Download Printable PDF BulletinDownload Printable PDF Sermon

Use the scroll bar on the right side of the window below to read along with the service.


September 11, 2022

It’s Good to Be Chief

What do you do when you arrive at church? Many people attend to the tasks associated with the beginning of the service, looking at the bulletin they have received or checking out what the opening hymn will be. There is blessing to be found also in looking around us and acknowledging those gathered with us. Each of us is singularly special to God, and, joined together, we become “the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:7). There is no more special place to be than in the sheepfold of our God as part of His flock!

+ Preparation +

OPENING HYMN: #611 – Chief of Sinners Though I Be


Pastor:            In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:          Amen.

OPENING SENTENCES      Psalm 119:57–60, 63–64

Pastor:            The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep Your words.

People:          I entreat Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.

Pastor:            When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to Your testimonies;

People:          I hasten and do not delay to keep Your commandments.

Pastor:            I am a companion of all who fear You, of those who keep Your precepts.

People:          The earth, O Lord, is full of Your steadfast love; teach me Your statutes!


Pastor:            Let us now confess our sin to God, our merciful Father.

People:          Gracious God, we admit and confess our sinfulness. We are by nature sinful and unclean. Daily we do things we ought not do and do not live up to our calling as the people of Your pasture and the sheep of Your hand. We justly deserve Your punishment in this life and for eternity. Trusting in Your mercy, we come to You for forgiveness. Our trust is in the merits of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Have mercy on us, O God. Grant us remission of all our sins and lead us to renewed lives that reflect Your goodness and love.

Pastor:            God is gracious and merciful. He hears our supplications and joyfully restores us to His fold. By the command of our Lord and as His called and ordained servant, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:          Amen.


PSALM           Psalm 119:169-176 (spoken responsively by verse)

169Let my cry come before you, O Lord;

            give me understanding according to your word!

170Let my plea come before you;

            deliver me according to your word.

171My lips will pour forth praise,

            for you teach me your statutes.

172My tongue will sing of your word,

            for all your commandments are right.

173Let your hand be ready to help me,

            for I have chosen your precepts.

174I long for your salvation, O Lord,

            and your law is my delight.

175Let my soul live and praise you,

            and let your just decrees help me.

176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,

            for I do not forget your commandments.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.


Pastor:            In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

People:          Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:            For the peace from above and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People:          Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:            For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People:          Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:            For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.

People:          Lord, have mercy.

Pastor:            Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.

People:          Amen.


Pastor:            The Lord be with you.

People:          And also with you.

Pastor:            Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, grant that we with all boldness and courage bring to You our petitions with the assurance that You care for us as individuals. With Your abiding care, grant us every good thing for this life and every blessing in the life to come; for You live with and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:          Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING         Ezekiel 34:11–24      

(God will personally search for His sheep.)

            11“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

            17“As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. 18Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

            20“Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.”

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.

People:          Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL     Psalm 34:9, 19, alt.

Fear the Lord, you His saints,
   for those who fear Him lack nothing!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
   but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

EPISTLE         1 Timothy 1:12–17  

(Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners.)

            12I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.

People:          Thanks be to God.

ALLELUIA and VERSE         Luke 15:10

People:          Alleluia. I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Alleluia.

HOLY GOSPEL          Luke 15:1–10

(Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin.)

Pastor:            The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the fifteenth chapter.

People:          Glory to You, O Lord.

            1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear [Jesus]. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

            3So he told them this parable: 4“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

            8“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Pastor:            This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People:          Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN OF THE DAY: #709 – The King of Love My Shepherd Is

SERMON: It’s Good to Be Chief


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth
            and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
      the only-begotten Son of God,
      begotten of His Father before all worlds,
      God of God, Light of Light,
      very God of very God,
      begotten, not made,
      being of one substance with the Father,
      by whom all things were made;
      who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
      and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
      and was made man;
      and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
      He suffered and was buried.
      And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
            and ascended into heaven
      and sits at the right hand of the Father.
      And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the Lord and giver of life,
      who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
      who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
      who spoke by the prophets.
      And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
      I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
      and I look for the resurrection of the dead
      and the life + of the world to come. Amen.


After each petition:

Pastor:            … Lord, in Your mercy:

People:          hear our prayer.

At conclusion:

Pastor:            for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom, with whom and in whom be all honor and glory, both now and forever.

People:          Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER      Matthew 6:9–13

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

      forever and ever. Amen.


Pastor:            Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, without whom nothing is secure. Rescue and preserve us that we may not be lost forever but follow You, rejoicing in the way that leads to eternal life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:          Amen.

BENEDICTION         Numbers 6:24–26

Pastor:            The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

People:          Amen.


Pastor:            Go in peace as you serve the Lord!

People:          Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN: #839 – O Christ, Our True and Only Light    

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series C, Quarter 3. Copyright © 2022 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.