MALAGASY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Communion’s prayer, Sunday VII after Trinity
Week from 16 to 21 July 2018
“God with his people, a promise of blessing”
Introduction: “God with his people, a promise of blessing”: this idea suggests that where the LORD is, there He commands blessing and peace, even happiness for all who believe in Him. There will be no shadow of trouble, nor threat of danger or failure, but only peace reigning and confidence. When his disciples gathered in the room upstairs for fear of the Jews who were persecuting them, Jesus came and stood in the middle of them, saying: “Peace be with you” Jn.20:19. So is the heart where the Lord resides: it is kept away from sin and evil, as righteousness and holiness will reign in there, even the light of life, enduring life. In this respect, Jesus said : “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. “Sin will lose its power over me, if you come nearer; no foolishness of mine resists your liberation. The longing for you does not leave my heart; Please live in my heart, make it your palace!” FFPM Songs 470. The Psalmist celebrated the goodness of being with God with these words: “Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple” Ps.65:4. The Apostle John did the same thing when he celebrated the coming of the LORD by saying : “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” Jn.1:14. God wants his people to dwell in his presence so that they may receive his blessings. To this end, Jesus said: “Remain in Me as I also remain in you” Jn.15:4a. For “My Father’s house has many rooms; …that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” Jn.14:2-3. He calls us to be reconciled with Him and to come into his kingdom in order to receive his blessings and to inherit the kingdom of eternal life. He says: ”I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” 2 Cor.6:16b.
Monday 16: God is with his people.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means ‘God with us” Mt.1:23b.
Reading 1: Is.54:11-17. Reading 2: Mt.1:18-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt.1:22-23. Other references:
– “For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath” Dt.4:31.
– “Because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” Heb.13:5.
Tuesday 17: God cares for his people.
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” Je.31:25.
Reading 1: Eph.3:14-19. Reading 2: Je.31:23-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Je.31:25. Other references:
– “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will search for my sheep and look after them” Eze.34:11
– “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” Is.46:4.
Wednesday 18: God ensures the happiness of his people whom He cares for.
“Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” Lk.14:15.
Reading 1: Ps.65:1-4. Reading 2: Lk.14:12-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk.14:13-14. Other references:
– “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” Jn.4:14.
– “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Re.3:20.
Thursday 19: The believer trusts in God’s caring.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing” Ps.23:1
Reading 1: Heb.13:5-7. Reading 2: Ps.23:1-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps.23:1. Other references:
– “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” Jn.7:38.
– “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” Ro.4:20-22.
Friday 20: Endless is God’s caring for his people.
“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” Jn.1:16.
Reading 1: Eph.3:20-21. Reading 2: Jn.1:14-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.1:16. Other references:
– “’This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?” Is.45:11
– “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Mt.28:20.
Saturday 21: God is the source of all blessings.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” Jm.1:17.
Reading 1: Is.45:5-8. Reading 2: Jm.1:16-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jm.1:16-17. Other references:
– “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” Ps.36:7-9.
– “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” Jn.14:6.