Peace to You!

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on April 5, 2024 in

The First Sunday after Easter – Quasi modo Geniti     April 7, 2024

Text: John 20:21-23 Historic Series                                     24:2440

Theme: Peace to You.

Good Friday and Easter are the two greatest days in history. On Good Friday the Prince of Life bowed His head and gave up His spirit, calling out loudly that all might hear: “It is finished. Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.” The redeeming sacrifice for sin was completed. The long-laid plan for crushing the head of the Serpent was brought to a blessed conclusion. It was a great day for fallen sinners.
Then on Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, it marked the fact that the Father had accepted the Son’s atoning sacrifice and placed His seal of divine approval on it. It began the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, “Because I live, you also shall life, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (Jn.11:25). It was a great day for all who will lie in the grave.
These days mark the time of our justification for Jesus’ sake. Through what happened then, God declares us forgiven of sin. It restores us to life with Him. Oh, they are great days!
But these days of swiftly moving events were too much for the timid and terrified disciples. When they watched their Master die on Friday and heard the heavy stone at the tomb crash into place behind Him, their hearts were depressed by a staggering sense of doom. Hope was dashed within them.
Then Easter morning dawned with the bright angelic message, relayed through the women, “He is not here. He is risen!” Yet they were slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken about their Jesus rising from the grave. All they saw was the imagined violation by theft of their Friend’s body. Hours of perplexity confronted them; 3 days of turmoil and times of despair. They felt no peace within them.

I. Late that Easter afternoon two of them, one named Cleopas, and the other, perhaps Luke, sadly left Jerusalem and took the road that led to the tiny village of Emmaus, some 6 miles aways. With hearts heavy and faces downcast in gloom they walked and talked about all the dark events that had taken place. On the way a stranger overtook them and enquired into the nature of their grief.
I wonder if at first the two felt that his intrusion into their saddened lives was unwelcome. After all, with such betrayals, denials, and evil dealings that had transpired, who knew if this stranger be friend or foe. He might be unfavorable to their cause. However, no sooner had the stranger spoken, than fear vanished within them. Such kindness, tenderness, sympathy, and wisdom filled His words. Their hearts thrilled within as He spoke. Something about Him drew them closer as He unraveled for them the Scriptures. “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Lk.24:26). He made it clear. It all happened according to God’s saving plan. Their hearts uplifted as they walked.
Evening descended as they walked. With the sun slipping behind the Judean hills, shadows lengthened as the men arrived at their home. Eagerly they invited their new-found friend to join them. Stay with us,” they urged. “For it is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” The stranger consented and continued to speak words that heated their souls – heart-warming words.
When they sat to eat, the stranger stretched out His hand to take the bread. But first, He held them up in blessing to heaven. His hands! They were marked with the visible print of nails driven through them! As He spoke the blessing, tone, manner and look were unmistakable. It was the Lord! He lived! He had walked and talked and blessed them once more. Joyfully they jumped to their feet to fall at His. But He was gone, vanished from their sight.
In an instant discouragement, despair, and denial that burdened their hearts were swept away. Hunger and sleep – forgotten. They had news to tell, news of supreme importance to their fear-filled friends. Back they ran to Jerusalem. The Good News of Christ’s victory over sin, death, and Satan gave wings to their feet. They experienced what John later wrote, “This is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1:5:4f).
So filled with joy were they, that the 6 miles back could not overwhelm them. Bursting through the door where the Eleven gathered, they were greeted, even before they could speak, with: “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” The two then related their soul-warming account.
Scarcely had they begun when another Presence was felt. There had been no footsteps, no knock, no opening of the door. But Jesus Himself stood among them, and His unmistakable voice was heard: ‘Peace to You.’” He showed them His wounds, tokens of His suffering and death for sin. He bade them to look and feel. “Touch me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” He called for food and ate before them. Every fear, uncertainty, and doubt He dispelled with His word: “Peace to You!” And they rejoiced to see and be with their Lord. Once nailed to a cross, enclosed in a tomb, He lived. He lived to bless them with His love.

