The 2nd Sunday after the Resurrection of our Lord

also known by the traditional/liturgical name

Misericordia Domini (“the mercy of the LORD”)

April 26, 2020

“The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”


Different professions have their different stereotyped images:   A banker — blue pinstripe suit, black wingtips, trustworthy;    An attorney — briefcase, power suit, detail-oriented, very careful in speech;   A construction worker — steel-toe wolverine boots, blue work shirt, hard-working;    A nurse — hospital scrubs, pockets full of who knows what items, comforting, compassionate;   An elementary school teacher — sensible clothing, kind-hearted, nurturing.    We all have pictures in our minds about different professions and jobs and the kinds of people who do them.    People in Jesus’ time had those same sorts of thoughts about jobs too, and the people who held them.   For example, the shepherd — someone who was sandal-footed, scruffy beard, tough, diligent, does whatever has to be done to protect and nurture his flock.    Interestingly, the task of a shepherd was the first profession written about in the Bible;   it was Able’s occupation.   There were two types of shepherd.   The one owned the sheep he shepherded.   There was also hired shepherd, who worked for an absentee owner.    The pictures of the two types of shepherd that Jesus presented were very different.   The shepherd-owner was honest, whereas the hireling was dishonest.   The shepherd -owner was diligent, not shiftless and lazy like the hireling.   The shepherd-owner was brave and fiercely protective of his flock,  unlike the hireling who was cowardly and quit to leave the flock helpless in the face of danger.  Those were powerful images in the popular imagination of the people of Jesus’ day.

In order to help His followers, particularly His disciples, to know Him more deeply, Jesus painted them the picture that is before us today, a picture clearly tied to David’s 23rd Psalm which declares “The LORD is my Shepherd.”   Jesus declared for all to believe:  “I am the Good Shepherd.”

A shepherd in ancient times typically didn’t have hundreds, let alone thousands, of sheep to look after, the way a cattle rancher might today.    He had a small flock of sheep, and he knew each sheep individually and intimately.   One of the most meaningful pictures in Christian art shows Jesus as the Good Shepherd, surrounded by some of His sheep, tenderly holding in His arms a small, weak lamb.   The image reinforces for us the truth that Jesus does care about every one of us, and that He is willing to protect us from our enemies – even to lay down His life for us, His sheep.

A good shepherd lived among his sheep.   He slept with them, walked out in front to lead them, fed them,

guided them over dangerous places to good pastures, was alert for other animals that might threaten them, protected them with his shepherd’s rod and staff, knew each of them by name, and knew that they recognized his unique voice and trusted totally  in him.

When this image is connected to Jesus in His role as our Savior-God, it provides us with an image of someone who has an intense love for our total well-being at every turn of our lives.   And we enjoy a very special, intimate relationship with him.  That’s what David, under divine inspiration, was conveying in Psalm 23.   And that is what Jesus taught His disciples in John 10.

Since “the LORD is my shepherd” I am assured I have the privilege of a very special, intimate

relationship with my Good Shepherd as one of His dearly loved sheep.   So do you, through faith in Jesus Christ.     This personal relationship is not something theoretical, or wishful.  It is very real and certain.    Our Good Shepherd was so committed to us that He not only risked His life for us sinful sheep…..He sacrificed Himself on Calvary’s cross to pay for our sins.   He embraced all of God the Father’s wrath against us sinners so that we are reconciled to Him and regarded as God’s beloved children.   And He conquered death for us, so that we will enjoy the “pleasant pastures” of Paradise in heaven….all by God’s grace.

This picture of Jesus as our Good Shepherd should fill us with a sense of peace and contentment, as well as one of confidence and gratitude.   In love, He has given us all for all of us.    He will always be our Good Shepherd.   May we always be His beloved and devoted sheep!


Our Service Today

This morning we are celebrating one of the Christian Church’s oldest worship customs:  The celebration of “Good Shepherd Sunday.”  Historically, the Christian Church has celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday on the Third Sunday in Easter.  Early on it was referred to as “Misericordia Domini” Sunday.  The term “Misericordia Domini” is Latin for “the compassion – or mercy – of the Lord,” and is taken from the fifth verse of our Preparatory Psalm for this morning, Psalm 33.

