Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity 05-10 October, 2020

“God exalts His people”

The message: It was God’s purpose from the beginning to exalt humankind in His glory. For He said: « Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness… So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them » Gen 1:26a-27a,b, namely the image of His glory and His exaltation over all that He has created. This is how He established man to reign over all His creature, saying, « And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth » Gen 1:26b. Unfortunately this was ruined through the sin of man, in that he disobeyed the word of God and surrendered to the voice of the devil that tempted him (Gen 3:6). Yet if sin has humiliated and dishonored man, God lifts him up again through his turning back to Him, like the prodigal son who had come back to his father, who then honored him and made a great feast to celebrate his return home, saying, « this son of mine was dead and is alive again » (Lk 15:22-24). The Lord stills calls the sinners to receive redemption, so « those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified » Rom 8:30. This is achieved through the redemption that Jesus made, who purchased them by his own blood (Rom 8:14; 1 Pet 1:19). For « The God of all grace has called them to His eternal glory in Christ » (1 Pet 5:10a). The Apostle John said: « What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is » 1 Jn 3:2a.Jesus said, indeed, « Whoever serves me, the Father will honor » Jn 12:26b. He also prayed thus: « Father, I desire that those also, whom you have giv en me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory » Jn 17:24a. Surely God is willing to exalt His people who accept Him as Lord and obey his word. So He says: « For those who honor me I will honor » 1 Sam 2:30c.

Monday, 05th: God lifts up those who hope for His salvation.
« My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God » 1 Sam 2:1a.
Reading 1: Lk 1:39-50. Reading 2: 1 Sam 2:1-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Sam 2:1.
Introduction: The Lord is “an ever-present help in man’s trouble” (Ps 46:1a), so He answers his prayers and says: « Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me » Ps 50:15. For it is written: « but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint » Isa 40:31.

Tuesday, 06th: God clothes his people with glory.
« And whoever believes in him will not be put to shame » Rom 9:33b.
Reading 1: Mt 8:5-13. Reading 2: Rom 9:14-33. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Rom 9:33.
Introduction: It is by faith that God justifies man, neither by self-effort nor by works or deeds of the law. In this respect, it is written: « There is no one who is righteous, not even one » Rom 3:10, « since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God » Rom 3:23. And this is what Jesus said to the Pharisees, who were right in their own eyes: « I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners » Mt 9:13.

Wednesday, 07th: God has given everything to the believer.
« The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath » Mar 2:27.
Reading 1: Rom 8:26-32. Reading 2: Mar 2:18-28. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mar 2:27-28.
Introduction: God’s love and mercy to man is so great that He gave up everything in order to redeem him – to restore to him his identity and glory as « child of God » (Rom 8:17). For God « did not withhold his own Son, » Jesus, « but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? » Rom 8:32. God is indeed the Lord over all things (Ps 8:6).

Thursday, 08th: Know the way to exaltation.
« Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time » 1 Pet 5:6.
Reading 1: Mt 23:1-12. Reading 2: Pet 5:5-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Pet 5:6.
Introduction: The desire to be exalted in glory is in the heart of every man. However, this is not possible because they have been separated from God, who is their Lord (Jn 15:5b). For God said: « My glory I give to no other » Isa 42:8b. The ambition to be exalted to be like God, comes from Satan, who rebelled against God, so God humiliated him forever. Indeed when Satan said: « I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High” Isa 14:14, the Lord answered him: « But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit » Isa 14:15.

Friday, 09th: God lifts up the repenting sinner.
« When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices » Lk 15:5.
Reading 1: Ezek 18:19-23. Reading 2: Lk 15:1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 15:5.
Introduction: God’s love to the sinner is startling and stunning, but at the same time, wonderful and gratifying to the utmost. Jesus came to earth and paid a visit to Zacchaeus, a tax collector who bore a bad reputation for dishonesty, but longed to see Jesus. Jesus went into his house and said: « Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost » Lk 19:9b-10.

Saturday, 10th: God exalts the faithful servant.
« You have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things » Mt 25:23b.
Reading 1: 1 Cor 15:53-58. Reading 2: Mt 25:14-23. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 25:23.
Introduction: It is written, indeed, « Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous » Ps 25:3. In fact, the treacherous are those who dishonor the Lord who has chosen them. Conversely, He said to those who are faithful: « Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world » Mt 25:34.

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