Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity September 10, 2023
Text: Luke 11:2 The Address to the Lord’s Prayer 23:2403
Theme: Our Father in Heaven.
The best beginning of any request that you might make is to know how to address the one to whom you make your request. How will you honor and treat that person? How will you conduct yourself towards that person so that he will hear you and be graciously inclined towards you to grant your request?
Of all the names that we could use in coming to God in prayer, there is no name that puts us into a better relationship with God than the word “Father.” We learn in this prayer that is how God wishes us to address Him: “Father.” It is a truly friendly, loving, and profound way to approach Him. You could say “Lord, God, Jehovah, Judge, the Almighty One,” or any other name by which He is known. But there is no other name by which to address Him that is nearly as precious, comforting, warm, and full of confidence and hope as to call Him “Father.” That name was precious to Jesus.
I. How precious that name was to the Savior.
Few words were on Jesus’ lips more frequently and no thought was in His heart more constantly than the thought of His Father. Already at the tender age of 12, Jesus wanted to be in the things of his Father. Do you remember the time when Mary and Joseph thought that they had lost Jesus in Jerusalem? Finally, after much searching, they found Him in the temple. “Son,” Mary asked, “why have you treated us like this? (Joseph) and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me,” Jesus replied. “Didn’t you know I had to be in the things of my Father!”
“In the things of my Father.” He did not mean Joseph and his carpentry work. No, the 12-year-old Jesus spoke of His heavenly Father and the work which the Father had laid before Jesus.
It is the first time we hear Jesus speak in the Bible. His words are of His Father. How precious that name was to the Savior!
One day He stood in the Jordan River, being baptized. The heavens were opened above Him. A voice called out from heaven: “This is my Son whom I love; in Him I am well pleased.” The Father was precious to Him, and Jesus was precious to the Father.
Three years later in the gloomy shadows of Gethsemane, He knelt to pray. He began to be sorrowful and heavy in heart. With the burden of God’s wrath against sin pressing hard upon Him, He pleaded, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.” My Father! How precious that name was to a Son in heavy sorrow.
When the soldiers seized Him in the garden, Peter started swinging his sword to defend Jesus. “Put your sword back into its place. Do you think I cannot call on my Father and He will not at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?” How precious that name was to a trusting Son.
On Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, the first words that fell from His lips were: “Father, forgive them.”
When the agony of crucifixion rose to its height, He cried, “My God, why have You forsaken me?” At that moment we might expect Him to cry, “My Father, Oh, my Father.” But instead it is “My God, my God.” Peculiar is it not? At the height of His greatest suffering for sin, would He not cry out the most precious name to Him in the One He trusted most? But when the climax of suffering was over and all was done, He spoke one last time, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” With that precious name upon His lips, He began His earthly ministry for redemption and closed it out.
Few words were on His lips more frequently and no thought was in His heart more constantly than that of His Father. It was a precious name to Him!
II. And how precious that name is to us who follow Jesus. Surely, God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in a special way. And in Christ He is our Father as well. Paul writes, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…God sent His Son to be born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we would be adopted as sons. And because we are sons we cry, Abba, Father” (Ga.4:4f). The Apostle John adds, “See the kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God. That is what we are” (1Jn.3:1f). In Christ He is our dear Father too. How precious that name is to us!
It is a name of faith and assurance, and it exerts a powerful influence upon Him for there is no lovelier voice for a dear father to hear than that of his child calling him. That name has such a sweet sound, and it pleases God to hear it. More than any other name, it moves Him to hear us, for with it we confess our place as children of God and our consciousness of our need of Him.
Jesus once told the story of the Prodigal Son who ran from his father’s presence. Taking his inheritance, he traveled to a distant land and squandered it away. Having no money, no food, he took a job herding pigs, longing to eat the garbage given to them. After coming to his senses, his thoughts turned to his father. He resolved to go back home and throw himself on his father’s mercy. The father spied him on the horizon returning and ran to him. The son began to speak, but before he could say many words, the father called for the servants to dress him in fine clothes, prepare a banquet, and rejoice in the son who had returned.
Jesus told the story not so much to impress us with the young man’s lostness as to impress us with the love of his father – a love that remained warm and constant all the while the young man was wasting away in a far country. It was a love that impelled the father, when he heard his son’s voice, to welcome him with open arms.