Through our Children’s Lesson we will talk about the great  love that our Good Shepherd has for every one of us.  Like sheep, we sometimes wander off in the wrong direction and into spiritual danger, but Jesus never stops calling to us through His word.  He is always eager to bring us back safely into His flock.

Today’s Gospel Lesson is taken from John 10, Scripture’s principal reference to Jesus as the “Good Shepherd.”  In fact the whole of John chapter ten is called “the Good Shepherd chapter.”  Here we see Jesus identifying Himself as that Good Shepherd who willingly lays down His life for His sheep, each of whom He knows by name.  He also identifies the characteristics of His sheep:  they know Him and gladly follow Him as their Shepherd.  Most important, He promises that no one and thing will ever take His sheep away from Him.

Finally, our Sermon Text for this Morning is Psalm 23, called by many “the world’s most beloved

Psalm.”  Written under divine inspiration by David, this Psalm is certainly a reflection of his experiences as a functioning shepherd in his youth.   But even more than that, it is descriptive of David’s relationship with the LORD as his Shepherd on his journey through life.   David’s journey included many highs (being anointed Israel’s future king as a boy; defeating the giant Goliath in battle; uniting a fractured kingdom of Israel and leading it during its  greatest days).   David’s life also was full of lows (having King Saul committed to killing him and hunting him relentlessly;   committing adultery with Bathsheba, murdering her husband to hide his sin, and then suffering the consequences of a dead child and chaos in his home;   watching many innocent subjects in his kingdom die because, contrary to God’s directions, David had arrogantly ordered a census of “His” people).   Through it all, God never forsook David, but continued to forgive him and bless him.   The same is true for us.   In all our lives’ highs and lows – and everything in between – the LORD graciously remains our Good Shepherd, watching over us, caring for us, protecting us, and – most important – delivering us from our sins, as He will one day deliver us from this sinful world into everlasting life in heaven.

Through all of our Scripture lessons, hymns, psalms, and prayers on this “Good Shepherd Sunday,” let’s thank our Heavenly Father for giving His Son to be our Good Shepherd, and let’s praise Jesus for being such a Good Shepherd to us.



Pre-Service Prayer

Lord Jesus, though but two or three    In Your dear name assembled be,

You will among them show Your face    And bless them with Your saving grace.

In Your dear name again we meet     And worship humbly at Your feet;

You will Your gracious Word fulfill     And cheer us with Your presence still.

Jesus, from Whom all blessings flow,     Your peace and comfort now bestow;

Abide with us till life is o’er      And keep us Yours forevermore.     Amen.


The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,

The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission



Pre-service Prayer


We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation To Worship



The Opening Hymn                                                                             “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”


The King of Love my Shepherd is,   Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His   And He is mine forever.


Where streams of living water flow,   My ransomed soul He leadeth

And, where the verdant pastures grow,   With food celestial feedeth.


Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,   But yet in love He sought me

And on His shoulder gently laid   And home rejoicing brought me.


In death’s dark vale I fear no ill    With Thee, dear Lord, beside me,

Thy rod and staff my comfort still,   Thy cross before to guide me.


Thou spreadst a table in my sight;   Thine unction grace bestoweth;

And oh, what transport of delight    From Thy pure chalice floweth!


And so through all the length of days    Thy goodness faileth never;

Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise   Within Thy house forever!


The Invocation


Pastor       We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.


We Make Confession Of Our Sins  To God


Pastor         Brothers and sisters in Christ:    the Word of God urges us to confess to our Lord all our sins of thought, word, and action.   This is something that ought to be daily part of our spiritual lives, and should come forth from every heart that is humble and penitent.    But we should especially do this when we meet together in His house to thank God for all that He has done for us, to praise Him, and to hear His life-giving Word.    Therefore, come with me now, to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, and let us confess our sins together.


