Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Third Week of Advent December 16-21, 2019 “The Coming of the Messiah, comfort for His people” *

The title’s message: The suffering of the children of Israel was most bitter when they were unfaithful to God and had to undergo His punishment, that
is, their captivity by the Assyrians and their exile to Babylon; they were at the mercy of the gentiles, like a nation which was deprived of its rights and
dignity. For as chosen people bound to God by His covenant, and as inheriting descendants (Deut.10: 15), it was fulfilled to them according to what is written, « because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son » Heb.12: 6. The word proved right that « No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful » Heb.12:11a. For it was fulfilled to them according what is written: « It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Heb.10: 31. To make it clear how God conducts His people, it is good to remind of the covenant that God made with Solomon and the people of Israel at the time when he received the kingdom from David his father, which said: « As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and
commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and
will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples” 2 Chron. 7: 17-20. Yet
this caused great despair to Israel and made it say, « The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me” Is 49:14. Neverthless the Lord said,
« Let the wicked forsake their way and the unrihteous their thoughts; let them turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon » Is 55:7b. Accordingly, He declares, « Comfort, comfort my people” Is 40:1. To this aim, Jesus said, « The good news is
proclaimed to the poor » Lk 7: 22b.

Monday 16: The Messiah is coming to comfort Israel His people.
« Comfort, comfort my people, say your God » Is 40: 1.
Reading 1: Mat 9: 32-38. Reading 2: Is 40: 1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Is 40: 9.
Introduction: Israel experienced God’s punishment because of its heart’s backsliding. Yet, God does not forsake His people, He is merciful
and willing to forgive them completely (Is 55: 7b). Therefore He gives the promise to heal them, saying, « But I will restore you to health and
heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD » Jer.30:17a. To this end, He sent His anointed Messiah to seek and save the lost (Lk 9:10). Jesus said
to comfort His people, « Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” Mat 9: 2b.

Tuesday 17: The coming of the Messiah, revelation of God’s truth.
« He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart » 1 Cor 4: 5b.
Reading 1: Mal 3: 16-20. Reading 2: 1 Cor 4: 1-5. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Cor 4: 4-5.
Introduction: The day when the Messiah comes is a time when the hearts of men will be revealed. For « The heart is deceitful above all
things » Jer 17: 9a because of the sin that binds it. Jesus said, « Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free » John 8:32. God’s
purpose is that we should confess our sins and turn away from our bad ways. The Messiah is coming to bring us forgiveness and life renewal.
« Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come » 2 Cor.5: 17a.

Wednesday 18: Receive the Messiah who brings eternal comfort.
« Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me » Mat 11: 6.
Reading 1: Is 51: 1-5. Reading 2: Mat 11: 2-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mat 11: 6.
Introduction: Happy are those who receive the gift of God, that is, the Messiah who comforts them. For it means complete salvation, healing
for the wounded and sick, relief for the afflicted and the poor, deliverance for the captives, restoration for the fallen and those who have
failed, hope for the desperate, forgiveness for the sinners. For it is written, »Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering » Is 53: 4a. Jesus
said, « Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest » Mat 11:28.

Thursday 19: The coming of the Messiah, reconciliation of man to God.
« Today salvation has come to this house » Lk 19: 9a.
Reading 1: Is 1: 16-19. Reading 2: Lk 19: 1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 19: 9-10.
Introduction: The reconciliation of man to God, their Lord, is a manifestation of the comfort that the Messiah brings. In this respect, Jesus
said to them, « For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost » Lk 19:10b. His purpose is to bring many to God and to make a great
feast in His kingdom, according to Jesus’ words, « Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep » Lk 15: 6b, and according to the words of the
prodigal son’s father, saying, « But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost
and is found » Lk 15:32.

Friday 20: The coming of the Messiah: God strengthening His covenant.
« My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” says the Lord, who has compassion on you » Isa.54: 10b.
Reading 1: Heb 10: 11-18. Reading 2: Is 54: 8-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Is 54: 10-11.
Introduction: God confirms His covenant, because He did not forget His people nor reject them (Romans 1: 1). His purpose is to strengthen
His covenant, so that it will remain in his people’s heart, and that they will not sin against Him (Ps.119: 11). Thus, they will hold on to faith
so that the promise will be fulfilled. In this respect He said, « You shall be my people, and I will be your God » Ezek.36:28.

Saturday 21: Be confident that the Messiah will come.
« For, In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay » Heb 10: 37.
Reading 1: Is 46: 8-13. Reading 2: Heb 10: 34-39. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Heb 10: 37-38.
Introduction: The angel Gabriel said to Mary, « For no word from God will ever fail » Lk 1:37. This includes all the words He spoke through
the prophets and all His messengers. Today the message He gives us is the assurance that the Messiah will truly come, bringing comfort for
His people, even those who are awaiting His coming and visitation. For the angel said: « Today in the town of David a Savior has been born
to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord » Lk 2:11.

Note: This pericope is published in Malagasy, French, English, and German. It can be found on the website and on
Facebook ”Hifi – English.” Listen to ”” available 24h/7 d.

© Madanet Hi&Fi

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