II. Isn’t it significant that the first words which the risen Savior spoke on the night of His resurrection were, “Peace to You”? They stood dumbfounded at His presence. And when they had recovered sufficiently to grasp what it meant, He repeated: “Peace to You.”
That, dear friends, is more than a greeting. It is more than a wish or word of welcome. It is a pronouncement of a condition that now exists between God and fallen sinners. It is an actual imparting of that for which we have longed – Peace with God through sins forgiven and life with Him restored.
When Jesus was first born into the flesh at Christmas, the heavenly angels sang, “Peace on earth; good will to men.” Now that His atoning work was completed, the Lord Himself delivered the message: Peace to You.
The peace of Christ is that for which every troubled heart longs, peace from the turmoil of sin; peace from the fear of death; peace in a world that knows no lasting peace of itself. “In me, you may have peace,” He said. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So it is that “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing men’s sins against them.” God Himself made peace with men when men cannot make it with Him or themselves on their own.
It is “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phlp.4:7). It is the peace that assures a troubled conscience that Christ’s body and blood are given and shed for you. It is the peace that comforts the restless soul that Christ came to seek and to save all that were lost. It is the peace that reigns within when life is marked with storms, strife, and confusion. It is the peace that moves us to place all our trust in Him.
Even as He gave peace to these disciples, so He gives it to us as
we follow Him in faith and hold fast to His Word. He may not appear to us in body as He once did with those Emmaus disciples. He may not appear to show us the prints of His wounds as He did with the Eleven. But He still walks and talks with us here, in His Word and imparts to us the same peace He gave those disciples following His resurrection. Peace to You in Jesus’ name, and it shall ever remain in all who believe and hear His Word.
May all your days remain bright and glad in Him who is our peace (Ep.2:14). “My peace I give you.” He promised. “I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (Jn.14:27). He is risen! He is risen indeed!
No matter the worldly circumstances that surround us, God grant us His peace as we live in faith, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)

Church phone: 417.887.0886   Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244         email: 

You can also find us on Facebook

The First Sunday after Easter       April 7, 2024

Quasimodogeniti – “Like newborn babies…” (1 Peter 2:2)

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29 

WelcomeThe 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

“Sing a loud song to God, our strength.  Shout to the God of Jacob.  Begin the music. (He) relieved (our) shoulders from the burden. ‘You called and I rescued you. I am the LORD, your God.’”  (Psalm 81).

W h a t    T h i s    S u n d a y    i s    A b o u t

Blessed Are Those Who Believe.  In faith we are among those of whom Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”   Those words were spoken to the disciples after His resurrection.  But they were given as a message of comfort and encouragement to all who would follow Him years later.

Although Easter Sunday is past, we still bask in the warmth and glow of the Savior’s resurrection from the dead.  Through it peace and joy govern the hearts of all who believe.  Because He is risen, we are reconciled to God.  The resurrection proclaims it.  We are encouraged to grow in this faith and proclaim it to others.  The Latin name for this Sunday encourages that: “Like new-born babies, crave the pure milk of the Word” (1Pt.2:2).    Then we will not be unbelieving like Thomas was but will rejoice in the surety of our own resurrection at the end of time.

To that end we pray:  Almighty God, grant that we, who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection, may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God and remain steadfast in the faith until the end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 T h e   W o r d   o f   G o d   f o r   T o d a y

(The Lessons of the Day are from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)

The Old Testament Lesson:  Genesis 32:22-30

As Jacob returned to his father’s house after 20 years away, he feared his brother Esau whom he had tricked out of the birthright.  That night Jacob wrestled with God and would not let Him go until He blessed him. Such is the nature of a faith that overcomes and gains the victory.

The Epistle Lesson:  1 John 5:4-13

Christ has risen from the dead. With a risen Savior as the object of our faith, the world that is opposed to Him is defeated  Faith is the hand that receives eternal blessings.  With such a world conquering champion on our side, the fear of sin, death, or the devil is overcome.

The Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31

Jesus appeared to His disciples, quieting their fears. He displaced their doubts, gave them peace, and sent them to the world with the Ministry of the Keys to forgive the sins of the penitent and hold the sins of the impenitent as long as they do not repent.  At first, Thomas refused to believe Jesus had risen and forfeited the peace that could have been his.

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

Point to Ponder: “Faith is a divine work in us which transforms us, gives us a new birth out of God, slays the Old Adam, makes us altogether different people in heart, affection, mind, and all powers, and brings with it the Holy Spirit.  Oh, it is a living energetic, active, mighty thing, this faith!  It cannot but do good unceasingly.  Where there is faith, one does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, the works have been completed.”                 — Martin Luther

Outline of  Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

The Entrance Hymn: #443

Order of Worship:     The Service: Setting One with Holy Communion: page 154-160

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Genesis 32:22-30

1 John 5:4-13

Gospel Acclamation:    Easter pg.161

John 20:19-31

Sermon Hymn: #456 st.1-6

Sermon:   John 20:19     Peace to You!

The Use of the Keys: insert

Our Response to the Word

Prayer of the Church:     pg.164

The Offering

The Lord Blesses Us

Preparation for Holy Communion     Hymnal page 165-169

(Visitors: Please read the box on  page 2 regarding Holy Communion)

Consecration and Distribution

Distribution Hymn:  #667

Thanksgiving & Blessing     Hymnal page 170

Closing Hymn:  #456 st.8-9

Silent Prayer

The Use of the Keys

Keys can open doors and lock them.  Those who possess keys possess a great deal of responsibility.  They need to know when a door should be unlocked and when it should be shut tight.

God gives believers in Jesus the keys to open and close the door of heaven.  Jesus said: “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.”         (Matt.16:19)

It might not seem right that God should give these keys to people.  How can human beings ever handle this responsibility?  Thankfully, God tells us in His Word exactly how to use the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The power and right to forgive sins is the loosing key.  It opens the door to heaven, declaring the person free from the guilt and punishment of sin.  The power and right to refuse to forgive sins is the binding key.  It locks the door of heaven, binding the person to the guilt and condemnation of his or her sin. Jesus said: Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. (John 20:23)

Some people don’t believe that their sins are serious or even that they have sinned.  Others are driven to despair when they think of their sins.  Jesus has given the keys to the Church in order to address the spiritual needs of both kinds of people.  Martin Luther commented on this: “God gave the key which binds so that we might not remain too confident in our sins, arrogant, barbarous, and without God; and the key which looses so that we should not despair in our sins.”

Since Christ Himself has established this, the use of the keys by believers is as valid and certain in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.       Luther’s Catechism, NPH 2017

The Ministry of the Keys

As the head of the family should teach them in the simplest way to those in his household.


Pastor:  First:  What is the use of the keys?

The Use of the Keys is that special power and right which Christ gave to His church on earth: to forgive the sins of penitent sinners but refuse forgiveness to the impenitent as long as they do not repent.

All:  Where is this written?

         The holy evangelist John writes in chapter 20: “[Jesus] breathed on [His disciples] and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’”


Pastor: Second:  How does a Christian congregation use the Keys?

A Christian congregation with its called servant of Christ uses the Keys in accordance with Christ’s command by forgiving those who repent of their sin and are willing to amend, and by excluding from the congregation those who are plainly impenitent that they may repent.  I believe that when this is done, it is as valid and certain in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.

All:  Where is this written?

         Jesus says in Matthew, chapter 16, “Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.”         

First Sunday after Easter “Quasimodogeniti” – Historic Series

Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 32:22-31 – Jacob Wrestles with God.

22 He got up that night and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and he also sent his possessions across. 24 Jacob was left alone, and he wrestled with a man there until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not defeat him, he touched the socket of his thigh, and the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated as he wrestled. 26 The man said, “Let me go. It’s daybreak.” Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 Then he said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men, and you have won.” 29 Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”He said, “Why do you ask what my name is?” Then he blessed him there.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel, because he said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and my life has been spared.” 31 The sun rose as he crossed over at Peniel, and he was limping because of his thigh.

