Readings for December 4, 2016 Year A Second Sunday of Advent

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 11:1-10
  • Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Second Reading

  • Romans 15:4-13

Gospel

  • Matthew 3:1-12

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Through Isaiah YAHWEH announces that the line of King David’s father Jesse will be revived with the coming of a righteous and just ruler endowed with the Spirit of God. He will preside over a kingdom in which the poor and the meek shall thrive while even nature, red in tooth and claw, shall be transformed. As a result all nations will be drawn to this coming monarch. The Psalmist prays that the king of his own day or perhaps a future king will be a righteous judge who delivers the poor and punishes the oppressor. Long may he reign while righteousness flourishes and peace abounds. It is YAHWEH who will accomplish all this and whose glory already fills the whole earth. St. Paul calls upon the Christians in Rome to live in accord with one another, especially in giving glory to God. They should welcome each other just as Jesus has welcomed them, as Gentiles, into the kingdom. He affirms that Scripture has foreseen and celebrated this development as part of the promise of Isaiah regarding the line of Jesse, giving hope to all nations. Matthew tells us that the wild appearance of John the Baptist in the desert is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s word that the forerunner of the LORD would be just such a figure. John rebukes those who are self-righteous because they have been born as Jews, pointing out that what God requires is true repentance: merely being children of Abraham does not qualify anyone for the coming kingdom. He then tells the crowd that the one who is coming after him will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. Look out!

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through Isaiah YAHWEH announces that the line of King David’s father Jesse will be revived with the coming of a righteous and just ruler endowed with the Spirit of God. He will preside over a kingdom in which the poor and the meek shall thrive while even nature, red in tooth and claw, shall be transformed. As a result all nations will be drawn to this coming monarch.

Psalm

The Psalmist prays that the king of his own day or perhaps a future king will be a righteous judge who delivers the poor and punishes the oppressor. Long may he reign while righteousness flourishes and peace abounds. It is YAHWEH who will accomplish all this and whose glory already fills the whole earth.

New Testament

St. Paul calls upon the Christians in Rome to live in accord with one another, especially in giving glory to God. They should welcome each other just as Jesus has welcomed them, as Gentiles, into the kingdom. He affirms that Scripture has foreseen and celebrated this development as part of the promise of Isaiah regarding the line of Jesse, giving hope to all nations.

Gospel

Matthew tells us that the wild appearance of John the Baptist in the desert is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s word that the forerunner of the LORD would be just such a figure. John rebukes those who are self-righteous because they have been born as Jews, pointing out that what God requires is true repentance: merely being children of Abraham does not qualify anyone for the coming kingdom. He then tells the crowd that the one who is coming after him will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. Look out!

 

 

 

Readings for November 27, 2016 Year A First Sunday of Advent

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 2:1-5
  • Psalm 122

Second Reading

  • Romans 13:11-14

Gospel

  • Matthew 24:36-44

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Isaiah sees a time when Jerusalem, as the location of the temple, will be exalted and attract the nations eager to learn the ways of God as his word issues forth from its precincts. The LORD shall act as judge between the nations, resulting in an everlasting and universal peace. The prophet then urges his readers to “walk in the light of the LORD.” The Psalmist exults in the joy of finding himself in the house of YAHWEH and within the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the very centre of divine worship and the place of kingly judgment. He ends with an exhortation to pray for its peace. St. Paul reminds the Christians at Rome that as the night is almost over they should cast off the works of darkness and live as in the day. Which means clothing oneself with Jesus and casting off the works of the flesh. In the Gospel Jesus deals with his second coming, how no one except the Father knows the hour. He likens it to the days of Noah when judgment took away those not ready and left behind the faithful who were saved on the ark. We are to live each moment as if it was the expected hour, living as we should be living and therefore ready to greet the Son of Man.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Isaiah sees a time when Jerusalem, as the location of the temple, will be exalted and attract the nations eager to learn the ways of God as his word issues forth from its precincts. The LORD shall act as judge between the nations, resulting in an everlasting and universal peace. The prophet then urges his readers to “walk in the light of the LORD.”

Psalm

The Psalmist exults in the joy of finding himself in the house of YAHWEH and within the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the very centre of divine worship and the place of kingly judgment. He ends with an exhortation to pray for its peace.

New Testament

St. Paul reminds the Christians at Rome that as the night is almost over they should cast off the works of darkness and live as in the day. Which means clothing oneself with Jesus and casting off the works of the flesh.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus deals with his second coming, how no one except the Father knows the hour. He likens it to the days of Noah when judgment took away those not ready and left behind the faithful who were saved on the ark. We are to live each moment as if it was the expected hour, living as we should be living and therefore ready to greet the Son of Man.

