Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – week of 08. -13. February 2021 “The Lord is the One to be trusted”

1/ The statement, ”The Lord is the One to be trusted” means that we should worship or trust in no one else because He is the Only God. He commanded: « You shall have no other gods before[a] me » Ex 20:3. Indeed, there is one who pretends to be God—that is, the devil who dared to tempt Jesus, saying, « All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” But Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, „Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him‟ » Mt 4:9-10. There are also some who consider created things like the sun or any carved and painted things: this is real idolatry which is abominable in God’s eyes. 2/ To trust in the Lord also means to acknowledge Him as the Father, Creator and Lord, so He ought to be revered. In this respect, He said, « A son honors his father, and servants their master. If then I am a father, where is the honor due me? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? says the Lord of hosts to you » Mal 1:6a. And He shows his jealousy, saying, « My glory I give to no other » Isa 42:8b. The Apostle James warns us, too: « Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us? » Jas 4:4-5. 3/ In fact, the statement, ”The Lord is the One to be trusted,” reveals that He is the Savior, the One who rescued the Children of Israel enslaved by the Egyptians. He said: « I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians » Ex 6:7. It was to this end that Jesus came « to seek out and to save the lost » (Lk 19:10), and that the Father exalted Him to be the Lord to whom He gave all power in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18). Therefore, « whoever believes in the Son has eternal life » Jn 3:36a.

Monday 08th: Trust in the Lord.
« Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,whose trust is the Lord » Jer 17:7.
Reading 1: Mt 16:13-20. Reading 2: Jer 17:5-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 17:7.
Introduction: Great promises are the inheritance of those who trust in the Lord. However, He warns us to ensure that this would not be jeopardized by anything, particularly by the trust in man or our feeling more than Him. Jesus commanded: « be wise as serpents and innocent as doves » Mt 10:16B. In the same way, Paul said: »Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders » Col 4:5a. Peter, in turn, affirms: « Discipline yourselves, keep alert.[d] Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour » 1 Pet 5:8.

Tuesday 09th: The Lord takes care of the perfecting of His people.
« To maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ » Eph 4:13.
Reading 1: Mt 7:7-12. Reading 2: Eph 4:11-16. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Eph 4:13.
Introduction: God’s plan is to perfect His people so that they may be in His likeness (Gen 1:26)—that is, blameless as He is. Therefore, even if they have imperfections, the Lord gives them a great promise: « My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness » 2 Cor 12:9a. Indeed, it is written: « And 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.

Wednesday10th: The Lord is the one who makes the seed sprout.
« The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head » Mar 4:28.
Reading 1: 1 Cor 3:1-9. Reading 2: Mar 4:26-29. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mar 4:28.
Introduction: Growth and fruitfulness belong to God. For those who obey His conduct, the Lord fulfills His blessings in all their toiling and undertaking according to Jesus’ word: « You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name » Jn 15:16. That is a perfect blessing.

Thursday 11st: Trust in the Lord in the face of struggle.
« For I will contend with those who contend with you » Isa 49:25b.
Reading 1: Rom 8:31-34. Reading 2: Isa 49:22-26. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 49:24-25.
Introduction: When man is in the face of struggle and life’s challenge, he looks for different ways to overcome and to cope. In this, there are ways that seem to lead to life and success, when in fact they are leading to ruin and disgrace (Mt 7:13). The prophet Jeremiah said: « I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps » Jer 10:23. Jesus states: « I am the way, and the truth, and the life » Jn 14:6a.

Friday, 12nd: Trust in the Lord for He takes care of His people.
« I have called you by name, you are mine » Isa 43:1d.
Reading 1: 1 Pet.5:1-7. Reading 2: Isa 43:1-3a. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 43:1.
Introduction: Those who believe in God, who dwell in Him and serve Him have a special place in Him; He cares for them as the apple of His eye (Deut 32, 10). In fact, the Lord says: « Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you » Isa 46:4. Jesus declares: « And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age » Mt 28:20b.

Saturday, 13th: The Lord is faithful: He ought to be trusted.
« My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me » Jn 10:27.
Reading 1: Isa 49:8-13. Reading 2: Jn 10:22-30. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 10:27-28.
Introduction: The Lord ought to be trusted: David knew it well, so he sang this psalm: « The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters » Ps 23:1-2. These words express fulfillment and perfection of peace. Jesus says: « Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you » Jn 14:27a.

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