Malagasy Lutheran Church

Song & Gospel

Second Sunday after Trinity 22th -27th June 2020

« God invites men”

The message: The invitation to share a meal expresses three major ideas: honoring those who are invited, maintaining or restoring harmony, providing life-giving food. In sum, it is a communion of life and of cause, a close friendship just as that of Adam and Eva when they were established in Eden, enjoying God’s blessing. It is beyond human understanding, indeed, that God, the Holy and Right, invites sinful and unrighteous men. Moreover, He invites not only some individuals, but all men. This shows how great His love is, as his « love covers all offenses » Pr 10:12. For « where sin increased, grace abounded all the more » Rom 5:20b , that is God’s mercy that forgives sins and receives the sinner, just as the loveful father who rejoiced and celebrated his wandering son caming back to him, and who said, « Let us eat and celebrate ; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! » Lk 15:23-24. God longs to restore His relationship with men, so He deliberately removes from his recording book all that may have caused their separation from Him and opens a new page by making all things new (Rev 21:5). This involves creating the new man and renewing His covenant with him. Accordingly, He says, « I will not remember your sins » Isa 43:25b, « Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? » Ezek 18:23. Actually, He justifies those He invites and sanctifies them for Himself, setting them apart as God’s household, as His holy nation (1 Pet 2:9). He satisfies them with life-giving food, making them His true people who will be witnesses of His forgiving and life-giving love (Jn 3:17). For « He is God not of the dead, but of the living » Mt 22:32b. As « It is not the dead who praise the LORD » or who give Him glory (Ps 115:17). Therefore, do not linger nor waver, as the Lord says, « COME, FOR EVERYTHING IS NOW READY! »

Monday 22th: God invites men.
« On this mountain the LORD will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples » Isa 25:6.
Reading 1: 1 Cor 11 :23-26. Reading 2: Isa 25 :6-9. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 25:6.
Introduction: God’s invitation shows at the first place His love that wants to reconcile the sinner to Himself, and by which He shows the openness of his heart, such that He has prepared a place for each of them (Jn 14:3). For this reason, He sent Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, to call them to turn to God. For they are the lost sheep He is seeking (Lk 19:10), so that « when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ’Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost’ » Lk 15:5-6.

Tuesday 23th: God knows those who is worthy of His invitation.
« Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe? » Mt 22:12
Reading 1: Rom 1:18-25. Reading 2: Mt 22:8-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 8:12.
Introduction: God’s feast is sign of the honor that God gives to His guests, but it also implies that the guests should honor Him as their host. This is why He makes a distinction which allows those He finds worthy to come in, and which prevents those who were not able to honor Him from entering. Indeed, He says, « Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt » 1 Sam 2:30. Paul said, « Pay … revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due » Rom 13:7.

Wednesday 24th: The spiritual food that fits the believers.
« Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple » Lk 14:27.
Reading 1: Acts 20:17-24. Reading 2: Lk 14:25-35. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 14:27.
Introduction: Jesus stated, « My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work » Jn 4:34. This reflects self-abnegation to God and to advancing His kingdom, which is most precious to Him. Jesus said, « For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it » Mar 8:35. This is what led servants of God to sacrifice up to their lives in order to inherit the « crown of life » Rev 2:10.

Thursday 25th: God’s banquet is full of grace.
« Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life » Ps 23:6a.
Reading 1: Eph 2:1-10. Reading 2: Ps 23:1-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 23:5-6.
Introduction: Literally “grace” is God’s mercy which is beneficial to us. It is priceless and cannot be exchanged, as it is pure gift from God, and this, even if men’s thanksgiving falls short to the greatness of His grace (Lk 17:17). Yet for God it is a matter of love, not sale, so that Paul said, « For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable » Rom 11:29.

Friday 26th: God’s feast, feast of love.
« How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity » Ps 133:1.
Reading 1: Jn 13:31-34. Reading 2: Ps 133:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 133:1.
Introduction: The globe where God’s households live in is love. God is the One who loves first, and who also gives His Spirit of love to His people so that they may love Him and love one another with the love of God that He has poured in their hearts (1 Jn.4:7). « And everyone who loves the parent loves the child » 1 Jn 5:1b. In this respect, Jesus said, « Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another » Jn 13:34b.

Saturday: The great banquet: the wedding of the Lamb.
« Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb » Rev 19:9.
Reading 1: Jn 6:47-58. Reading 2: Rev 19:1-9. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rev 19:9.
Introduction: God prepares a great banquet for those who make common cause with His one and only Son, and are therefore called His “bride.” This is what the Apostle Paul said regarding them: « I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ » 2 Cor 11:2. For they are those who make up « God’s Church, » that He sanctifies for Himself (Eph.5;25-26). They are those who « will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so … will be with the Lord forever » (1 Thess 4:17), those who will attend the great banquet of the wedding of the Lamb of God.

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