Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity 21st -26th September, 2020 “Listen to the Word of God” *

The message : The ability to hear the Word of God is essential for life, for “the word of God is living and active » Heb 4:12a, « For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh » Pr 4:22. Indeed, Jesus once said to His servant, Mama Nenilava: « A person hears more than ten thousand voices in a day, but only one among them is the voice of God ». So, « how can we recognize this voice of God? » The ability to recognize the voice of God is most precious and this requires most vigilance. This is how Jesus said to his disciples, « Then pay attention to how you listen » Lk 8:18a. In this respect, He rebuked the Jews who were right in their own eyes because they were the descendants of Abraham and know the word of God, saying to them, « Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God » Jn 8:47. He makes and confirms this distinction, saying, « My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand » Jn 10:27-28. The word of God gives life actually as is written, « In him was life » Jn 1:4a. This is why the Lord still calls everyone today, saying, « Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life » Jn 5:24.There are indeed those who listen and who receive, and there are some who do not listen and who do not receive. Paul’s prophecy apply to the latter: « For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires » 2 Tim 4:3. But « Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled » Mt 5:6. Therefore, they will speak to the Lord and will say to Him, « Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening » 1 Sam 3:9a.

Monday 21st: The voice of God is unique.
« Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone » Deut 6:4.
Reading 1: 1 Jn 3:16-21. Reading 2: Deut 6:4-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Deut 6:4-5.
Introduction: Voices that get people to believe and follow them are spreading and amplifying today more than ever. In this context, Jesus warned: « Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or « There he is!’—do not believe it » Mt 24:23. Likewise the Apostle John wrote: « Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world » 1 Jn 4:1.

Tuesday 22nd: Jesus Christ is the incarnate Word among men.
« Who will separate us from the love of Christ? » Rom 8:35a.
Reading 1: Jer 31:1-6. Reading 2: Rom 8:28-39. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 8:31-35.
Introduction: God dwells in the hearts of those who believe in Him by means of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:17). It is a sign of His great love to them, and it is also a sign of the establishment of His kingdom among men, namely « Christ in you, the hope of glory » Col 1:27b, and the sanctification of their life. This was Jesus’ prayer for all those who believe in Him: « Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth » Jn 17:17.

Wednesday 23rd: Listening to the Word of God is the good part.
« Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her « Lk 10:42.
Reading 1: Deut 30:15-20. Reading 2: Lk 10:38-42. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 10:41-42.
Introduction: The « good part » is that of hearing and receiving the Word of God. It depends entirely on one’s choice. So, even if people are born « from the same womb, » they may follow different paths. Blessed are those who receive the Word of God, for they will neither stumble nor fall, as it is the Truth (Jn.17:17b). The psalmist says: « I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you » Ps 119:11.

Thursday 24th: Listening to the Word of God is the pledge of salvation.
« So those who welcomed his message were baptized » Acts 2:41a.
Reading 1: Lk 16:19-31. Reading 2: Acts 2:32-42. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Acts 2:40-42.
Introduction: The Word of God is the faith basis for obtaining salvation, for « faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ » Rom 10:17. Which can be translated by, « Christ speaks. » Thus, He urges us: « Listen to me, all of you, and understand » Mar 7:14. For the ability to hear is source of life, indeed. The Lord said, « Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live » Isa 55:3a.

Friday 25th: The heart of God is close to those who love His word.
« My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it » Lk 8:21.
Reading 1: 1 Sam 3:1-10. Reading 2: Lk 8:18-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 8:21.
Introduction: The true people of God make common cause with their Lord and show their union with Him by obeying his word and keeping his commandments (Jn 15:10). To love His word means to show love for the Lord and to keep His precepts. Jesus said to His disciples: « If you love me, you will keep my commandments » Jn 14:15.

Saturday 26th: Listening to God is a source of countless blessings.
« If you will only obey the Lord your God, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth » Deut 28:1.
Reading 1: Isa 55:1-3. Reading 2: Deut 28:1-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Deut 28:1-2.
Introduction: The Word of God is a living and life-giving source for those who keep it; it is an inexhaustible and unending blessing. The action of this word led Jesus to say to the Samaritan woman: « But those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life » Jn 4:14. Thus, He says to us: « Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest » Mt 11:28.

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