Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sixth Sunday after Easter 25th-30th May 2020 « God works renewal” *

The message: Our life as humans needs renewal because of the work of sin, which is “the sting of death” 1 Cor 15:56. To this purpose the Lord says, “I am making everything new!” Rev 21:5. For “darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples” Is 60:2, the death that covers all things. This causes alteration and damage in many aspects: sickness, turmoil in households and in the society, etc. And even in God’s household greed reigns more than the authority of Christ, the Head of the Church. In addition to this come self-indulgence into frivolity, stunning egoism and the profanation of what is sacred, according to the word of the Apostle Paul (2 Tim 3:2-3). In sum, corruption is spread out and the light of the gospel hidden, which is the “power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” Rom 1:16. Renewal is most needed; but unfortunately, man is not able to do it. In this respect, the Apostle Paul said, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do” Rom 7:19, so He cried out, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Rom 7:24. In this regard, Jesus said, “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” Mt 9:17. God loves to renew all His creatures so that they may live again, particularly our heart that has been exhausted by sin. Therefore, He invites all men to come to Him and receive Him through His Son Jesus Christ who said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” Jn 7:37b-39a.

Monday, 25th: God works renewal.
“I am making everything new!” Rev.21:5a.
Reading 1: Is.65:17-19. Reading 2: Rev.21:1-5a. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rev.21:3-5.
Introduction: God’s creature is affected by decay because of the sin that reigns in the heart of man. As a result of his separation from God, He forgot to honour His Creator who gave him the autority to rule over His creature (Ge 1:28-30). God renews all things, indeed, from the heart of man so that it may return and be reconciled to Him (2 Cor 5:19-20) to all His creatures that He has made for glory of His Name (Ps.66:2).

Tuesday, 26th: God sends His Spirit to work renewal.
“And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” Ezek.36:27.
Reading 1: Ephes.5:15-20. Reading 2: Ezek.36:25-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ezek.36:27.
Introduction: The man renewed by God goes where the Spirit leads him to (Ro.8:14). Because the Holy Spirit is the power which enabled him to become a child of God (Jn.1:12), even a new creation in Christ (2 Cor.5:17). He truly walks according to the Spirit so as not to “gratify the desires of the flesh” Gal.5:16. For he has been endowed with power to be witness of Christ “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8.

Wednesday, 27th: The unity of the believers fulfills the coming of the Holy Spirit.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” Acts 1:14.
Reading 1: Ex.29:1-9. Reading 2: Acts 1:12-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Acts 1:14.
Introduction: The communion of prayer of the saints is so powerful that it fulfilled the Lord’s promise about the coming of the Holy Spirit (Lk.24:49), namely the Pentecost. Jesus said, “if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” Mt.18:19.

Thursday, 28th: God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
“How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Lk.11:13b
Reading 1: Mt.7:7-11. Reading 2: Lk.11:5-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk.11:13.
Introduction: God leads men to ask Him for the Holy Spirit that which is most valuable and precious from Him. Unlike earthly gifts which may pass away and which, once received, may create a distance from Him, this gift unites him all the more with God. For the Holy Spirit is the spirit of union with God and revelation in the knowledge of Him, according to what is written, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” 1 Cor.2:10.

Friday, 29th: It is with a new heart that we receive the Holy Spirit.
“And put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” Ezek.11:19
Reading 1: Acts 2:34-39. Reading 2: Ezek.11:14-20. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ezek.11:19.
Introduction: God guards most jealously the Holy Spirit. For He can have relationship only with those who are pure and holy. Indeed, it is written, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god” Ps.24:3-4. Jesus confirmed this, as He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Mt.5:8.

Saturday, 30th: Holiness, the feature of the renewed man.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” Jn.17:17.
Reading 1: 2 Sam.22: 20-31. Reading 2: Jn.17:13-19. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.17:17.
Introduction: Through the Holy Spirit, man is born again to become “child of God” (Jn.1:12). He is also the One who works on perfecting God’s people, so that they may inherit godliness (2 Tim.4:7). In this respect, the Lord says, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” Lev.19:2. For “without holiness no one will see the Lord” Heb.12:14. To this end, He gives the command, “let the holy person continue to be holy” Rev.22:11d.

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