Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, July 29, 2018, Proper 12, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 11:1-15)

While his army is out to war David relaxes at home and, spying the bathing Bathsheba, wife of one of his loyal soldiers, he brings her to his bed. She becomes pregnant and David, failing to get her husband to sleep with her himself, arranges for his death.

Psalm (14)

The Psalmist laments Israel’s lack of someone to come to her rescue. The world seems full of fools who deny God’s very existence and who ignore his ways. All have gone astray. The Lord, however, is the refuge of the poor, and terror will come on the wicked.

Second Reading (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Paul prays that the Ephesians will be rooted in the love of God through the Holy Spirit as Christ dwells in their hearts through faith. He hopes they realize the full dimensions of this loving presence, commending them to the God who can do more than they can imagine.

Gospel (John 6:1-21)

Jesus and his disciples are followed up a mountain by a large crowd which he feeds by multiplying a boy’s small lunch. Sure that he is the expected prophet, the crowd tries to force him to be their king. Jesus escapes and then walks on a stormy sea to the disciples.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The “son of David” is a different kind of king, able to resist the temptation to turn from the path his Father had laid out for him
  • Even David, a man after God’s own heart, has moments of going astray (having a heart set on the Lord does not guarantee faithfulness)
  • Nothing can come between Jesus and his followers: he is right there with them in the storm, indeed in their hearts
  • Our God is too small and too far away

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (2 Kings 4:42-44)

A man brings Elisha a small offering of first-fruits from his harvest. The prophet directs him to give it to all 100 prophets assembled there because the Lord has told him that it will be more than enough. And indeed there was some left over when they had eaten.

Psalm (145:10-18)

The Psalmist proclaims that the Lord will be honoured because of his glorious and eternal rule over the entire earth. Upholding all who have fallen and near to all who look to him, he provides food and fulfills the desires of all living things.

Second Reading (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Paul prays that the Ephesians will be rooted in the love of God through the Holy Spirit as Christ dwells in their hearts through faith. He hopes they realize the full dimensions of this loving presence, commending them to the God who can do more than they can imagine.

Gospel (John 6:1-21)

Jesus and his disciples are followed up a mountain by a large crowd which he feeds by multiplying a boy’s small lunch. Sure that he is the expected prophet, the crowd tries to force him to be their king. Jesus escapes and then walks on a stormy sea to the disciples.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God is the provider, even in difficult circumstances
  • Jesus fulfills prophecy and the expectations of Israel in unexpected ways.
  • Nothing can come between Jesus and his followers: he is right there with them in the storm, indeed in their hearts
  • The Lord can multiply our poor offerings into something greater that we imagine
  • Our God is too small and too far away

 

 

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, July 22, 2018, Proper 11, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 7:1-14a)

David wants to build a proper house for the Lord but the Lord says that is not his wish. Instead he will build a “house” for David, an assured line of descendants to rule an eternal kingdom. One of them, whom he calls his “son”, will build a house for his name.

Psalm (89:20-37)

God declares that his steadfast love and faithfulness will be with David and his royal line forever. He will call God his “Father” and the “Rock of his salvation”. Even if his successors prove unfaithful this promise will still hold and his throne will endure forever.

Second Reading (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Writing to Gentile Christians, Paul points out their spiritual state before they knew Christ. They were without God or hope, outsiders to Israel and her covenants. The opposite is now true. They even form part of God’s house, a holy temple built on Christ.

Gospel (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56)

Jesus’ disciples return from their mission and Jesus tries to lead them on a quiet retreat. A rushing crowd intervenes and to Jesus they are sheep without a shepherd so he teaches them. Elsewhere, his presence excites the local populace and he heals many.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • From the beginning the mission of God has Jesus Christ at its centre
  • The Son of David, the Son of God
  • God’s promises go well beyond our expectations
  • God himself is in the midst of his people. He himself will provide the temple where he dwells

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Jeremiah 23:1-6)

The Lord proclaims woe to Israel’s leaders who have failed as proper shepherds of the people. He will gather them back to a fruitful Land under good shepherds, especially one of David’s descendants who will be named “The Lord is my righteousness”.

Psalm (23)

The Psalmist sees the Lord as a good shepherd who looks after his flock, abundantly providing for them even in difficult circumstances. Goodness and mercy characterize a life lived in his fold.

Second Reading (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Writing to Gentile Christians, Paul articulates their spiritual state before they knew Christ. They were without God or hope, outsiders to Israel and her covenants. The opposite is now true. They even form part of God’s house, a holy temple built on Christ.

Gospel (Mark 6:30-34, 53-56)

Jesus’ disciples return from their mission and Jesus tries to lead them on a quiet retreat. A rushing crowd intervenes and to Jesus they are sheep without a shepherd so he teaches them. Elsewhere, his presence excites the local populace and he heals many.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • From the beginning the mission of God has Jesus Christ at its centre
  • The Son of David as the good shepherd
  • God’s promises go well beyond our expectations
  • The need for good shepherds who will be faithful to the Good Shepherd

 

 

 

 

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, July 15, 2018, Proper 10, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19)

David and his men joyfully move the ark which the Lord inhabits from the countryside into Jerusalem. His wife Michal sees him dancing with abandon and despises him. But David makes his offerings, blesses the people and distributes food to them.

Psalm (24)

The Psalmist exhorts the city gates to open themselves to the King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty, creator and possessor of all the earth. Only those with clean hearts and hands are fit to stand in his awesome presence and receive his blessing.

Second Reading (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Paul joyfully recites the many blessings we have as people who have been made partakers in what Christ has done. We are: blameless, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven and participants in God’s great future. And the Spirit within is the guarantee.

Gospel (Mark 6:14-29)

King Herod is afraid that the miracle-working Jesus may be John the Baptist risen from the dead. He had arrested John because of his preaching that Herod’s marriage was illegitimate. His angry wife then cunningly overcame his reluctance to execute John.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Earthly rulers are subject to the King of Heaven and should act accordingly
  • Many are the blessings of the redeemed
  • It is critically important to be open to what God is doing
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Amos 7:7-15)

Through the use of a plum line the Lord reveals to Amos that he is going to hold Israel and its king accountable for going astray. An angry priest informs on him to the king and tries to banish him from the realm. Amos replies that he is but humbly obeying the Lord.

Psalm (85:8-13)

The Psalmist paints a beautiful picture of what it is like when the Lord’s people turn their hearts to him. His great salvation will come with abundant good gifts. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet while righteousness and peace will kiss.

Second Reading (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Paul joyfully recites the many blessings we have as people who have been made partakers in what Christ has done. We are: blameless, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven and participants in God’s great future. And the Spirit within is the guarantee.

Gospel (Mark 6:14-29)

King Herod is afraid that the miracle-working Jesus may be John the Baptist risen from the dead. He had arrested John because of his preaching that Herod’s marriage was illegitimate. His angry wife then cunningly overcame his reluctance to execute John.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Earthly rulers are subject to the King of Heaven and should act accordingly
  • Many are the blessings of the redeemed
  • It is critically important to be open to what God is doing
  • The Lord desires a whole-hearted commitment

 

 

 

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 8, 2018, Proper 9, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10)

Having been first made king over the one tribe of Judah, David is now accepted as king over all Israel. He becomes their shepherd and transforms the stronghold of Jerusalem into the impressive City of David. The Lord is with him during an expansive 40-year reign.

Psalm (48)

The Psalmist calls the people to praise the Lord because of the City of God, the great King. Its beauty and power cause opposing kings to flee and his people to ponder his love. Its reputation carries God’s name to the ends of the earth. Regard it well.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

Paul relates how he is unable to boast even about having had a revelation of Paradise. Indeed, he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. He prayed for relief but God replied that in this weakness grace would suffice and divine power be made known.

Gospel (Mark 6:1-13)

Jesus encounters the familiarity of contempt in his hometown of Nazareth and finds himself unable to minister effectively as a result. He proceeds to other villages and sends out his apostles more broadly, paired up on successful missions of their own.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Whatever we do, it must be done to the glory of God, not ourselves
  • We can do little of lasting value without the grace of God
  • The mission of God is not limited to his chosen people
  • The Lord raises up and uses the humble to establish and expand his kingdom

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Ezekiel 2:1-5)

The Lord calls Ezekiel and sends him on a mission to the stubborn and rebellious people of Israel. In this they are just like their ancestors, but whether they hear or refuse to hear the word of God, they will know that a prophet has been among them.