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on all who fear Him” (Ps.103:13). We approach in prayer. We call Him Father. That name was precious to Jesus. It is precious to us. And it pleases Him to hear us say, “Our Father.”
III. A precious name that fills us with hope and confidence.
The name is enhanced by the words that follow it: “Who art in heaven.” Those words fill us with hope and confidence.
First, we are admitting our lamentable need and misery here as we live in a world fallen in sin. Being in this situation gives us a powerful reason to pray and for God to hear and show us mercy.
Fathers are not to live apart from their children, but with them. At least, that is the way it should be. But we live in a world fallen in sin, and that which should be is not always the case. That is even true with God who is in heaven. But we are here on earth.
Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, we have been exiled from Paradise, in a forlorn state on earth, separated from God by sin. A true child of God knows that. So it is that a heartfelt longing arises within a Christian like that of a child who lives far away from its father’s country. Such a one lives among strangers. I’m but a stranger here. Heaven is my home. Yet, I am not there. It is as if to say, “O Father, who art in heaven! I, your estranged child on earth, in exile far from You, am in all perils, distress, and need. I am among devils and am surrounded by great enemies and dangers. I come to You for help.”
If you pray with this understanding, you stand before God with a right heart, and you are properly prepared to stir God’s mercy and compassion.
So it is that when you pray with a heart of faith, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” you set forward the kind of trust you have in God and in none other. For as we come to Him in His heaven, we acknowledge that only He can help us. He is our true Father, full of love, always inclined to answer our prayers, almighty, all-wise, all knowing, with eyes everywhere. He knows what is best. He is in all places present and equally near to all. He is an eternal Father, who never dies. He shall carry you on His shoulders until one day you ascend to where He is. This precious name fills us with hope and confidence. It teaches us to look up to God who is above all.
Finally, see the order in which Jesus arranged this prayer. He does not allow you to pray only for yourself, but for all mankind. He teaches us not to say “My Father,” but “Our Father.” For, if He is the Father of us all in Christ, it is His will that we should be brothers and sisters loving one another, giving to one another, and praying for one another as well as for ourselves.
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven. Yours is a name that was precious to the Savior. Yours is a name that is precious to us. Yours is a precious name that fills us with hope and confidence. God grant it in our lives of faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity September 10, 2023
Welcome in our Savior’s name. We are glad to have you worshiping with us today as we strive to walk in the spirit of Christ through life.
Many times, the Scriptures portray life as a journey and the Christian life as a narrow path on which to walk. Walking in the spirit simply means living in the ways of the Lord, motivated by the Gospel. As we hear the Word of God, the Holy Spirit works in our hearts, bringing us to saving faith in Christ. In such faith, the individual is renewed in spirit. He desires to walk with God, not apart from Him. It is a walk of hope and love in the blessings of salvation that flow to one through the Savior.
This walk produces many fruits of faith in life. The world may oppose it, but the Holy Spirit will be there to guide us in right paths. May the Spirit ever enable us to follow in faith until we finally reach the heavenly goal that God has prepared for His faithful ones above.
Today in our sermon text we begin our study on the Lord’s Prayer with the Address. May God richly bless us as we consider this work of prayer – not only for what we ought to pray, but also in the spirt of how we approach God in prayer.
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Walk in the Spirit.
Opening Thoughts on the Service
The Entrance Hymn: “Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness” #517
Order of Worship: Service: Setting One without Communion: pages 154-160
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
(The Lessons for the Day are taken from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)
The Responses following each lesson are on page 160
Proverbs 4:14-27 Like a father encouraging his children, King Solomon encourages his people not to walk on the pathways of the wicked. Such a walk will end in darkness and destruction. But the path of the righteous lies in the bright light of salvation. Be wise and plant your feet firmly on it.
Psalm of the Day: Psalm 84 “How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place”
Galatians 5:16-25 Paul also encourages his listeners to walk in the spirit’s ways. Walking in the spirit means walking in the truths of the Gospel of our salvation in Christ Jesus. It is a life that strives to put away all immorality, self-centeredness, and wickedness. Such a walk in faith produces righteous fruits, pleasing to God.
