim His saving love to all.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips; Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: Standing on a mountain overlooking the city of Los Angeles and watching the city lights sparkle in the blackness of a summer’s night, a pastor wrote: “As we stood there we thought of those words of Scripture in Luke’s Gospel: ‘When (Jesus) came near, He saw the city (Jerusalem) and wept over it.’
“There was something somber, something melancholy about that sight. Of the millions whose frantic little lives were being lived on the glittering stage stretched before our view, how many were living in the darkness of spiritual night? How many were sleeping the sleep of spiritual death?…. We thought, too, of the great command which God has given to the members of His Church: ‘Arise, shine! Your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you….Darkness shall cover the people. But the Lord shall rise upon you, and His glory shall be seen.”
“Time has passed since we stood there on the mountain, but somehow the picture and the message continue with us. To us they shall always be our – mission sermon on the mount.”
Herman Gockel on Mission Sermon on the Mount
Outline of Our Worship
Lord, Hear Us
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #234
Today’s Order of Worship:
Morning Praise: Hymnal pg.45
Lord, Feed Us
Psalm of the Day: #100
Duet: We Are the Workers of the Lord
Sermon Hymn: #492
Sermon Text: Matthew 9:35-10:8 Lord, Please Send Us Help!
Lord, Accept Our Response
Te Deum Laudmus – Hymnal pg.48 (“We Praise You, O God”)
“Lord, Have Mercy”
Prayers, Lord’s Prayer & Prayer for Grace
Hymnal pg. 50
Lord, Bless Us
The Benediction Hymnal pg. 51
Closing Hymn: #578
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 on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible Study
Some weekly activities are still curtailed.
Midweek Bible Class has resumed.
Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible study
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
What is the primary work of the Christian Church? Surprisingly, many people answer that question in different ways. Some suggest that the primary work of the church is to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. Some say that the church is to work for overall social justice. Others think that the church’s job is to reform and restore the moral fiber of our world. Those are perhaps all worthy tasks, but there really shouldn’t be any debate about the church’s primary task because Jesus tells us what it is: Preach the gospel of forgiveness! (Mk 16:15) That’s our work and our privilege!
The Gospel Lesson: Matthew 9:35-10:8 (answers are found on the back side)
- Why did Jesus show compassion toward the crowds?
- What is an apostle?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Dea Windsor; Barbara Long; Clyde & Sharon Johnson; Angela Meek; Roger & Liz Lisenby’s brother & sister-in-law and granddaughter Jackie; Dave Ballou, at home; Laurie Moon’s father, out of the rehab hospital; Greg Miller; Casey Milam & family, Jodie’s son, under quarantine; The Breidel family at the passing of Barbara’s sister in Wisconsin.
Daily Devotions If you would like a hard copy of pastor’s daily devotions for the week past, you will find a few on the credenza in the narthex. If you would like to receive them through text on your cell phone or by email, let him know.
New Community Concerns To our knowledge we are still allowed gatherings of 50% of capacity of the building in Greene County and Springfield. But cases of the Covid Virus are on the rise and Greene County is talking of mandatory face masks. So far, that has not been ordered, but we still must practice distancing in a gathering of people. For those attending, please watch your physical distancing. If you prefer wearing a face mask during the service, that is totally acceptable. At this point we are not passing the offering plate during the service, but it will be found at the door upon leaving.
Meditations’ present series of devotions and copies of July’s Forward in Christ may be found in the narthex. Northwestern Publishing House is no longer offering Forward in Christ on-line following the month of June. But there are many materials they offer and suggest at this time. You can see them all at: www.nph.net.
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 30; Communed: 22; Adult Bible Class & Sunday School: no classes at this time; The Gardens Bible Class: no class; Midweek Bible Class: 5; Offering: $1,015.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Pentecost 5 – Series A: Jeremiah 20:7-13; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:24-33
Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- Because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
- An apostle is one who is “sent out” to proclaim the gospel. The twelve apostles had a special call from Jesus to proclaim the gospel without boundaries. In a very real sense, though, we are also “apostles” whenever we proclaim the gospel.
This week I am praying for……
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – Series A
Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 19:2-8: God’s People Are His Priests
2After they set out from Rephidim and came to the Wilderness of Sinai, they camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and to tell the people of Israel: 4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, then you will be my special treasure out of all the nations, although the entire earth is mine. 6You will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, and he set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8All the people answered together, “Everything that the Lord has said, we will do.”
Epistle Lesson: Romans 5:6-11: God Demonstrates His Love for Us
6For at the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7It is rare indeed that someone will die for a righteous person. Perhaps someone might actually go so far as to die for a person who has been good to him. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Therefore, since we have now been justified by his blood, it is even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, it is even more certain that, since we have been reconciled, we will be saved by his life. 11And not only is this so, but we also go on rejoicing confidently in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received this reconciliation.
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 9:35-10:8: The Workers Are Few; Pray, Go
35Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.
36When he saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38Therefore pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into his harvest.”
10:1Jesus called his twelve disciples to himself and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, “Do not go among the Gentiles, and do not enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’ 8Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse lepers. Drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2017 The Wartburg Project.