Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Ninth Sunday after Trinity 10.-15. August 2020 *

“The greatness of God”

The message: The greatness of God reveals his being the Lord of Lord who created the universe (Jn 1:3), the infinite diversities of things and beings which are too many to count and too far to reach and too large to measure, from the tiniest to the greatest, those that are beyond eyesight and even beyond understanding. All this reveals that He is the Great Lord, whose Name is above all other names, and that He is worthy to receive honour and glory. The psalmist says: “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord” Ps 150:6. Surely this is what He requires according to His word, saying: “If I am a father where is the honour due to me? If I am a master, where is the respect due to me?’ says the Lord Almighty” Mal 16b-c. Being the only one Lord and God, He declares: “so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will be there one after me” Is 43:10b. To sum up, “He is great in wisdom and power,” and should be acknowledged and followed. The prophet Jeremiah said: “ »Great and mighty God whose name is the Lord of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed » Jer 32:18b-19a. – As He is Lord over all authorities He is almighty, and He is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11), He is the one who deserves most our trust (1 Tim 1:15). – He is the greatest and the holiest, as He is “the one who is able to save and to destroy” (Jas 4:12). He is the greatest in love, so He should be loved and receive thanksgiving. Indeed, He says: « I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you » Jer 31:3. For He is patient and merciful (Exo 34:6), He does not want to destroy the sinner but urges him to repent, to come back to Him to receive the forgiveness of his sins and be reconciled with Him, for “He will have mercy on him” and “He will freely pardon” (Is 55:7). The prayer that Jesus taught to His disciples says: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever” Mt 6:13.

Monday 10th.: The greatness belongs to God.
« Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty » 1 Chr 29:11a.
Reading 1: Ps 145:1-12. Reading 2: 1 Chr 29:10-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Chr 29:11.
Introduction: “God’s greatness” reveals His surpassing power and authority and majesty, which rule over all things according His will. Therefore, He commands: « The Lord your God you shall fear; him you shall serve » Deut 6:13a-b. The Lord’s glory was revealed to David as He was considering building the temple for Him, so he praised Him: « Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you » 2 Sam 7:22.

Tuesday 11th: God is great in mercy.
« While we still were sinners Christ died for us » Rom 5:8b.
Reading 1: Jn 3:14-16. Reading 2: Rom 5:1-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 5:8.
Introduction: God’s mercy means He’s not wanting the sinner to perish. That’s why He sent His only one Son « to seek out and to save the lost » Luk 19:10. And He accepted to be sacrificed for the sake of sinful man by enduring the suffering of crucifixion on the cross. Indeed, He accepted up to death in order to make « the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world » 1 Jn 2:2.

Wednesday 12th: God has an absolute control over His house.
« Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions » Lk 12:44.
Reading 1: Heb 3:1-6. Reading 2: Lk 12:42-48. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 12:44.
Introduction: Moses was  » faithful in all God’s house as a servant » Heb 3:5a, in that he was fully submitted to God’s authority commanding his life and his work, and did all that He commanded him to do. Therefore God gave him full strength and power as he led the Children of Israel. God wants to find such faithfullness in all His servants in their ministry. This is how they give glory to Him, in order for Him to tell them: « Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master » Mt 25:21.

Thursday 13th: The greatness of God is revealed in His Son Jesus Christ.
« For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell » Col 1:19.
Reading 1: Jn 8:48-56. Reading 2: Col 1:15-19. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Col 1:19.
Introduction: Jesus said: « The Father and I are one » Jn 10:30. Accordingly, He declared: « The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me » Jn 10:25, and, « The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing » Jn 5:20. Therefore « He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father » Jn 5:22-23. The Father sums this up in these terms: « This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him » Mt 17:5b.

Friday 14th: Know how great God’s love is.
« See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God… » 1 Jn 3:1.
Reading 1: Ps 91:9-16. Reading 2: 1 Jn 3:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Jn 3:1.
Introduction: God’s plan is that men may know how great His love is, as God is love (1 Jn 4:16). For it is written: « But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us » Rom 5:8. Trust God’s love that is the greatest of all, « For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life » Jn 3:16.

Saturday 15th: Acknowledge the greatness of God.
« As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me » Rom 14:11a.
Reading 1: Deut 32:1-5. Reading 2: Rom 14:4-12. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 14:11.
Introduction: The Lord is most great and loving, so He deserves obedience and trust. John the Baptist spoke about Him in these terms: « I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal » Jn 1:27b. He is indeed a jealous God, who said: « I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols » Isa 42:8. Therefore, He also said: « those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt » 1 Sam 2:30b.

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