Epistle Lesson: 1 John 5:4-13 – Faith Is the Victory that Overcomes the World.

4 Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood: Jesus Christ. He did not come by the water alone but by the water and by the blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. In fact, there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three are one.

If we accept the testimony of people, God’s testimony is even greater, because it is the testimony that God gave about his Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in him, but the one who does not believe has made God out to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God gave about his Son. 11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31 – Behind Locked Doors Fear Is Removed

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” 22 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 But Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt but believe.”

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.                                                                                The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®)  © 2019

Calendar &  Announcements  for  Zion Evangelical  Lutheran  Church


April 7


April 8


April 9


April 10


April 11


April 12


April 13

Next Sun.

April 14

9:00 am

Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study



Easter 1 – Quasimodogeniti

  Pastor will be attending the MN District’s Post-Easter


Conference in St. Louis, Tuesday evening through Thursday noon. No Midweek Bible Class this week








9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study

Spring Clean-up afterwards


Easter 2 – Misericordias Domini


A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Today we have the sure testimony of the resurrection before us. Our Savior’s resurrection is validated through the Holy Scriptures and by the eyewitness accounts of those who personally saw Him. Our faith holds unto these clear testimonies and places confidence in the sure hope of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior. In faith we look beyond the troubles of this world to the glories of the next. It is in that blessed hope that we now live each day.

The Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31   (answers are found on the back side)

  1. What meaning did the common greeting, “Peace be with you!” take on when spoken by Jesus that first Easter evening?
  2. What comfort was gained when Jesus showed the nail marks?
  3. What did Thomas confess?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (Long’s son-in-law); Libya, (Jodi Milam’s granddaughter); Barbara Long; Robbie Woessner; Kay Schmidt at Quail Creek Rehab; Liz Lisenby; Norine Richardson; Lois Wiese.

Forward in Christ’s edition for April has arrived.  There are plenty of copies in the narthex for family and friends.

Spring Cleaning Following worship and Bible Class next Sunday, we will do a little spring cleaning, mostly inside the church.  If you cannot remain following the service but would like to help, you may come anytime during the week.  We’ll have a clip-board in the fellowship hall with tasks that could be done.  Thank you for your help.

Divine Call Returned Last week Pastor Steven Bauer returned the divine call to be our next pastor to both our congregations.  The church councils will be contacting District President Dennis Klatt to see when another call meeting can be set.  We anticipate another call meeting soon, probably to be held in Marshfield this time. Please keep both congregations needs before the throne of grace as we look for the Lord to provide us with another called worker.

Upcoming Services and Events

Sunday, April 14 – Spring Cleaning at Zion, mostly inside, following Fellowship and Bible Study

Tuesday, April 16, 6 pm – Elders, Trustees, and Church Council Meeting

Saturday, April 27 – LWMS Spring Rally at Grace, Columbia, MO; Mission Speaker: Pastor Nixon Vivar from Ecuador;    9:30 am start with registration.  See Pastor for a ride.

May 3-4 – WELS/ELS Men’s Retreat, Camp Trinity, New Haven, MO – see bulletin board for more information

Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Easter 2 – Misericordias Domini:

Ezekiel 34:11-16; 1 Peter 2:21-25; John 10:11-16   (Historic Pericope Series)

Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. With the word peace, Jesus is proclaiming what he was giving to the world, through his crucifixion and resurrection. It wasn’t the shallow peace that the world frantically seeks, but rather peace with God, which comes to us through the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation won for us through Christ, our Savior.
  2. It absolutely proves that he wasn’t a ghost. The nail marks also were a visible reminder of the forgiveness that was theirs through Christ.
  3. After having struggled with doubt earlier, he now boldly confessed that Jesus is the one true and eternal God. Thomas confessed that Jesus was indeed his gracious Savior. Jesus had overcome the doubt and unbelief of Thomas.

This week I am praying for……


Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann