MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Communion Prayer Sunday IV after Easter
Week of 30 April – 05 May 2018
“God comforts his people”
Introduction : Saying that “God comforts his people” signifies that his love for them is great so that He cannot abandon them but shows them mercy. As He said to his people Israel who were desperate during the time of their captivity in Assyria : “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” Jer 31:3. Therefore He said to comfort them: “No longer will they call you deserted or name your land desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married” Is 62:4. God does not rejoice in his people’s affliction but exults in their salvation. So even if his people have fallen into the swamp of sin, He shows them that He does not forsake them, but call them back, saying, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” Is 55:6-7. Seduced into rebellion, the prodigal son pondered in his heart and mind over the deep trouble affecting him, so he decided to go back to his father, saying : “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men” Lk 15:18-19. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. This may be seen as the father’s consoling his son who thought that he lost his sonship, but also as the father’s consoling himself because his grief due to the loss of his son was turning to joy. “God’s comforting his people” expresses above all his relationship of profound common cause with his children. With his people who believe in Him, He makes a covenant, saying, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters” 2 Cor 6:18.
Monday 30: God, to comfort his people, forgives their sins.
“Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me” Is 12:1.
Reading 1: Ps 103:1-5: Reading 2: Is 12:1-6; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Is 12:1. Other references:
– “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed” Is 40:1-2a.
– “Take heart, son ; your sins are forgiven” Mt 9:2.
Tuesday 01: God comforts his people, and protects them against condemnation.
“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us” 1 Jn 3:19-20a.
Reading 1: Zec 3:1-5; Reading 2: 1 Jn 3:19-24; Preaching 1 (choice): Preaching 2: 1 Jn 3:1-21. Other references:
– “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned” Jn 3:17-18a.
– “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who has raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” Rom 8:33-34.
Wednesday 02: God comforts his people, and feeds them.
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” Jn 7:37.
Reading 1: Ezec 37:1-10; Reading 2: Jn 7:37-39; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Jn 7:37-38. Other references:
– “I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink. ‘So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel” Ex 17:6.
– “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jn 11:25-26.
Thursday 03: God comforts his people, and makes them remain in Him.
“Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them” 1 Jn 3:24a.
Reading 1: Ps 91:1-8; Reading 2: 1 Jn 3:19-24; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: 1 Jn 3:24. Other references:
– “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” Jn 14:2d-3.
– “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” 1 Thes 4:17.
Friday 04: God comforts his people, and strengthens their weaknesses.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Kor 12:9a.
Reading 1: Jer 1:1-9; Reading 2: 2 Cor 12:6-10; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: 2 Cor 12:9. Other references:
– “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8.
– “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” 1 Cor 1:27.
Saturday 05: God comforts his people, and makes them rejoice.
“The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord” Jn 20:20b.
Reading 1: Ps 94:12-19; Reading 2: Jn 20:11-20; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Is 20:19-20. Other references:
– “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Ps 23:6.
– “They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” Rev 21 :3b.
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