Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sunday 4th after Epiphany, February 03-08 2020 ” God reveals Himself, caring for his people” *

The message: God cares for his people because He loves them and does not let them perish. Indeed it is written, ”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” Joh 3:16. So Jesus Christ, the Son, really came down to earth to fulfill the great mission the Father entrusted to Him, in agreement with His statement during His saving visit to Zacchaeus the tax collector, saying, ”For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” Lk 19:10. Therefore He took on the likeness of man to proclaim and to give his salvation to the sinner. And He gave up His life to redeem the humankind who was lost because of sin, so as to reconcile them and to restore their communion with God, their Creator and the Lord over their life (Joh 20:28). For Jesus did not come to judge or to condemn the sinners, but to save them and forgive their sins (Joh 3:17). To this end, He tore down and destroyed through his death on the cross the work of sin, especially unbelief to God, and the power of the devil who deceives and brings affliction to the children of men (Joh 10:10a). The sheep salvation was paid at the price of life, such that Jesus endured and suffered unto death in order to save many ( Heb 5:8-9), in agreement with his loving and careful declaration to his sheep: ”I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” Joh 10:11. ”My sheep listens to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” Joh 10:27-28.

Monday 03: God cares for his people.
« Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine » Isa. 43:1b.
Reading 1: Mt. 6:24-34. Reading 2: Isa. 43:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa. 43:1.
Introduction: « You are mine! »: this statement means that God does neither forsake nor reject His people whom He has redeemed for Himself. For this purpose He gave Jesus Christ his Son, as “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world » 1 Jn. 2: 2. This He accomplished by shedding His blood on the cross to “redeem us for God” (1 Pet 1:19), in order for Him to say: « Here am I and the children whom God has given me » Heb. 2:13.

Tuesday 04: God makes the covenant that He will care for his people.
« I will never leave you or forsake you » Heb.13:5 .
Reading 1: Jn. 14:18-21. Reading 2: Heb. 13:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Heb. 13:5.
Introduction: « God makes a covenant that He will care for his people“: this means that He makes a vow to care for his people and will therefore not withdraw or betray his word. This was what He did with Israel when they returned from captivity; which was His punishment inflicted on them, and so He said to them, « For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you » Isa. 54:10, « I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me » Isa. 49: 14-16.

Wednesday, 05: Jesus cares for man and forgives them.
« Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven » Mt. 9:2b
Reading 1: Isa. 55:6-9. Reading 2: Mt. 9:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt. 9:1-2.
Introduction: Just as sin separates us from God (Isa. 59: 2) and leads to his condemnation (Isa. 53: 5), so forgiveness of sin reconciles us with Him and manifests His mercy which justifies the repentant sinner. For it is written: « If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness » 1 Jn.1:9. Indeed, just as unforgiven sin causes suffering, so its forgiveness makes happy because it is written: « Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit » Ps. 32 :1-2.

Thursday 06: Jesus cares for the life of His own.
« Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm » Mt. 8:26b.
Reading 1: Ps. 23:1-6. Reading 2: Mt. 8:23-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt. 8:25-26.
Introduction: God cares for His own who serve him and stand on his side, so He fights their fight and saves them. For it is written, « Indeed the Lord will vindicate his people, have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone » Deut.32:36. When the hearts of his disciples were tormented by worries in their sinking boat, Jesus threatened the wind and the sea as if they had ears, and they calmed down. Our human strength is limited, but God can do everything because He is Lord. And in this: « The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still » Ex. 14:14. He says: « Vengeance is mine » Deut.32:35.

Friday 07: God cares for His people and answers their prayers.
« Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive » Mt. 21:22
Reading 1: Isa. 55:8-11. Reading 2: Mt. 21:18-22. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt. 21:21-22.
Introduction: God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ is neither an unknown God nor a God who ignores us, « For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily » Col.2:9. So it is with his compassionate Father’s heart, who has mercy on His children that He loves, and shows mercy to the sinners who comes to Him, and answers their prayers so as to care for them. As He did to the blind man whose sight He restored, He still asks us: « What do you want me to do for you? » Mk 10:51. Indeed Jesus says: « I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son » Jn.14 :13.

Saturday 08: Look at Jesus, the Faithful Overseer of His Own.
« Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith » Heb.12 :2a.
Reading 1: Nb. 21:4-9. Reading 2: Heb. 12:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: . Heb. 12:2a.
Introduction: Jesus has come and reveals Himself and allows Himself to be found by those who seek Him. To all those who do not yet know Him, here are his words: « Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near » Isa.55:6. To the believer who sometimes doubts, He says: « You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand » Isa.41 :9-10. « Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other » Isa.45:22.

This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English, and German. It can be found on the website www.hifi-madanet.org and on Facebook ”Hifi – English.” Listen to ”hifiradio.org” available 24h/7 d. © Madanet Hi&Fi

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