MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Communion prayer, 17th Sunday after Trinity
Week of 24 to 29 September 2018
“God sets free”
Introduction: The yok that may bind us as humans is of many kinds. A spiritual life that is not doing well (e.g. a heart unable to repent, always doubting due to disbelief), an attitude of the heart (hating and envying others, repaying evil for evil), bad habits (lying, stealing, subjection to greed, alcohol or drug addiction), dissipation (spending for futile desire), etc. It may also happen that we fall prey to some kind of enslavement, injustice, oppression and threat. At the root of is all is the working of sin as a result of the disbelief in God and the rejection of his will. As humans we are easily defeated by sin, as the Apostle Peter put it, “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Pet.2:19b). In truth, sin enslaves man who is powerless to resist it. The Apostle Paul said in this respect: “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” Rom.7:19-20, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Rom.7:24. Thanks be to God who gives us unconditional freedom. This is accomplished in his Son Jesus Christ, for “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” Jn.8:36. The freedom He gives is based on God’s truth, in line with what Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” Jn.8:32. And He gives a total freedom when He says, “I am making everything new!” Re.21:5a. In this regard, “the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” Mt 11:5. Therefore, “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” 2 Cor.5:17a.
Monday 24: God sets the poor free.
“He raises the poor from the dust” 1 Sam.2:8a.
Reading 1: Lk.15:1-7. Reading 2: 1 Sam.2:1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Sam.2:8. Other references:
– “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” Mt.5:4.
– “For he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed” Lk.1:48.
Tuesday 25: God loves to set man free.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” Gal.5:1a.
Reading 1: Isa.61:1-3. Reading 2: Gal.5:1-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gal.5:1. Other references:
– “Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob’” Is.48:20.
– “Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you’” 2 Cor.6:17.
Wednesday 26: God wants man to inherit his kingdom.
“Unless you change …, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” Mt.18:3.
Reading 1: Eph.4:17-24. Reading 2: Mt.18:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt.18:3. Other references:
– “Then the King will say to those on his right: Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” Mt.25:34.
– “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day …” 2 Tim.4:7-8.
Thursday 27: The freedom of his people lies in God.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” Eph.5:1.
Reading 1: Mt.5:42-48. Reading 2: Eph.5:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Eph.5:1. Other references:
– “Now remain in my love” Jn.15:9b.
– “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” Gal.2:20a.
Friday 28: God gives a total freedom.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” Jn.8:36.
Reading 1: Apoc.7:13-17. Reading 2: Jn.8:31-38. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.8:36. Other references:
– “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us … salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us” Lk.1:68-71.
– “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” Mt.11:5.
Saturday 29: See to the freedom that God has already given to us.
“Watch out …” Phil.3:2.
Reading 1: Heb.10:26-31. Reading 2: Phil.3:1-9. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Phil.3:2. Other references:
– “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Pet.5:8.
– “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and, ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud’” 2 Pet.2:21-22.
Note: This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English and German and can be seen on the site www.hifi-madanet.org and on Facebook “HiFi – english”. © Madanet