The Growth of the Seed.

on September 17, 2022 in

The Sermon for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost                                     September 11, 2022
Text: Luke 15:1-10 CW-21 Series C 22:2342

Theme: Love that Found Me.

Luke Chapter 15 is sometimes called the “lost and found” chapter of the Bible – not because the writing was lost, but because in it Jesus told 3 parables about lost and found things. However, it is not the lost object or person that is the main point of each parable. Rather, the main point of each parable centers on the amazing love, caring concern, and undeterred determination of the one who lost the object.
Jesus told the Parable of the Prodigal Son not as much to describe
the behavior of the son who ran away as much as to impress upon us the love of the father who longed for his son’s return.
He told the story of the Lost Sheep not as much to describe the predicament of the sheep as much as to dramatize the concern of the man who owned it.
He told the story of the Lost Coin not as much to describe the plight of the coin as much as to portray the care of the woman who lost it, and her determined efforts to recover it. The main “character” in each parable was not as much the thing lost as it was the person who lost it and was eager for its return.
Isaiah writes, “We all like sheep have gone astray; each has turned to his own way” (Is.53:6). I have sinned, sinned grievously. Yet, the Savior’s love remains warm and constant. He came to seek and to save the lost (Lk.19:10). I was lost, not He. Likewise, it is He who finds me, not I who find Him.

I. He yearns and searches for me when lost.
Were you ever lost…in a store, a city, a different country? How did you feel…anxious, apprehensive, afraid? I once got lost in a foreign country. I think I have told you about it before. That can be scary because absolutely nothing is familiar. Here’s what happened.
Eight years ago, in the spring of 2014, I was on my first trip to China with our China Partners, also called 316 NOW. It’s a group of pastors who teach biblical doctrines to people in China over Skype on the internet. That year I travelled to China for 6 weeks to meet with groups and schools and teach them personally. My plane landed at Shanghai’s airport. I had travelled 14 hours alone and was scheduled to meet my translator at the gate. After passing through customs and walking with hundreds of people into the terminal, I missed my contact. For an hour I walked amidst a sea of faces, pondering what my next step should be. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to face Ting Wang, my interpreter, holding a sign with my name on it. “Pastor Lehmann,” she said. “You found me.” You found me? Really? Who found whom?
In her concerned relief Ting might say, “You found me.” But my anxious heart knew it wasn’t I who found her. It was she who had searched and found me. She wasn’t the one who was lost. I was!
Men sometimes eruditely talk about finding God. Learnedly, they speak of their quest for God, the search for certainty, and their discovery of divine things. But it was not God who was lost; it was we! Nor is it we who find God. It is God who finds us, just as in these parables it was the sheep who was lost, not the shepherd; it was the coin that was lost, not the woman. The lamb, caught in a thicket, fallen into a ravine, maybe surrounded by wolves could not come to the shepherd. The shepherd went to it. The coin, stuck in a corner or covered in dust under the bed, could not roll back to the woman. So, the woman got down into the filth to get it. Jesus is that shepherd; He is like that woman, yearning and searching for us when lost.
From eternity He saw me wandering in the wilderness of sin, alone. He saw me rolled away like a lone coin, covered in the dirt of unbelief. “Our guilt separated us from God” (Is.59:2). So, He went to get us. He covered the entire distance between God and man so that we should say, “Love found me; divine love brought me in.”
As Christians we say in the Explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him. But the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (Jn.6:44).
We do not come to God on our own; we do not find Him. God finds us and draws us to Him by Word and Spirit, bringing us to faith, making us heirs of His heavenly Kingdom. Love, divine love, caring love, redeeming love drove the Savior to the cross to pay for our sin. As Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lays down his life for his friends” (Jn.15:13).
If today we are safe in the Shepherd’s keeping, it is only because
God from eternity saw us wandering in the darkness of sin and covered the entire distance between us. “Herein is love,” writes the Apostle John. “Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent
His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1Jn.4:10).
“Love that found me, wondrous thought! – Found me when I sought Him not.”