 

Readings for November 20, 2016 The Reign of Christ Year C Proper 29 (34) & Thanksgiving Day (U.S.)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Readings for Thanksgiving Day (U.S) are below.

The Reign of Christ Proper 29(34)

First Reading and Psalm

  • Jeremiah 23:1-6
  • Luke 1:68-79

First Reading and Alternative Psalm

  • Jeremiah 23:1-6
  • Psalm 46

Second Reading

  • Colossians 1:11-20

Gospel

  • Luke 23:33-43

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Through the prophet Jeremiah YAHWEH rebukes the false shepherds who have ruined his people and promises to gather them himself from the places to which they have been scattered. New faithful shepherds will be appointed and they will be ruled over by a “Righteous Branch” from the house of David whose name will remind YAHWEH’s people that a right relationship with him is grounded, not in them, but in him. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, announces in an excited burst of poetry that his infant son will be the long-awaited prophet who prepares the way of the Lord. The light of Israel’s great deliverance from the darkness of her own sins and all her enemies is now beginning to dawn. St. Paul prays that the Colossians will experience God’s strength to endure and give thanks to him for delivering them from the power of darkness by granting them “a share in the inheritance of the saints in light”. This redemption has come by the reconciliation of all things to himself through his beloved Son on the cross, a Son in whom his own fullness dwells. St. Luke records Jesus’ words of forgiveness from the cross while the leaders of the people and the soldiers scoffed at his seeming inability to save himself. Meanwhile Jesus majestically grants entrance into Paradise to the repentant thief. The irony is exquisite.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through the prophet Jeremiah YAHWEH rebukes the false shepherds who have ruined his people and promises to gather them himself from the places to which they have been scattered. New faithful shepherds will be appointed and they will be ruled over by a “Righteous Branch” from the house of David whose name will remind YAHWEH’s people that a right relationship with him is grounded, not in them, but in him.

Psalm

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, announces in an excited burst of poetry that his infant son will be the long-awaited prophet who prepares the way of the Lord. The light of Israel’s great deliverance from the darkness of her own sins and all her enemies is now beginning to dawn.

New Testament

St. Paul prays that the Colossians will experience God’s strength to endure and give thanks to him for delivering them from the power of darkness by granting them “a share in the inheritance of the saints in light”. This redemption has come by the reconciliation of all things to himself through his beloved Son on the cross, a Son in whom his own fullness dwells.

Gospel

St. Luke records Jesus’ words of forgiveness from the cross while the leaders of the people and the soldiers scoffed at his seeming inability to save himself. Meanwhile Jesus majestically grants entrance into Paradise to the repentant thief. The irony is exquisite.

Based on the Alternative Readings

Through the prophet Jeremiah YAHWEH rebukes the false shepherds who have ruined his people and promises to gather them himself from the places to which they have been scattered. New faithful shepherds will be appointed and they will be ruled over by a “Righteous Branch” from the house of David whose name will remind YAHWEH’s people that a right relationship with him is grounded, not in them, but in him. The Psalmist depicts YAHWEH’s majestic rule in the midst of the chaos and trouble of life. He provides joy like a river flowing through the city of God as the morning dawns. St. Paul prays that the Colossians will experience God’s strength to endure and give thanks to him for delivering them from the power of darkness by granting them “a share in the inheritance of the saints in light”. This redemption has come by the reconciliation of all things to himself through his beloved Son on the cross, a Son in whom his own fullness dwells. St. Luke records Jesus’ words of forgiveness from the cross while the leaders of the people and the soldiers scoff at his seeming inability to save himself. Meanwhile Jesus majestically grants entrance into Paradise to the repentant thief. The irony is exquisite.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through the prophet Jeremiah YAHWEH rebukes the false shepherds who have ruined his people and promises to gather them himself from the places to which they have been scattered. New faithful shepherds will be appointed and they will be ruled over by a “Righteous Branch” from the house of David whose name will remind YAHWEH’s people that a right relationship with him is grounded, not in them, but in him.

Psalm

The Psalmist depicts YAHWEH’s majestic rule in the midst of the chaos and trouble of life. He provides joy like a river flowing through the city of God as the morning dawns.

