Malagasy Lutheran Church Song and Gospel Sunday IV following Epiphany -February 01-6, 2021 « God takes care of His people’s lives »

The fact that « God takes care of His people’s lives » comes from His giving them a special place among his entire creature. Indeed, the existence of all things created was achieved through the words, “Let there be” (Gen 1:3,6). As for humankind, theyreceived from Him a special statusforHe said: « Let us make humankindin our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth »Gen 1:26. And He gave him a special care as it is written: « So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so »Gen 1:7. Human beings are truly precious in the sight of God and have a special place in His heart, so He does not want them to perish or be separated from Him. Therefore, He said: « I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you »Jer 31:3. In the same vein, Jesus said to His disciples: « because I live, you also will live »Jn 14:19b. Indeed,He is “The Lord of life” who came into earth to take back to life those who are dead in sin. Therefore, He said: « Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life »Jn 5:24. The words Jesus reiterated to His disciples were that of union of life and special bond when, after He was risen from the dead (Jn 20:19-20), He manifested Himself to them and strengthened them by giving them the life-giving power, that of forginess for the sinnersaccording to what is written: « Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained »Jn 20:21-23. Believe and have confidence: »Do this, and you will live »Lk 10:28b.

 Monday, 01st:God takes care of the lives of his people.

« Do not fear, forI have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine »Isa 43:1b.

Reading 1: Jn 10:1-11. Reading 2: Isa 43:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 43:1.

Introduction: »Caring » is providing support, protecting, nurturing in order to nourish and to strengthen, not only the body, but the entire being: the body, the mind, the heart and the soul. Life is most precious to God; therefore, He stands by His people, saying, « 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. The climax of his caring love for His people is the gift of His life,in order to make us, sinners, live(1 Cor 15:3).

 Tuesday 02nd: God strengthensHis people.

« Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord »2 Tim 1:8a.

Reading 1:   Acts 1:1-8. Reading 2: 2 Tim 1:7-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Tim 1:7.

Introduction: Strengthis valuable. Forthe believers, it refers to the Holy Spirit that God gives in order for them to stand as witnesses in a world covered by the darkness of ignorance about God. In truth, the strength of the believer lies in the fact that God is in and with him. Paul stated:« Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments »2 Cor 10:3-4.

 Wednesday, 03rd: Jesus gives His people a guarantee of life.

« Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid »Mt 14:27.

Reading 1: Heb 2:10-17. Reading 2: Mt 14:22-33. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 14:25-27.

Introduction: The guaranteeof life thatJesus gives to those who believe in Him is that they will not die, because He is with them and protects them. WhenIsrael was in great distress in the land of captivity, the Lord comforted them by saying: « For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope »Jer 29:11. Indeed, He declares: « I will never leave you or forsake you-Josh 1:5 » Heb 13:5.

Thursday, 04th: Jesus takes care of the sinner’s soul.

« Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven »Mt 9:2.

Reading 1: Heb 2:10-17. Reading 2: Mt 9:1-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 9:1-2.

Introduction: Sin is a deadly poisonas “the sting of death is sin,” says Paul (1 Cor. 15:56a).Therefore, the Lord saysto the sinner: « Say to them, As I live,says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live »Ezek 33:11a. God is truly concerned about the sinner’s life;thus,« he will abundantly pardon »Isa 55:7b.

Friday, 05th: Jesus takes care of the needy.

« Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me »Mt 25:40b.

Reading 1: Isa 58:6-10. Reading 2: Mt 25:31-40. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 25:40.

Introduction: God’s heart cannot stand contempt toward those in need because of their poverty, since He has made all men in His likeness and “they are one” in Christ (Jn 17:11b). He is the friend of those afflicted and cares for the needy. For it is written: « For you know the generous actof our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich »2 Cor 8:9.

Saturday, 06th: Jesus takes care of the crowd’s life.

« When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd »Mt 9:36.

Reading 1: Ezek.34:1-10. Reading 2: Mt 9:35-38. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 9:36.

Introduction: God is the Lord of life and the Father who cares for the multitude. Jesus truly caredabout the crowd, so He devoted much time to preaching to them and teaching them the Gospel of the heavenly kingdom; nonetheless, He did not forget to feed them so that they would not go hungry. Therefore,He said to His disciples: « You give them something to eat »Mar 6:37a. So after He had given thanks in order to multiply the five loaves and the two fish, they « … all ate and were filled »Mar 6:42.

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