Congregation     Miserable person that I am,   +   I confess and lament to You, O most holy God,  +   that I  am a weak and sinful creature,  +  guilty of every sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. +   I also confess that Your Word has not brought forth good fruit in me.   +   I hear it, but do not receive it earnestly.   +   I do not show works of love toward my neighbor.   +   I am full of anger, hate, and envy.   +   I am impatient, greedy, and bent on every evil.   +   Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy.   +   Lord, I ask You, free me from my sins,   +   strengthen my faith,   +   and comfort my weak conscience by Your divine Word,  +   that I may obtain Your promised grace.


Pastor   Having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith, mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, rest assured that your sins have been fully covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


The Psalm for Today                                                                                                           Psalm 33, selected verses


P:         Shout joyfully to the LORD, you righteous:    The praise of the upright is beautiful.

C:        Sing to Him a new song;    play skillfully and shout praises.


P:         Yes the word of the LORD is right,   and everything He does is trustworthy.

C:        He loves righteousness and justice;   the mercy of the LORD fills the earth.


P:         Let all the earth fear the Lord;    let all the inhabitants of the world revere Him.

C:        How blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,    the people He chose for His possession.


P:         Our souls wait for the LORD;    He is our Help and our Shield.

C:        Yes, in Him our heart rejoices,   because we trust in His holy name.


P:         May Your mercy, O LORD, be on us,

C:        even as we wait confidently for You.



We Give Our Attention To God’s Word


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                    Luke 15:3-6


3 He told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, if you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that was lost until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls together his friends and his neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ 7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.


Jesus’ Never-Ending Search for His Lost Sheep



Today’s Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                 John 10:1-30


“Amen, Amen, I tell you: Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration in speaking to the people, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

7 So Jesus said again, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: I am the Door for the sheep. 8 All who came before Me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the Door. Whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.   10 “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 Because he works for money, he does not care about the sheep.  14 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me 15 (just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father). And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I also have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one Shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This is the commission I received from My Father.”   19 There was a division among the Jews again because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is out of His mind! Why listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple area in Solomon’s Colonnade.  24 So the Jews gathered around Jesus, asking, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”    25 Jesus answered them, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name testify about Me.   26 But you do not believe, because you are not My sheep, as I said to you.   27 My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.”


The Apostles’ Creed


I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  +  And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;   +   Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;   +   Born of the Virgin Mary;   +   Suffered under Pontius Pilate;   +   Was crucified, dead and buried;   +   He descended into hell;   +   The third day He rose again from the dead;   +   He ascended into heaven   +   And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;   +   From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.   +   I believe in the Holy Ghost;   +   The Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints;  +   The forgiveness of sins;   +   The resurrection of the body;   +   And the life everlasting.  Amen.



The Hymn of the Day                                                               “The LORD’s My Shepherd, I’ll not want


The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;     He makes me down to lie

In pastures green; He leadeth me     The quiet waters by.


My soul He doth restore again,      And me to walk doth make

Within the paths of righteousness,     E’en for His own name’s sake.


Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,     Yet will I fear no ill;

For Thou art with me, and Thy rod      And staff me comfort still.


My table Thou hast furnished      In presence of my foes;

My head Thou dost with oil anoint,     And my cup overflows.


Goodness and mercy all my life      Shall surely follow me,

And in God’s house forevermore     My dwelling-place shall be.



The Pre-Sermon Salutation


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the

knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!  Amen.



The Sermon Text                                                                                                                                                                 Psalm 23


The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.   He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.   He leadeth me beside still waters.   He restoreth my soul.   He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.   For Thou art with me.   Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.   Thou anointest my head with oil.   My cup runneth over.   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.   And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


The LORD Is My Shepherd….And He Is Your Shepherd Too!



Pastor       May the God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever.   Amen.


We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today, as we would during a regular worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:


1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website ()

and use the giving option there.

3) You can also contact the Pastor about bringing your offering

by the church during the week….

or, if you have a key to the church, by leaving it in the offering plate on the altar.