II. He and all heaven rejoices for me when found.
And when He finds us and brings us into His fold, all heaven explodes in joy. Whenever a sinner repents and is drawn to believe in the salvation that Christ gives, all heaven rejoices.
Jesus said, “When the shepherd finds his sheep, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep.’” Likewise, when the woman finds the coin that rolled away, “she calls together her friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents!” Over one, just one, each one! All heaven rejoices when that one is found!
Think about that. What is it that makes all the saints and angels in heaven delirious? It’s not the newspaper headlines of a political, social, or athletic triumph. It’s not the good news of victory against an evil enemy on earth’s battlefields. It’s not the cheering report of a full and final cure for cancer that might be found. Rather, it’s the thrilling news that one sinner, one more is brought to faith in the Savior. The news that a wanderer from God has been stopped short on the highway to eternal ruin and placed on the road that leads to the Father’s House, that make heaven erupt in joy!
There was joy among the hosts of heaven when that first drop of baptismal water splashed on your forehead. And heaven rejoiced! There was joy among the angels when the sweet Gospel of the Savior from sin broke through your stone-cold heart. There was joy in the mansions of heaven when the Savior put you on His shoulders and carried you into His Kingdom. And heaven rejoiced because no matter how insignificant we might view ourselves to be, God counts each soul precious to Him. He is concerned for all and willingly gave His Son on the cross. He could not be fully happy until the soul returned to Him who created and redeemed it. Such an awesome comfort to know that we are not unwanted sinners and social outcasts to Him! We are redeemed children of God, brought home to Him, priceless possessions in His House! Every rebirth into His heavenly family is cause for great joy among angels and saints above.
Boy, if that doesn’t lift your spirits in this oft-times troubled world and spur you on to want to share the Gospel with those who are still lost, what will? One sinner returned, and all heaven rejoices when he is found!
The guy at the desk next to yours…the friend with whom you eat lunch…the neighbor you meet in the store…the millions around the world who still do not yet know the Savior – God help us reach them, one by one, a soul at a time.
That’s what happened to you; that’s what happened to me, a lamb once wandering in the wilderness of sin…now carried on the Shepherd’s shoulders…a coin rolling away and lost in the dust…now returned to Christ’s assembly above…Love Found Me.
Oh, the height of Jesus’ love! Higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity.
Love that found me – won’drous tho’t!
Found me when I sought Him not. (CW-21 578:2; TLH342:2)
God grant it to us in 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                                           email:

You can also find us on Facebook


The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost     September 18, 2022

“No servant can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Luke 16:13

 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 blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who is walking in His ways. May the LORD bless you from Zion, so that you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life” (Psalm 128).

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

Know where true worth lies.   A person’s attitude towards everything in life reflects his relationship with God. The Bible warns that an obsession with material things will relegate God to low priority for us. But the greater treasures are the eternal ones, which He won for us by sending Christ into the world. Of these we should strive for more.

As good stewards of these gifts we will also make wise use of everything else we have in service to the Gospel Kingdom. Therein lies true worth before God. So, we will place the Gospel first and use the gifts He bestows upon us in service to it. Then all that we are and have becomes a resource for serving the Lord, realizing that we cannot serve both God and Mammon.

To that end we pray: Lord God, You call us to work in Your kingdom and leave no one standing idle. Help us to order our lives by Your wisdom, so that we devote our lives to You and serve You in willing obedience for the sake of the Gospel, for Jesus’ sake. Amen

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

The Old Testament Lesson: Ecclesiastes 5:10-20

If a person serves money, he will not find rest and will end up disappointed. Not only must God give us what we have, but only He can enable us to enjoy His gifts and find happiness.

The Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-19

We came into this world with no material goods, and we leave it in the same way. We can’t take this world’s riches with us. A greater wealth is available to us in the Savior. Serving the Lord in faith with all that we are and have leads to a generous life now and a greater life in eternity.

The Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-13            

In the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward, Jesus teaches us to be good and wise managers of God’s gifts. All that we have is actually His. The steward’s actions were worldly and self-centered. Ours are motivated by grateful hearts that look to eternal things as we seek to support God’s Kingdom and the preaching of the Gospel in the world.

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

The Lord’s Supper is a wonderful gift in which we receive Jesus’ own body and blood to forgive our sins and strengthen us in faith. It is a gift given with certain responsibilities. The Sacrament is intended for those who have been instructed, understand, and confess as one what they are receiving and doing. Through it we express our unity of faith (1 Cor.10:17). Therefore, we ask that only confirmed members of Zion Lutheran Church or our sister congregations of the WELS or ELS approach to receive Communion. If you would like to become a communicant member of Zion or have any questions about our practice, the pastor would be happy to meet with you after the service.

The Organist: Jane Rips                 The Preacher: Pastor Roger Neumann

Point to Ponder: Point to Ponder: “If I am to make for myself ‘friends by the use of worldly wealth,’ I must first be godly…and good at heart, for God looks upon the heart, and as He finds the heart, so He estimates our work….Let the heart first be good through faith, that the works may flow forth in love for Him….You cannot build from without inward. You do not start at the roof, but at the foundation. Therefore, faith in Christ must first be present….Works do not make me good, but show that I am good, and bear witness that the faith in me is genuine.”

— Martin Luther on today’s Gospel Lesson

Outline of  Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening Thoughts on the Service

Opening Hymn: #609

Order of Worship:     The Service: Setting Two with Holy Communion: page 172-187

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Ecclesiastes 5:10-20

1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-19

The Gospel Acclamation pg.179

Luke 16:1-13

Hymn: #751

Sermon: Mark 4:26-30     The Growth of the Seed.

The Nicene Creed pg.180

Our Response to the Word

Prayer of the Church: pg.182

The Offering

The Lord Blesses Us

Preparation for Holy Communion     Hymnal page 183-186

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


Distribution Hymns: #661 & 902

Thanksgiving & Blessing     Hymnal page 187

Silent Prayer

The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Series C

Old Testament Lesson: Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 – Money Doesn’t Satisfy

10Anyone who loves money is never satisfied with money, and anyone who loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is vanishing vapor. 11When goods increase, so do those who eat them. What profit, then, does the owner get, except to see these things with his eyes? 12The worker’s sleep is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but a rich person’s abundant possessions allow him no sleep.