The Gospel Acclamation: God’s Word page 161
Luke 17:11-19 Jesus healed ten lepers of which only one returned to praise Him. The other nine followed the prompting of the flesh and did not return to give Him thanks. Only the one walked in the way of the spirit, motivated in love by what Savior had done for him.
The Sermon Hymn: “Children of the Heavenly Father” #502
The Sermon: Lord, Teach Us to Pray….
Our Father in Heaven.
Our Response to the Word
The Confession of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed page 163
Prayer of the Church page 164
The Lord Blesses Us
The Hymn: “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” #713
The Closing Prayer and Blessing page 171
Closing Hymn: “Go, My Children, with My Blessing” #930
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The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Points to Ponder: “We should know that all our protection and defense consists solely in prayer. We are far too weak to resist the devil, all his power, and his adherents who oppose us and could easily trample us under foot. We must, therefore, remember to employ those weapons with which Christians should arm themselves to withstand him….
“How should we pray? The manner is to use few words, but to express by them many and deep thoughts or desires. The fewer words, the better the prayer; the more words, the poorer the prayer. Few words and much meaning is Christian; many words and little meaning is heathenish….
“The words are: ‘Our Father who art….’ Since this prayer originated with our Lord, it is without doubt the highest, noblest, best prayer. For if He, the good, faithful Teacher, had had a better one, He would not have failed to give it to us…. Therefore, it is an error to compare other prayers with this and even to prefer them, which often have for their only object that God may grant us here health and long life, riches and honor, and the like. In such prayers, our will and honor are more sought than the will and honor of God.” — Martin Luther in a Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer
The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity – Historic Series
Old Testament Lesson: Proverbs 4:10-23 – Walk the Righteous Pathway.
(A believing father instructs his son) 10 Listen, my son, and accept my words, so that the years of your life will be many. 11 I have instructed you in the way of wisdom. I have led you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your stride will not be hindered. Even if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to discipline. Do not let go. Guard it, because it is your life.
14 Do not travel on the path of the wicked. Do not walk in the way of evil people. 15 Avoid it! Do not travel on it! Turn away from it. Pass it by. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they have been doing wrong,
and they are robbed of sleep unless they are making someone stumble, 17 because wickedness is the food they eat, and violence is the wine they drink.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until it is day. 19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness. They never know where they will stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. 21 Do not let them escape from your sight. Keep them deep in your heart, 22 because they are life for those who find them and healing for the entire body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart carefully, because your life flows from it.
Epistle Lesson: Galatians 5:16-24 – Walk by the Spirit in Purity of Life.
16 What I am saying is this: Walk by the spirit, and you will not carry out what the sinful flesh desires. 17 For the sinful flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful flesh. In fact, these two continually oppose one another, so that you do not continue to do these things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the control of the law.
19 Now the works of the sinful flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, complete lack of restraint, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, discord, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things similar to these. I warn you, just as I also warned you before, that those who continue to do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the spirit, let us also walk in step with it. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another and envying one another.
(“spirit here may refer to the believer’s attitude led by the Gospel or the Holy Spirit who guides a believer’s life of faith)
Gospel Lesson: Luke 17:11-19 – Ten Healed; One Returned with Thanks.
11 On another occasion, as Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 When he entered a certain village, ten men with leprosy met him. Standing at a distance, 13 they called out loudly, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went away they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus responded, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go your way. Your faith has saved you.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) © 2019
Our Father who art in heaven.
What does this mean?
God would thereby tenderly urge us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently, with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.
(English text as published in The Concordia Triglotta, 1921)
“Our Father, who art in heaven.” These words are not an introduction to but a part of the Lord’s Prayer. They should be repeated before each of the seven petitions. The whole Christian religion, the whole Creed which we have learned, is expressed in these words from the child’s believing heart.
“Father is the word of faith and assurance, which encourages us to pray without fear or doubt. It plants us upon the Rock of Ages with a childlike faith. The word is used here not in the sense of the first article of the Creed to distinguish the Father from the other persons of the Trinity, but in the sense of the whole Creed – of the triune God. He has created, redeemed, and sanctified us as His children (Is.64:16; Mt.23:9; Ep.3:14f; Rm.8:15; Ga.3:2; 1 Jn.1:12; 3:1).