The Prayers of the Church           


Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for the works that You have done in Your Father’s name for they bear witness of You.  We believe in You because we are Your sheep, and You are our Good Shepherd.  You constantly seek what is lost and bring back those who have wandered away from You.  You graciously bind up the broken and strengthen the sick.  We were once sheep going astray; but we have been returned to You, the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.  Through Your Holy Spirit’s working faith in our hearts, we are now able to hear Your voice, know You, and follow You.  You are with us all the time so that we always have Your guidance and can follow Your instructions.   We are so grateful that You choose to stay beside us always, so that we can be led down Your paths of righteousness.   Thank You for loving us unconditionally and laying down Your life for us.  We praise You for the eternal life that You have earned for us as Your sheep.  Lord, on this Good Shepherd Sunday, we will offer You our heartfelt thanks and praise, because through faith in You we know that we will never perish, and that no one and nothing can snatch us from Your gracious hand.


Bless us also, as well as our community, our country and this world where we live by granting us protection from coronavirus pandemic that has so quickly and thoroughly changed all our lives.   Keep us all safe physically.   Heal completely those persons who have contracted this virus.   Comfort those families and friends who have lost loved ones because of this illness.   Bless our leaders in government that they would make the right and best decisions to keep us secure as a people.   Support and grant success to all those in our health care and scientific fields who are working to save lives through their medical skills and resources, as well as through the development of treatments and vaccines to stop illness and eradicate this virus.   Also grant satisfaction and keep safe all those persons who are working in essential service industries as they benefit us and others through their faithful efforts.   Grant the opportunity to once more do meaningful work to all those who are unemployed.   In addition, bless our nation’s economy that it might rebound from its recent struggles and lead us, as individuals and as a country,  once more into true prosperity.


Hear us also, Gracious God, as each of us now takes a few moments to silently offer You our personal petitions and praises.


Silent Prayer


Finally, O Lord, into Your hands we commend everything and everyone for which we pray, trusting in Your wisdom and mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, in Whose name we offer this prayer, and in Whose name we continue now, by praying:


C:        Our Father, Who art in heaven   Hallowed be Thy name;   Thy kingdom come;  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;    Give us this day our daily bread;  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;   And lead us not into temptation;  But deliver us from evil;   For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory   for ever and ever.    Amen.   




We Conclude With The Lord’s Blessing


Pastor                   Now, to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory and great joy  to the only God, our Savior,   through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority,  before all time,   and now and forever!    Amen.



The Benediction


Pastor –    The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make His face to shine upon You and be gracious unto you,

The Lord look upon you with favor,  and give you His peace.   Amen.



The Closing Hymn                                                                                                    I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb



I am Jesus’ little lamb,   Ever glad at heart I am;

For my Shepherd gently guides me,   Knows my need and well provides me,

Loves me ev’ry day the same,   Even calls me by my name.


Day by day, at home, away,    Jesus is my staff and stay.

When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,   Into pleasant pastures leads me;

When I thirst, He bids me go   Where the quiet waters flow.


Who so happy as I am,    Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?

And when my short life is ended,   By His angel host attended,

He shall fold me to His breast,   There within His arms to rest.



silent prayer




The Week of April 19 at Grace Lutheran  

Budgetary Offerings:   2050                  Online Offerings:   $912.56

(Offerings that arrived at church during this week [after April 25] have not

yet been recorded.   They will be included in next week’s bulletin.)

Tuesday morning Bible study:   27 participants

Wednesday evening Bible study:    6 men;   8 women



This Week’s Birthdays

April 27 – Neil Breitkreutz;          April 28 – Jessica Bratton;             May 01 – Danielle Ashley;


Bible Classes This Week:

We will hold a morning Bible study this Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.   We will be studying I Samuel 17 & 18 (the story of David and Goliath and the beginning of Saul’s jealousy of David.    This is an over-the-phone class.   You can use either your cell phone or land line to participate.  If you have  a speaker function on your phone, you might consider using it.    For the phone number to call, as well as the access code, please call or text Pastor Huebner (685-2440).   He will provide it to you, as well as help you learn how to use this tool.

Wednesday evening both our women’s and men’s Bible classes will continue from 6 to 7 p.m.   These classes, too, will be over-the-phone.    Our women are beginning a new study called “The Time of our Lives.”   Ladies, please call Debbie Huebner (685-6597) for the phone number and access code for this class.    Our men are studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.   Men, for the phone number to call, as well as the access code, please call or text Pastor Huebner (685-2440).