Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel First Sunday after Easter, April, 20th-25th 2020 « God is the redeemer of his people » *

The Message: « God is the redeemer of his people. » This means that there is no other name that can save them. It also points to God’s jealousy, as He is « the Redeemer and Lord of His people, » according to His word said to the Israelites: « But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine » Isa.43:1. And He added: « To whom will you compare me to make us equal? Who will you make me look like to assimilate us?” Isa.46: 5. This is why He gave them the following command: « You shall have no other gods before me » Ex.20: 3. And He shows that He is the unique God and Redeemer of His people against their enemies, as He said to Pharaoh who had oppressed the children of Israel in Egypt: « For this time I will send all my plagues upon you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth » Ex.9:14. This means that God created His people and He is the purpose of their existence; for if God has begotten them, He has also created them so that they may live for Him and accept Him as their reason for living, which means « living for God their Redeemer » who keeps them alive (Ps. 91:16). The Apostle Paul puts it this way: « For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain » Phil.1:21. He truly is a Redeemer who makes common cause with His people and says to them: « Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save » Isa.46:4. David put it this way when he praised Him: « Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God » Ps.31:5. Indeed, Jesus says to us: « The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly » Jn.10:11.

Monday,20th: God is the Redeemer of his people.
« For I know that my Redeemer lives » Job 19:25a.
Reading 1: Ps.73:21-28. Reading 2: Job 19:7-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Job 19:25.
Introduction: We need a Redeemer because we are sinners. Indeed, we are dead and lost because of sin, being born in sin, descendants of sinners, and we cannot save ourselves. The Apostle Paul says, in this respect: « Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? » Rom.7:24. The Gospel of God, on the other hand, gives the sinner a great guarantee of salvation, as « They are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus » Rom.3:24. Because « What is impossible for mortals is possible for God » Lk.18:27.

Tuesday,21st: Repentance is the path to redemption.
« Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out » Acts.3:19a.
Reading 1: Ezek.18:23-32. Reading 2: Acts.3:13-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Acts.3:19.
Introduction: Jesus has indeed accomplished redemption for us sinners, but it is our duty to receive it. Receiving it occurs through repentance, namely the confession of our wrongdoing in order to receive forgiveness (1 Jn.1: 9) and the return to God in order to be reconciled to Him again, like the prodigal son who came back to his father (Lk 15: 17-21). Jesus said when He began to preach: « Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near » Mt.4:17.

Wednesday,22th: Jesus Christ, sign of the sinner’s redemption.
« Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish » Jn.21:13.
Reading 1: 1 Cor.15:1-8. Reading 2: Jn.21:1-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.21:13-14.
Introduction: « Sign » plays a very important role, because God makes it a witness to the authenticity of His words and actions. Jesus Christ did for us sinners a great work of redemption, bearing all our sins in His flesh (Isa 53: 8) and suffering the punishment of God for the forgiveness of our sins (Eph.1:7). In this regard, it is written: “Then he said to Thomas: ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe’ » Jn.20:27. Receive Jesus and believe in the work of redemption that He has done.

Thursday 23th: Jesus Christ, the guarantee of redemption for the sinner.
« In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace » Eph.1:7.
Reading 1: Mt.26:26-29. Reading 2: Eph.1:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Eph.1:7.
Introduction: Indeed, it is written: « Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins » Heb.9:22. Truly Jesus Christ is the sacrifice offered to take away the sin of the world (Jn.1: 29). Therefore, He says, « For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins » Mt.26:28.

Friday, 24th: Believe in the redemption of God.
« They are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus » Rom.3:24.
Reading 1: Mk.5:25-34. Reading 2: Rom.3:21-26. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom.3:23-24.
Introduction: The work of our redemption has indeed been accomplished, in agreement with what is written: « But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us » Rom.5:8, and in this, « 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.

Saturday, 25th: God gives eternal redemption.
« He entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption » Heb.9:12b.
Reading 1: Jn.4:5-14. Reading 2: Heb.9:6-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Heb.9:11-12.
Introduction: God has accomplished a work of eternal redemption, by establishing an eternal priestly work and making a covenant which cannot be removed, in accordance with what is written: « He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name » Ps.111:9. This was done by Jesus Christ, of whom He made a Loyal High Priest, who intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father (Rom. 8:34). He said, « I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand » Jn.10:28. Thanks be to the Lord!

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