Malagasy Lutheran Church

Song and Gospel

First Sunday after the Trinity 15th -20th June 2020

« Learn wisdom”

The message: Having wisdom is essential for us. In their quest for happiness, humankind has since long sought it through philosophy, a Greek word meaning « love of wisdom, » which is the ability to take care of life and to succeed in what we do. As a matter of fact, the Holy Scripture declares: « The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom » Pr 4:7a. For “ »Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her » Pr 8:11. Surely wisdom is a quality of God, which made the Psalmist say: « O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all » Ps 104:24a. God was pleased with Solomon, King David’s son, when he asked Him for it, saying, « Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you » 2 Chr1:11-12a. This is how the Apostle James kindheartedly urges us: « If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you » Jas 1:5. It is a great gain for the believers to have Jesus who is « The power of God and the wisdom of God » 1 Cor 1:24b, « For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. » Col 2:9-10. Certainly, God gives us the Holy Spirit who is the « The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord » Isa 11:2b. He is indeed the Spirit of life who gives life on all levels, and who has overcome sin and death (Rom. 8:2). Therefore, “Receive the Holy Spirit” Jn.20: 22, and ask for wisdom, « For everyone who asks receives » Mt 7:8a.

Monday 15th: God is the foundation of wisdom.
« But let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord » Jer 9:24a.
Reading 1: Gal 6:11-16. Reading 2: Jer 9:22-24. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 9:23.
Introduction: Since having wisdom and understanding is not at everyone’s reach, people are easily tempted to boast when they have them. Yet it is written: “ »All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted » Lk 18:14. The Apostle Paul said, « Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up  » 1 Cor 8:1b. Surely this is a saying of wisdom, as having love is praiseworthy and worthy of more recognition; and the most appropriate case, that of which we can even be proud, is God, because « God is Love » 1 Jn 4:16.

Tuesday 16th: The Gospel, wisdom of God that leads to salvation.
« For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith » Rom 1:16a.
Reading 1: Ecc 7:1-9. Reading 2: Rom 1:1-17. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 1:16.
Introduction: Very often the quest for having wisdom aims only to serve self-interest and what men think could elevate them in the society. Nevertheless, Jesus said, « For what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God » Lk 16:15b. This may be compared to dumb idols which cannot save, as only the word of God is « the Gospel that brings salvation for men, » but the rest is only fabrication, for « what men consider wisdom is only foolishness in God’s sight » 1 Cor.1:20. The Apostle Peter said: « You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God » 1 Pet 1:23.

Wednesday 17th: Greed leads to perdition.
« But God sai d to him: You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you » Lk 12:20a.
Reading 1: 1 Jn 2:15-17. Reading 2: Lk 12:13-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 12:19-20.
Introduction: The word of God states: « For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil » 1 Tim 6:10a, it causes man’s perdition. Judas served money to the point of betraying Jesus, and his end was tragic (Acts 1:18). The devil uses the love of money to trap people in order to kill them, as « people are slaves to whatever masters them » 2 Pet 2:19. The prayer to be made is: « Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain » Ps 119:36.

Thursday 18: Lack of wisdom causes loss.
« He had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living » Lk 15:13b.
Reading 1: Gal 6:3-8. Reading 2: Lk 15:11-19. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 15:11-13.
Introduction: King Saul boasted like a fool and tresspassed God’s commands, so he found himself abandoned by the Holy Spirit and rejected permanently by the Lord as a king. As a result, he committed suicide, striking himself by his sword to escape from his enemies (1 Sa.1:4). In truth, « If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh » Gal 6:8a.

Friday 19: In Christ abides the wisdom of God.
« For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily » Col 2:9.
Reading 1: Jn 7:14-19. Reading 2: Col 2:6-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Col 2:8-9.
Introduction: The Holy Scripture declares: « The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse – who can understand it? »Jer 17:9. Moses, the man of God, prayed thus: « So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart » Ps 90:12. Wisdom is Jesus Christ, wisdom of God, reigning in one’s heart. Therefore: « In your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord » 1 Pet 3:15.

Saturday 20: God’s children are endowed with perfect wisdom.
« I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth » 3 Jn 1:4.
Reading 1:1 Thess 5:12-22. Reading 2:3 Jn 1-4. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2:3 Jn 1:4.
Introduction: Jesus commanded his disciples, “Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” Mt.5: 48. Perfection here is all about having wisdom, which is the thought and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 2: 16b). It is most precious and powerful, because it is the fruit of union with God and of a request presented to Him (Jn.15:7). King David prayed in these terms:  » Therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart » Ps 51:6b.

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