13I have seen a sickening evil under the sun—wealth hoarded by its owner to his own harm, 14or wealth that is lost in a bad investment. Or a man fathers a son, but he has nothing left in his hand to give him. 15As he came out from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came. From his hard work he can pick up nothing that he can carry away in his hand. 16This too is a sickening evil: Just as he came, so he will go. So what does he gain, he who works for the wind? 17Besides this, during all his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, sickness, and anger.

18So then, here is what I have seen to be good: It is beautiful to eat, to drink, and to look for good in all a person’s hard work which he has done under the sun, during the few days of his life that God has given him, for that is his reward. 19Likewise, for everyone to whom God has given wealth and riches, if God has also given him ability to eat from it, to enjoy his reward, and to rejoice in the results of his hard work—this is a gift of God, 20for the man seldom reflects on the days of his life, since God keeps him busy with the joy in his heart.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-19 – Instruction on True Riches

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot take anything out. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be satisfied.

9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into complete destruction and utter ruin. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evils. By striving for money, some have wandered away from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.

17Instruct those who are rich in this present age not to be arrogant or to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches, but rather in God, who richly supplies us with all things for our enjoyment. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they are storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-13 – Parable of the Unrighteous Manager

1Jesus also said to his disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager who was accused of wasting his possessions. 2The rich man called him in and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be manager.’

3“The manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, since my master is taking away the management position from me? I am not strong enough to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from my position as manager, people will receive me into their houses.’ 5“He called each one of his master’s debtors to him. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He said, ‘Six hundred gallons of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write three hundred.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘Six hundred bushels of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and write four hundred and eighty.’ 8“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the children of the light. 9I tell you, make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.

10The person who is faithful with very little is also faithful with much. And the person who is unrighteous with very little is also unrighteous with much. 11So if you have not been faithful with unrighteous mammon who will entrust you with what is really valuable? 12If you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you something to be your own? 13No servant can serve two masters. Indeed, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.”      (EHV®) copyright © 2019

        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















Next Sun.


 9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

with Holy Communion online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study


Pentecost 15





11 am

Bible Class





  9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study


Pentecost 16

 A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Money and wealth rule in today’s materialistic society. We would also have to admit that God has richly blessed each of us with many physical blessings—far more than we deserve. How we handle those blessings, whether they be dollars or possessions, reflects our relationship with our God. May we be inspired by our God to use all of His blessings in a way that is pleasing to Him and serves His purposes!

 The Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:1-13 (answers are found on the back side)

  1. What is the main point of this parable?
  2. How is this point furthered by the statement “You cannot serve both God and money”?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter, diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis; Elizabeth Lisenby; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese.

Choir Possibilities? Would you help us in reorganizing Zion’s Adult Choir? Due to Covid and the Lord moving on to other places some of our choir members, we have not had an organized choir in a few years. Do you like to sing? Are you be willing to join us in preparing songs for worship? If so, please see pastor. At the moment it seems like a late afternoon or evening practice on Tuesday’s or Thursday’s might be the most viable. But please let pastor know what you think.

What’s Happening with the Lutheran Church in Ukraine This past week, Pastor Roger Neumann, from Grace LC, in Oskaloosa, IA, called to say he and his wife, Rose Marie, would be in town and would gladly preach and give us a follow-up on the churches in Ukraine. Pastor Neumann is our synod’s liaison to the Lutheran Church in Ukraine. We thank him for his message from God’s Word to us today. After the service, join us in the fellowship hall where he will give us an update on the Ukrainian Church’s situation and answer any questions that you might have.

Forward in Christ’s latest issue for September has arrived. There are plenty of copies for family & friends in the narthex.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Sept.24 – Grace LC, Lowell, AR, Annual Women’s Retreat (see WWFC bulletin board for more information)

Monday-Tuesday, Sept.26-27 – Fall Pastors’ Conference of MN District’s Southern Conference at Martin Luther LC, St. Louis

Saturday, Oct.15 – LWMS Missouri Valley Circuit’s Fall Rally at Martin Luther LC, St. Louis

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 35; Bible Class: 17; Midweek Bible Class: 4; Offering: $1731; Ballou Memorial: $370; Hymnal: $25.

             Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Pentecost 16: Amos 6:1-7; Hebrews 13:1-6; Luke 16:19-31 (CW-21, Series C)

Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. This parable serves to encourage us to make good use of our money. How we use the money and possessions that God has given is a fruit of faith and will reflect our relationship with Him. By keeping a proper perspective on the blessings God has given, we will use them to serve His purposes and to support His kingdom here on earth.
  2. Worldly wealth and possessions are given by God to be used in His service. The God who gives the money must always be more important than the money that He gives.

       This week I am praying for……