MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Communion’s prayer, Sunday VI after Easter
Week from 14th to 19th May 2018
“God offers a new heart”
Introduction: God offers a new heart. Because we, humans, are born and raised in sin. For it is written: “Every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” Gen. 8 :21b. So we did not know God. This is what Jesus said about the heart of man: “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual, immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean” Mk 7:21-23. The expression “God gives a new heart” means rebirth and renewal, as said by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor. 5:17. The new heart is also referred to as the cleansed heart, freed from sin, for which David prayed in repentance, saying: “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” Ps 51:2. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Mt 5:8. A new heart is a gift from God to all who are baptized. For whoever is baptized receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39), by whom they are reborn to become children of God (Jn 1:12). And the Holy Spirit builds up their faith for salvation through the Word of God (Rom 1:17) and makes the Word of God remain in them. In this regard, the Lord said: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time’, declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people” Jer 31:33. In response, the lyrics say: “Give me a more pure heart… and a believing heart, a devoted heart, an enduring heart, a joyful heart – even in hard times, a heart that is same as Yours” FFPM Songbook 623:1,4.
Monday 14: The new heart is a gift from God.
“I will give you a new heart” Ezek 36:26a.
Reading 1: 2 Cor 5:14-17; Reading 2: Ezek 36:25-27; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Ezek 36:26. Other references:
– “The Lord our God belong the heavens, even the highest events, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations as it is today. Circumcise your heart, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer” Deut 10:14-16
– “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”1 Tim 1:5
Tuesday 15: The new heart is a repentant heart.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God” Ps 51:10a.
Reading 1: Lk 15:11-24; Reading 2: Ps 51:1-10; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Ps 51:10. Other references:
– “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophecy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.’ “As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart” 1 Sam 10:6-9
– “But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham” Lk 19:8-9.
Wednesday 16: The new heart is a heart where Jesus reigns.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord” 1 Pet 3:15a.
Reading 1: Jn 14:22-27; Reading 2: 1 Pet 3:15-17; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: 1 Pet 3:15a. Other references:
– “She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said” Lk 10:39
– “The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it never sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you” Jn 14:17
Thursday 17: The new heart is confident in God.
“Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows” Lk 12:7b.
Reading 1: Is 26:1-9; Reading 2: Lk 12:4-12; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Lk 12:6-7. Other references:
– “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Ps 73:26
– “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior” Lk 1:46-47
Friday 18: The new heart loves the Word of God.
“I have hidden your Word in my heart” Ps 119:11a.
Reading 1:Jn 14:15-21; Reading 2: Ps 119:9-16; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Ps 119:11. Other references:
– “Martha, Martha’, the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” Lk 10:41-42
– “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” Acts 2:42
Saturday 19: Only the cleansed heart can host the Holy Spirit.
“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins;…, No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” Mt 9:17
Reading 1: Ezek 36:27; Reading 2: Mt 9:14-17; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Mt 9:17. Other references:
– “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness” Ml 3:4
– “Peter replied, ‘repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:38.