MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Communion’s prayer, Sunday I after Epiphany
Week from 15th to 20th January 2018
Introduction : God is love (1 Jn 4 :16) and does not abandon his people nor wants them to perish. He said: “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live” Ez 33:11. So when the ancestors of the mankind were separated from Him as a result of the arrival of sin in Eden by their disobedience to God’s commands (Ge 3:6), God set off to find them, for they hid themselves, as it is written: “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?” Ge 3:9. In order to reconcile the separated sinner to Him, He did a work of redemption and sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be “a ransom for sin”, who accepted to endure sufferings and torments, up to the point of death, to redeem the sinner for God with his own blood, as that of “a lamb without blemish or defect” 1 Pet 1:19. And after He rose to life and went up into heaven, He carries on his ministry of intercession for the sinners until his coming again (Acts 1:11), for “He is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” Rom 8:34. Therefore, “if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 Jn 2:1-2. “Redeeming the sinners” consists not only in their setting free from the condemnation of sin, but also and above all in their reconciliation with God, so that they may remain in Him, in His kingdom for eternal life. In this respect He said to his people, “But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, O, Jacob, He who formed you, O, Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” Is 43:1. And along with this, He reconciled all men to one another in God (Eph 2:14). The message is: “Be reconciled to God” 2 Cor 5:20. And: “stand firm, let nothing move you” 1 Cor 15:58.
Monday 15: The Messiah, messenger of peace.
“The Lord has anointed me to preach…the year of the Lord’s favor” Is 61:1,2a.
Reading 1: Lk 1:8-17; Reading 2: Is 61:1-3; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Is 61:1,2a. Other references:
– “Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace!” Is 52:6-7.
– “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” Jn 14:27.
Tuesday 16: God reconciles people with Himself.
“Return to me, and I will return to you’, says the Lord Almighty” Mal 3:7b.
Reading 1: 2 Cor 5:16-21; Reading 2: Mal 3:1-7; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Mal 3:7.
– “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” 2 Chr 7:14.
– “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” Mt 4:17.
Wednesday 17: God reconciles families.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” Eph 6:1.
Reading 1: Jer 31:1-6; Reading 2: Eph 6:1-4; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Eph 6:1-4.
– “At that time’, declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people” Jer 31:1.
– “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” Lk 1:17.
Thursday 18: God is concerned about the descendants.
“And He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” Mk 10:16.
Reading 1: Deu 6:1-9; Reading 2: Mk 10:13-16; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Ml 10:15-16.
– “He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations” Ps 105:8.
– “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household” Acts 16:31.
Friday 19: Jesus is the peacemaker.
“He himself is our peace” Eph 2:14a.
Reading 1: Is 9:5-6; Reading 2: Eph 2:11-18; Preaching 1 choice); Preaching 2: Eph 2:14.
– “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle…but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption” Heb 9:11-12.
– “And through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” Col 1:20.
Saturday 20: God’s people are peace-loving, just as He is.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” Mt 5:9.
Reading 1: Rom 12:13-18; Reading 2: Mt 5:1-9; Preaching 1 (choice); Preaching 2: Mt 5:9.
– “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” Mt 5:23-24.
– “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Col 3:13
Note: This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English and German and can be seen on the Site www.flm67ha.org and www.hifi-madanet.org and on Facebook “Hifi-english”. © Madanet