Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 13, 2020

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Full lections can be read here

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 14:19-31)

The angel and the pillar of cloud place themselves between Israel and the pursuing Egyptian army. Moses stretches out his hand and a wind from the Lord parts the Red Sea. Pharaoh drowns with all his soldiers and Israel learns to trust in God.

Psalm (114)

The Psalmist celebrates the Exodus as the time when the Lord came to dwell with Israel. Both the Red Sea and the Jordan River parted for them as well. The natural elements respond to his commands. Indeed, the whole earth trembles at his awesome presence.

OR

Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21

The Song of Moses exults in the victory of the Lord when the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea. The Lord proved himself in full control of nature and superior to any other gods. Miriam, sister to Moses and a prophet herself, joins in the joyous refrain.

Second Reading (Romans 14:1-12)

Paul states that both those who put emphasis on the observance of holy days or dietary laws and those who do not should honour each other. Both groups are trying to live as unto the Lord and we should leave it up to him to be the judge.

Gospel (Matthew 18:21-35)

To answer a question from Peter, Jesus tells a parable about a slave who is forgiven a great debt by a king but refuses himself to forgive a tiny sum owed to him. This angers the king and we can expect the same of God when we do not forgive our fellow believer. 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God is not subject to nature but in control of it
  • Nature is witness to the greatness of God
  • Judgment is real, but it is in the hands of God, not our own
  • The importance of community life in the Kingdom
  • Forgiveness and forbearance are to mark the Christian life

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 13.34

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you call your Church to witness
that in Christ we are reconciled to you.
Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may turn to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

Based on the Alternate Readings

First Reading (Genesis 50:15-21)

Trembling before him in Egypt, Joseph’s brothers tell him that their father Jacob had asked that he forgive them for selling him into slavery. They are worried about payback, but Joseph weeps and tells them that God had intended their evil for good all along.

Psalm (103:[1-7], 8-13)

The Psalmist calls us to bless the Lord for all he does and all he is: he forgives, heals, delivers and satisfies us with good things. A merciful and gracious Yahweh works justice for the oppressed and removes our sin far from us, not repaying us what we deserve. 

Second Reading (Romans 14:1-12)

Paul states that both those who put emphasis on the observance of holy days or dietary laws and those who do not should honour each other. Both groups are trying to live as unto the Lord and we should leave it up to him to be the judge.

Gospel (Matthew 18:21-35)

To answer a question from Peter, Jesus tells a parable about a slave who is forgiven a great debt by a king but refuses himself to forgive a tiny sum owed to him. This angers the king and we can expect the same of God when we do not forgive our fellow believer.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God is in control of the course of history
  • Judgment is real, but it is in the hands of God, not our own
  • The importance of community life in the Kingdom
  • Forgiveness and forbearance are to mark the Christian life
  • We are to extend to others what God has so much more extended to us

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 13.34

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you call your Church to witness
that in Christ we are reconciled to you.
Help us so to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may turn to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

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