Malagasy Lutheran Church
Song & Gospel
Third Sunday before Easter, March 27 – April 2, 2022
« God makes a covenant with his people »

The message: The phrase « God makes a covenant with his people » is about Him willing to take care of their lives, not only for this life, but certainly for eternal life as well. He summarized this covenant with these words: « I will be your God, and you shall be my people » Lev 26:12, which Jesus emphasizes, saying: « Because I live, you also will live » Jn 14:19b. God provides a great assurance through the covenant He made. He said to the nation of Israel: « But now thus says the Lord,he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine » Isa 43:1. And because He does not want to forsake us, even though « there is no one righteous, no, not even one » Rom 3:10 among us, He has made a redemption for us who believe in Him. For « God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us » Rom 5:8. God has made an everlasting covenant with his people through his Son Jesus Christ, for Jesus is « the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant » Heb 13:20. He said to his disciples:
« Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins » Mt 26:27b-28.
For He does not want to forsake his people (Rom 11:1a), though He admonishes them severely, as He did to the nation of Israel: « In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer » Isa 54:8. In this regard, He says: « For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you » Isa 54:10. Keep God’s covenant so that He may keep you in return !

Monday 28th: God makes a covenant with his people.
« As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you » Gen 9:9.
Reading 1: Heb 7:17-28. Reading 2: Gen 9:1-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gen 9:9.
Introduction: God makes an eternal covenant to take in charge his elect and their descendants, because He loved them with an everlasting love
(Jer 31:3). In doing so, He assures that He will always watch over his people and be with them, as He said, « I will never leave you or forsake you » Heb 13:5b. John wrote about this faithful love with which Jesus loved his disciples in this particular way: « Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end » Jn 13:1b

Tuesday 29th: Jesus Christ is the seal of the covenant with God.
« I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people » Isa 49:8b.
Reading 1: Gal 3:15-22. Reading 2: Isa 49:8-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 49:8.
Introduction: God makes a covenant with people for them to be united with Him. It is through the blood of Christ who died for us sinners, for « without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins » Heb 9:22b. Therefore, it is his holy blood that seals God’s eternal covenant of
redemption for sinners, in accordance with the Scriptures: « When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,[…] he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption » Heb 9:11-12.

Wednesday, 30th: God’s covenant takes care of his people.
« Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated » Jn 6:11a.
Reading 1: Isa 46:3-9. Reading 2: Jn 6:1-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 6:11.
Introduction: Jesus’ sharing of the bread He multiplied for many who followed Him is an aspect of God’s care for His people. It is a
reflection of Jesus’ self-sacrifice, for He said: « The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world »
Jn 6:33. Thus, He also said: « Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day »
Jn 6:54.

Thursday 31st: The children of the covenant inherit the promise.
« The child of the free woman, was born through the promise » Gal 4:23b.
Reading 1: Jn 16:19-24. Reading 2: Gal 4:21-23. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gal 4:23.
Introduction: Concerning those who believe and receive God’s covenant through Jesus Christ, the Scriptures say: « You are the descendants of the
prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed » Acts 3:25. Jesus said: « The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever » Jn 8:35, and it is
the child who receives and keeps the promises given by God (Rom 9:8).

Friday 01st: God keeps his covenant.
« My covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you » Isa 54:10b.
Reading 1: 2 Cor 9:6-15. Reading 2: Isa 54:5-10. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 54:10.
Introduction: Having confidence that God’s covenant is eternal strengthens our faith. For he is the God of truth, and is faithful to his word. Indeed:
« God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken,
and will he not fulfill it? » Num 23:19. Jesus said: « Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away » Mt 24:35.

Saturday 02nd: The Covenant, a sharing of glory with Christ.
« Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory » Jn 17:24a.
Reading 1: 2 Tim 2:8-13. Reading 2: Jn 17:20-26. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 17:24.
Introduction: Eternal glory is the inheritance God has in store for his people who keep his covenant. This glory is but their sharing life with God, their living with Him forever. God makes them a « vessel of honor » in his kingdom (2 Tim 2:21, NKJV). In this regard, Jesus said: « 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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