God willing the Church will tomorrow celebrate the 6th Sunday after Trinity, which has the watchword from the prophet Isaiah: “But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.‘” (43:1 NIV).
The theme is Holy Baptism, which is elaborated in the various readings from the holy Scriptures in the Old and New Testament.
Old Testament from the prophet Isaiah: But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth– everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (43:1-7 NIV)
Epistle from St.Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (6:3-8 NIV)
Gospel by Saint Matthew: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age .” (28:16-20 NIV)
The gradual hymn for this Sunday is “Ich bin getauft auf Deinen Namen Gott Vater, Sohn und Heiliger Geist” (EG 200) by Johann J. Rambach “Baptized into your name most holy…” (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/i/t/bitnmhly.htm) In the Zulu Hymnal this is Nr 206 and in the Tswana Hymnal it is Nr 371.
The Lutheran order of the divine service for this Sunday is made available by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF). This Sunday it comes with a sermon in isiZulu by Pastor Musawenkosi Mntambo on Acts 8,26-39 (wz1236120715 n Tr 6) and this was translated into seTswana by Rev. E.A.W.Weber DD (wt1236120715 n Tr 6).
I pray you have a very blessed Sunday!