Malagasy Lutheran Church Forth Sunday of Advent 21.-26. December 2020

“THE LIGHT OF GOD IS SHINING”

The light of God that is shining is the radiation of His glory. This is what the Messiah who has come to us brings: a great light that will cover the whole earth and will even reach the seabed (Is 11:9). Therefore, He will certainly appear to those who yearn for His coming, and He will say to them: « I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life » Jn 8:12. For Isaiah’s prophecies find their fulfillmentthrough the coming of the Messiah: « The peoplewho walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined » Isa 9:2. This radiation reaches first God’s household, namely His people Israel, as the Lord says: « Arise, shine; for your light has come,and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you »Isa 60:1-2.In addition, He assures them that His light will not fade away, but will stay on: « Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended Isa 60:20. And since God’s people have been made « children of the light” (Eph 5:8), He has given them the sacred duty to share it freely and lovingly (Mt 10:8) in order to enlighten and feed many; in this respect, Jesus declares: « You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid » Mt 5:14.To those who seek Him and give glory to His Name, He gives a great promise: « But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall » Mal 4:2. Jesus Christ with us? It is tremendous joy,as, »The night is over, and the light is shining. »

Monday, 21st: The glory of God is shining.
« […] the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains » Isa 2:2a.
Reading 1: Jn 21:1-11. Reading 2: Isa 2:2-5. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 2:2-3.
Introduction: The glory of God has shone in Jerusalem; therefore, it was called “City of God” Ez 47:13. It is His dwelling-place and the center from which He gives all His laws and makes His declaration. In this regard, it is written: « For out of Zion shall go forth instruction » Isa 2:3d. The Word of God is the light of the world, as, « The Word was with God… in him was life, and the life was the light of all people » Jn 1:1,4.

Tuesday, 22nd: Look forward to the shining of the glory of God.
« Set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is reveale » 1 Pet 1:13d.
Reading 1: Jn 1:14-17. Reading 2: 1 Pet 1:10-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Pet 1:13.
Introduction: The word of God is an assurance that does not fail; hence, it should be trusted, in particular concerning the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One, to bring salvation. In this regard, the angel said to Joseph:  » (Mary) She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus [Jesus means The LORD is the Savior], for he will save his people from their sins » Mt 1:21. For it is written: « When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory » Col 3:4.

Wednesday, 23rd: Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the glory of God.
« And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf » Jn 5:37a.
Reading 1: 2 Pet 1:16-18. Reading 2: Jn 5:31-39. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 5:37.
Introduction: God the Father and the Son are in perfect unity and they make common cause. Jesus said indeed: « The Father and I are one » Jn 10:30. Thus, when the Son glorified the Father with the following words of Jesus: « I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do » Jn 17:4, the Father also glorified the Son. This is what He said in this respect: « This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him! » Mt 17:5.

Thursday, 24th: Advent: the glory of God is shining.
« For my eyes have seen your salvation… a light for revelation to the Gentiles » Lk 2:30,32a.
Reading 1: Isa 9:1-4. Reading 2: Lk 2:21-32. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 2:29-32.
Introduction: The glory of God shone with the coming of the Messiah: so is Advent. This was a great day that had been long awaited by all men; it means that God comes to them and makes His dwelling place with them. For it is written: « Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us » Mt 1:22.

Friday,25th: First Christmas Day: God with us.
« Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel » Isa 7:14.
Reading 1: Lk 2:1-14. Reading 2: Isa 7:10-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 7:14.
Introduction: God’s coming among men is a miracle, because it means that since then He broke down the wall that separated us from Him (Isa 59:2). Indeed, He gave is His Son Jesus Christ to reconcile us with the Father and to be the Guarantor who grants us the entrance into His Kingdom and the inheritance of His eternal glory (Jn 14:3); for « He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high » Heb 1:3.

Saturday, 26th.: Second Christmas Day: The Messiah has come, the glory of God appears.
« And he shall stand and feed his flock … in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God » Mic 5:3a.
Reading 1: Jn 1:1-14. Reading 2: Mic 5:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mic 5:3.
Introduction: The glory of God which appears is the grace of God, which is the salvation of all men (Tit 2:11). It is the justification of the sinners so that they may be forgiven and reconciled with God, and become heirs and co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom (Rom 8:17). To sum up, it is the total renewing of men’s lives as it is written: « So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation » 2 Cor 5:17a.

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