Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel 13th Sunday XIV after Trinity 14-19 September 2020

“God heals”

The message: It is important to God to heal his people so that they may enjoy good health, that they may be freed from all infirmities and diseases; that they may live, having received life to the full (Jn 10:10), as well as an imperishable and everlasting life (Jn 3:36). Good health is indeed the sign of man’s liveliness, and this is not limited to just physical health but involves all aspects of his existence; this means a perfect and fulfilled life, as it is written, « God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good » Gen 1:31a. What is “very good” brings the highest satisfaction and happiness. In fact, there was no infirmity nor disease on earth at the time when God created all things, unfortunately this wonderful harmony was ruined when sin came in, namely disobedience to God’s word and yielding to the devil’ seduction (Gen 3:4-5). Now « the sting of death is sin » 1 Cor 15:56a, and disease and poor health precede it in form. The psalmist in particular exclaimed, « There is no health in my bones because of my sin » Ps 38:3b. On the other hand, faith and obedience to God’s word are source of life and strength, according to what is written, ”xxx” Pr 4:22. This healing is fulfilled in Jesus and in the union with Him, because of His work of redemption He did, namely the forgiveness of our sins on account of His blood shed on Calvary. In this regard, the word of God testifies, « But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed » Isa 53:5. It is by faith that healing is received. Therefore, Jesus declared to the woman who had been sick for twelve years, but who was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well » Mt 9:22. Even today He still asks us: « Do you want to be made well? » Jn 5:6.

Monday, 14th: God heals.
« Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed » Jer 17:14a.
Reading 1: Mt 8:1-4. Reading 2: Jer 17:13-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2:Jer 17:14.
Introduction: God made man in His own image, so that he may have the same nature as Him: « So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them » Gen 1:27a. But sin was the barrier between them and God (Isa 59:2). Therefore, the foundation of God’s healing is to bring his people back to Himself, so that they may be reconciled and be in communion with Him. This is why He says, « Return, O faithless children, I will heal your faithlessness » Jer 3:22a.

Tuesday, 15th: God frees us from condemnation.
« There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus » Rom 8:1.
Reading 1: Jn 8:1-11. Reading 2: Rom 8:1-17. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 8:1-2.
Introduction: The condemnation which results from sin is harder to endure and to heal than any disease. For the devil is the accuser of men before God (Rev 12:10). But the Gospel of the love of Jesus Christ is much greater and more powerful. Indeed, He said: « For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners » Mt 9:13b. Therefore, the accuser remains silent and confused.

Wednesday, 16th: Jesus is willing to heal.
« Do you want to be made well? » Jn 5:6b.
Reading 1: Ps 46:1-7. Reading 2: Jn 5:1-14. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 5:5-6.
Introduction: Jesus is willing to heal all people. He does not choose the kind of sickness that He will take away because He loves us with a perfect love: « For He does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone » Lam 3:33. His will to act is expressed in His obedience to the Father as He said to Him: « Yet not what I want but what you want » Mt 26:39b. Now, this is the Father’s will: « For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life » Jn 3:16.

Thursday, 17th: Jesus heals all sicknesses and infirmities.
« And they brought to him all the sick » Mt 4:24b.
Reading 1: Ps 30:1-3. Reading 2: Mt 4:23-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 4:24.
Introduction: This reveals that Jesus Christ is the Lord of life and has full power over all living creatures. His healing work is important; for He fulfils on earth that which reflects the heavenly life to come, according to the prayer He taught: « Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven » Mt 6:10b. « This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life » Jn 6:40a.

Friday, 18th: The redemption of Christ, the foundation of all healing.
« And by his bruises we are healed » Isa 53:5d.
Reading 1: Col 1:24-29. Reading 2: Isa 53:4-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 53:5d.
Introduction: The redemption that Jesus did aimed at obtaining the remission of our sins, which He paid for with His life. This is the foundation of all true healing, as « happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered » Ps 32:1. The word « happy » refers here to « those who are healed and not affected by disease. » This relief comes from Jesus who said: « So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed » Jn 8:36.

Saturday, 19th: Accept to be healed by the Lord.
« And be healed of your disease » Mar 5:34d.
Reading 1: 2 Kings 5:9-14. Reading 2: Mar 5:25:34. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mar 5:34.
Introduction: God, who is merciful and compassionate, is keen to forgive our trespasses (Isa 55:7c).
However, it is up to man whether or not to accept this forgiveness He freely offers. To those who receive it, it is a guarantee of eternal life. On the other hand, to those who wilfully refuse it, it is a condemnation to everlasting perdition. Jesus declares: « And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil » Jn 3:19.

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