New Testament

St. Paul prays that the Colossians will experience God’s strength to endure and give thanks to him for delivering them from the power of darkness by granting them “a share in the inheritance of the saints in light”. This redemption has come by the reconciliation of all things to himself through his beloved Son on the cross, a Son in whom his own fullness dwells.

Gospel

St. Luke records Jesus’ words of forgiveness from the cross while the leaders of the people and the soldiers scoffed at his seeming inability to save himself. Meanwhile Jesus majestically grants entrance into Paradise to the repentant thief. The irony is exquisite.

Thanksgiving Day (U.S.) November 24, 2016

First Reading and Psalm

  • Deuteronomy 26:1-11
  • Psalm 100

Second Reading

  • Philippians 4:4-9

Gospel

  • John 6:25-35

Full lections can be read here.

Connection Based on the Readings as Set

Moses commands the Israelites, once they have arrived in the Promised Land, to bring its first fruits as an offering to YAHWEH while reciting the story of their deliverance from Egypt. In this way the harvest is to be celebrated as part of God’s abundant provision for his people. The Psalm could well be taken as providing a liturgical text for such a celebration, calling as it does for exuberant praise and thanksgiving for all of YAHWEH’s love and faithfulness. Paul begins the Philippians reading with another call to “Rejoice” while encouraging his readers to turn to God in prayer and thanksgiving instead of worrying about anything. This leads to a profound peace that can be maintained by focusing our thoughts and actions on all things good. In the Gospel Jesus is questioned by people who are focused on the wrong thing: food that perishes. In spite of their newly-filled bellies, they demand of Jesus a sign like the bread from heaven Moses gave their ancestors. In response Jesus claims to be the Father’s gift of “true bread from heaven”, the “bread of life”. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never thirst”. Clearly, he is the focus we should seek and the gift for which we should give thanks.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Moses commands the Israelites, once they have arrived in the Promised Land, to bring its first fruits as an offering to YAHWEH while reciting the story of their deliverance from Egypt. In this way the harvest is to be celebrated as part of God’s abundant provision for his people.

Psalm

The Psalm could well be taken as providing a liturgical text for such a celebration, calling as it does for exuberant praise and thanksgiving for all of YAHWEH’s love and faithfulness.

New Testament

Paul begins the Philippians reading with another call to “Rejoice” while encouraging his readers to turn to God in prayer and thanksgiving instead of worrying about anything. This leads to a profound peace that can be maintained by focusing our thoughts and actions on all things good.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus is questioned by people who are focused on the wrong thing: food that perishes. In spite of their newly-filled bellies, they demand of Jesus a sign like the bread from heaven Moses gave their ancestors. In response Jesus claims to be the Father’s gift of “true bread from heaven”, the “bread of life”. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never thirst”. Clearly, he is the focus we should seek and the gift for which we should give thanks.

Readings for November 13, 2016 Year C Proper 28 (33)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Isaiah 12

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Malachi 4:1-2a
  • Psalm 98

Second Reading

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Gospel

  • Luke 21:5-19

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Through the prophet Isaiah YAHWEH sets out his coming salvation for Israel in terms of a new heaven and a new earth. It will be so blessed that there will be only joy and delight, no weeping or mourning. No life will be cut off before its time and YAHWEH will always be close at hand. Even the wolf and the lamb will feed together. The Psalm, taken from Isaiah as well, celebrates the coming day of YAHWEH’s salvation before the nations with thanksgiving and joy. He will be powerfully amongst them at last. In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others. Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through the prophet Isaiah YAHWEH sets out his coming salvation for Israel in terms of a new heaven and a new earth. It will be so blessed that there will be only joy and delight, no weeping or mourning. No life will be cut off before its time and YAHWEH will always be close at hand. Even the wolf and the lamb will feed together.

Psalm

The Psalm, taken from Isaiah as well, celebrates the coming day of YAHWEH’s salvation before the nations with thanksgiving and joy. He will be powerfully amongst them at last.

New Testament

In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others.

Gospel

Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

Based on the Alternative Readings

The prophet Malachi uses the image of stubble burned in an oven to convey the awful reality of YAHWEH’s coming judgment upon those who persist in evil. On the other hand, those who honour him will experience restoration through the rising of the sun of righteousness. The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself. In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others. Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

As Introductions

Old Testament

The prophet Malachi uses the image of stubble burned in an oven to convey the awful reality of YAHWEH’s coming judgment upon those who persist in evil. On the other hand, those who honour him will experience restoration through the rising of the sun of righteousness.

Psalm

The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself.

New Testament

In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others.

Gospel

Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.