Psalm (123)

Like a servant under the absolute power of the master or mistress, the Psalmist expresses his complete dependence upon the Lord enthroned on high. He asks for merciful relief from the prideful contempt of those who are undisturbed by trouble.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 12:2-10)

Paul relates how he is unable to boast even about having had a revelation of Paradise. Indeed, he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. He prayed for relief but God replied that in this weakness grace would suffice and divine power be made known.

Gospel (Mark 6:1-13)

Jesus encounters the familiarity of contempt in his hometown of Nazareth and finds himself unable to minister effectively as a result. He proceeds to other villages and sends out his apostles more broadly, paired up on successful missions of their own.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • It is obedience to the call that matters, not the results
  • Hearing and seeing is not always believing
  • Failure can be part of God’s plan for us
  • Always be listening for the word of God, no matter the source

 

 

 

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 1, 2018, Proper 8, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27)

David, as king-in-waiting, greatly laments the deaths of both King Saul and his son Jonathan in battle. He recounts how mighty they were as warriors and is especially grieved over Jonathan, whom he loved. O how the mighty have fallen!

Psalm (130)

The Psalmist cries out to the Lord in his need, aware of his sins but also longing for the forgiveness he knows is available. Out of this conviction he encourages all Israel to hope in the Lord whose steadfast love offers both powerful redemption and forgiveness.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

Jewish Christians in Jerusalem are in distress and Paul has started to collect an offering from his Gentile churches. He urges the Corinthians to complete their contribution based on love, thankfulness for their riches in Christ, their ability to give, and fairness.

Gospel (Mark 5:21-43)

Jesus is on his way to Jairus’ house to attend to his dying daughter when a desperate woman who has been suffering hemorrhages for 12 years touches his garment and is healed. Jesus commends her faith and then restores the deceased 12 year old to life.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Lord meets us in our grief
  • Jesus reveals his divinity by demonstrating his power over sickness and death, in the face of which we are utterly helpless
  • The suffering of others is not ignored by God and should not be ignored by us
  • When those we love are suffering we sense something of the love of God for humanity

Based on the Alternate Readings

First Reading (Lamentations 3:23-35)

In the midst of profound loss and sensing divine rejection, the author nevertheless
affirms the Lord’s steadfast love and faithfulness. In the end He will act to save his people. They need to wait quietly in hope for the God who willingly afflicts no one.

Psalm (30)

The Psalmist is thankful that the Lord responded to his plea when he was in very serious difficulty. By turning his mourning into dancing the Lord has shown that his anger only lasts for a moment but his favour lasts for a lifetime.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

Jewish Christians in Jerusalem are in distress and Paul has started to collect an offering from his Gentile churches. He urges the Corinthians to complete their contribution based on love, thankfulness for their riches in Christ, their ability to give, and fairness.

Gospel (Mark 5:21-43)

Jesus is on his way to Jairus’ house to attend to his dying daughter when a desperate woman who has been suffering hemorrhages for 12 years touches his garment and is healed. Jesus commends her faith and then restores the deceased 12 year old to life.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• The Lord is predisposed to do good for his people and not reject them
• Jesus reveals his divinity by demonstrating his power over sickness and death, in the face of which we are utterly helpless
• The suffering of others is not ignored by God and should not be ignored by us
• Give thanks in all things
• In spite of appearances, the Lord is able to transform our sorrow into gladness

 

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, June 24, 2018, Proper 7, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (1 Samuel 17:[1a, 4-11, 19-23], 32-49)

After the giant Philistine, Goliath, challenges the army of Israel, the youthful David faces him with only his sling and a trust in the Lord who had saved him before. Goliath’s subsequent death sends a clear message to the whole earth that there is a God in Israel.

Psalm (9)

The Psalmist praises the God of Israel as an unfailing stronghold for those in trouble, even at the gates of death. The nations have forgotten the needy and have fallen into their own pit as a result. They are but mere mortals who cannot escape his judgment.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he simply commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Truly desperate circumstances provide an opportunity to see God at work.
  • Truly desperate circumstances provide a true test of faith
  • God helps those who can’t help themselves
  • Past experience of God’s salvation leads to more expectant faith

Based on the First Alternative Readings

First Reading (1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16)

After killing Goliath David meets with Saul, whose son Jonathan makes a brotherly pact with him. Saul sets him over the army after he proves himself and then, in a moment of madness tries to kill him. The Lord is with Israel’s new hero and no longer with Saul.