“Our stretches its arms out to all and teaches us to love and serve our neighbor, like Christ did. ‘We’ are truly His children. ‘Our’ is the word of love taught by His only Son, sent from the Father…. Christ, here by His words, as by His life and death, teaches the brotherhood of man. We have many brothers and sisters, and in the communion of saints, each prays for all and all for each. The word ‘our’ teaches us to love and trust our neighbor (Ep.6:18; 4:6; Ac.17:26f; Ro.5:18; Mal 2:10).
“Who art in heaven are words of hope which lift our hearts up to heaven, where comes our help, the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, and where we expect our Savior to change our vile body like unto His glorious body (Phlp.3:20). They are added not merely to remind us of the difference between God and our earthly father, but also to point us to God’s majesty and power, which He has most gloriously revealed in heaven, His dwelling place. He is our true Father, full of love, always inclined to answer our prayers; almighty and can answer; all-wise and all-knowing with His eyes everywhere He knows what is best for us; everywhere present and always equally near to all; an eternal Father, who never dies. It is the child’s cry or call of faith, of love, and of hope to the triune God” (Ps.103:19; 11:4; 113:5f; 115:3; 33:13). — Readings in Luther and Bible on the “Cry of Faith”
Calendar & Announcements for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue), Springfield, MO 65810
Church phone: 417.887.0886 www.zionluthchurch.com
Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244 email: email@example.com
You can also find us on Facebook
Divine Worship Service
Fellowship & Bible Study
Church Council Evaluation
14th Sunday after Trinity
Joint meeting of Zion & Peace Church Councils at El Paraiso in Strafford
Midweek Bible Class.
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion online – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible Study
15th Sunday after Trinity
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Our faithfulness as Christians is a response to the faithfulness God has shown toward us. His love for us when we were unlovable and His salvation for us when we were without hope are divine acts of faithfulness. These acts inspire us to thanks and praise.
The Gospel Lesson: Luke 17:11-19 (the answers are found on the back side)
- What can the other 9 healed lepers teach us about difficult and prosperous times in life?
- How had the Samaritan leper’s faith made him well?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter; Barbara Long; Barbara Breidel; John, Elisha & Isaac Covey; Lucille Huston; Kathy Workentine, Glenn Schulz’s sister, diagnosed with a reoccurrence of cancer; Lois Wiese.
Lord, Teach Us to Pray Today we begin our next series of sermons on The Lord’s Prayer. With the opening Address, (Our Father…) the prayer begins in heaven. In the following Seven Petitions, the prayer will come down to earth and then return with us to heaven. Next week we consider the First Petition and its meaning: “Hallowed be Thy name.” During this coming week you might pull out your catechism and refresh your understanding of it.
Evaluating Our Ministry Following the Bible study time today, the council members will meet to begin an evaluation of our ministerial needs at Zion. On Tuesday evening, council members from Zion and Peace in Marshfield will meet in Strafford to consider our present and future situation as a dual parish. Later in fall we will meet with the WELS MN District President, Pastor Dennis Klatt, who will assist us in the calling process. If you have any thoughts on the needs and opportunities that lie ahead, please share them with one of our church council members.
Upcoming Services and Events
Sunday, September 10 – Church Council meets after Bible Class to evaluate our congregational needs
Tuesday, September 12, 6 pm – Church Council meets with Peace Church Council in Strafford
Monday-Tuesday, September 25-26 – Fall Pastors’ Study Conference in Cedar Rapids, IA
Saturday, October 14 – LWMS Fall Rally at Zion LC, Springfield
The Week in Review
Last Sunday Worship:26; Communed: 23; Bible Class 20; Midweek Bible Class: 5; Offerings: $3,277.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
The 15th Sunday after Trinity: 1 Kings 17:8-16; Galatians 5:25-6:10; Matthew 6:24-34 (Historic Pericope Series)
Answer to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- The Lord may use trouble in our lives to turn us to Him. We need to be wary of taking His blessings for granted in times of comfort and prosperity.
- That faith was linked to what is truly powerful, the Son of God. He trusted that Jesus had the ability to heal him and his trust was rewarded.
This week I am praying for……