Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”
2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.
Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”
LSB #609 “Jesus Sinners Doth Receive”
LSB #823 “May God Bestow on Us His Grace”
LSB #628 “Your Table I Approach”
LSB #917 “Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”
Psalmody: Psalm 34:11-22
11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from | *evil, And your lips from speak | *ing deceit. 14 Depart from evil | *and do good; Seek peace and pur | *sue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the | *righteous, And His ears are open | *to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do | *evil, To cut off the remembrance of them | *from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and | *the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their | *troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a | *broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite | *spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the | *righteous, But the Lord delivers him out | *of them all. 20 He guards | *all his bones; Not one of them is | *broken. 21 Evil shall slay the | *wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall | *be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His | *servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall | *be condemned. Glory be to the Father and | to the Son * and to the Holy | Spirit; as it was in the be- | ginning, * is now, and will be forever. | Amen. 11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good?
O Lord, since You never fail to help and govern those whom You nurture in Your steadfast fear and love, work in us a perpetual fear and love of Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
108. Why do we in each of the three Articles say, “I believe,” and not, “We believe”? Because no one can be saved by another’s faith, but every one must believe for himself.
194) Hab. 2:4. But the just shall live by his faith.
195) Luke 7:50. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
B.H. Matt. 25:8-12. The foolish virgins.
Old Testament Lesson: Proverbs 9:1-10
1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding. 7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Epistle Lesson: Ephesians 2:13-22
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner- stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:15-24
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
Sermon: “What’s Your Excuse?” Luke 14:15-24
We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at email@example.com. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.
Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.
Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.
Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.
Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at email@example.com and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).
“Come, For all Things Are Now Ready”
“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready….”’” Luke 14:16-17 (Read Luke 14:15-24)
You have been invited to the greatest banquet of all! Even though you are a sinner and deserving of God’s eternal wrath and punishment, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the righteous demands of God’s Law in your stead, and then to suffer and die on the cross and bear the full punishment for your transgression and sin. God calls you through the preaching of the Gospel and invites you to receive His pardon and forgiveness and to take part in His everlasting kingdom.
The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It tells us that “Jesus Christ … loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5); that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7); and that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18).
And, the risen Lord Jesus even now is preparing a place for all who believe in Him, in the mansions of His Father’s house (John 14:1-3). Through the preaching of this good news, God calls you to come to Him and receive the everlasting blessings of His kingdom.
Even now, as you read these words, God’s Spirit calls you to “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17); and to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Jesus told the Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24) to admonish His hearers for rejecting the salvation God was providing for them in His Son.
The Jews had the Old Testament Scriptures, which promised eternal salvation through the coming Messiah and Savior; but when Jesus, God’s Son, came into this world to accomplish the salvation God had promised of old — when the Gospel invitation went out: “Come, for all things are now ready” — the Jews excused themselves for various reasons. They were too busy with the things of this world to come to Christ Jesus and receive from Him forgiveness for their sins and eternal life. One bought a piece of land and wanted to go and see it; another had bought a yoke of oxen and wanted to try them out; and another had just gotten married and could not come (cf. Luke 14:18-20).
What about you? This same Gospel invitation has gone out to you: “Come, for all things are now ready.” Do you have time to come to Jesus and learn of Him and the eternal blessings He has won for you? Do you come to hear His life-giving Word and learn of God’s offer and promise of forgiveness for all your sins and of the everlasting joys of heaven? Or, are you too busy with the cares and concerns of this life?
What is your excuse? Are you too busy checking on land or property? Do you have to try out that car or truck or tractor? Do you have to try out that new tool or toy? Are you too busy with work or school or business to come to Jesus? Have you married a wife and become too busy with family concerns to take time for church services and the hearing of God’s Word? What is your excuse?
The excuses in Jesus’ parable angered the man who made the great supper (v. 21). He said, “None of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” (v. 24).
Will God accept your excuse? Is not this a warning to us not to become so busy with other things in this life that we neglect that “one thing [that is] is needed” (Luke 10:42).
Jesus admonishes us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). And Jesus warns: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him…” (Heb. 2:3)?
What did the master of the house in Jesus’ parable then do that his house might be filled with guests? He sent his servants out into the streets and lanes of the city to bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. And, when there was yet room, he sent them out into the highways and hedges (where the poor often camped) to compel those there to come in (Cf. Luke 14:21-24.)
It is by the grace of God that we have heard the Gospel of Christ and come to trust in Him for forgiveness and life (Eph. 2:4-9); but “STILL THERE IS ROOM” (v. 22)! Our Heavenly Father sends His servants out into the streets and lanes, and to the highways and hedges, to compel them to come in — to call upon all, whether rich or poor, healthy or handicapped or sick, to come to Christ Jesus and partake of the blessings of His kingdom.
Jesus commands His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). They are to preach “repentance and remission of sins … in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). They are to say: “Come, for all things are now ready!” (Luke 14:17). And, Jesus tells us: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
Dear LORD God, our Savior, grant that we not neglect and excuse ourselves from partaking of the salvation so graciously provided for us through the innocent sufferings and death of the Son, Jesus Christ. Fill us also with Your love for lost sinners that we may obey Your command and send men into all the world with Your saving Gospel and compel them to come in! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]