Psalm (133)

The Psalmist rhapsodizes over the rich experience of families living in harmony. He likens it to the copious anointing oil poured over Aaron, the brother of Moses and the first in the line of Israel’s priests. It is the blessing of life forevermore.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he merely commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Trouble awaits those who dare to join the family of God
  • God can save us from serious trouble and danger
  • God can lead us into serious trouble or danger, but always under his protection
  • Realizing the urgency of the moment we are in

Based on the Second Alternative Readings

First Reading (Job 38:1-11)

The Lord challenges Job’s demand for an answer as to why he is so afflicted. Out of the whirlwind the Lord asserts his absolute right to do as he pleases. He, certainly not Job, is the all-powerful creator of the earth, laying its foundations and limiting its cloudy seas.

Psalm (107:1-3, 23-32)

The Psalmist urges praise to the Lord for his enduring love and amazing works in saving those in trouble. He even rescued those in peril on the sea when life-threatening storms arose at his command. When they called out to him he calmed both water and wind.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)

Paul claims that the day of salvation has arrived and now is the right moment to respond. Things are extremely urgent and Paul is doing everything he can to make this abundantly clear to everyone, in spite of mistreatment and misunderstanding.

Gospel (Mark 4:35-41)

As Jesus sleeps in a boat his disciples are terrified by a sudden and furious storm that threatens to sink them all. Waking Jesus, they are awestruck as he merely commands the wind and the waves to cease and they do so immediately. “Who is this?”, they ask.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The power of God surpasses that of the most awesome powers of nature
  • God can save us from serious trouble and danger
  • God is beyond our ability to fully understand
  • Chaos exists in defiance of the peace of God’s created order

 

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 17, 2018, Proper 6, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (1 Samuel 15:34-16:13)

Saul proves to be unfit as king so the Lord sends Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse in Bethlehem as the next king. By choosing David, the least likely, the Lord shows that he regards the heart above all else. The Spirit of the Lord comes strongly on David.

Psalm (20)

The Psalmist praises the Lord as the one who answers in the time of trouble and grants the heart’s desire of his people. They trust in him for protection while others take pride in their military might. It is to him that they should pray for the victory of their king.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 5:6-10, [11-13], 14-17)

We walk by faith, not by sight, doing everything to please the Lord. We know there is a judgment to come and that it will be based on the heart, not on outward appearance. Motivated by the love of Christ, we follow his example as part of his new creation.

Gospel (Mark 4:26-34)

Jesus tells two parables that reveal aspects of the kingdom of God. In the first, a farmer sows the seed and harvests the crop but cannot account for its mysterious growth. In the second, a tiny seed ends up as a large shrub that provides shelter for nesting birds.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart
  • Outward appearances can be deceiving
  • Learning to live with the mystery of how God works
  • Great things come from unlikely beginnings

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Ezekiel 17:22-24)

The prophet Ezekiel says that the Lord will grow a great cedar tree in Israel from a mere twig. It will flourish and all kinds of birds will dwell under it’s shelter. All who observe will then know that the Lord alone is God in complete control of everything.

Psalm (92:1-4, 12-15)

Praise and thanks are due to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness. The righteous flourish like trees planted within the house of God, showing that he is altogether righteous and our rock.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 5:6-10, [11-13], 14-17)

We walk by faith, not by sight, all being done to please the Lord. We know there is a judgment to come and that it will be based on the heart, not on outward appearance. Motivated by the love of Christ, we follow his example as part of his new creation.

Gospel (Mark 4:26-34)

Jesus tells two parables that reveal aspects of the kingdom of God. In the first, a farmer sows the seed and harvests the crop but cannot account for its mysterious growth. In the second, a tiny seed ends up as a large shrub that provides shelter for nesting birds.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Lord alone grows his people
  • We are intended to flourish
  • To what or to whom do we give shelter?
  • Great things come from unlikely beginnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday after Pentecost, June 10, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

 First Reading (1 Samuel 8:4-11, [12-15], 16-20, [11:14-15])

Israel’s elders, unhappy with the leadership of Samuel’s family, approach him to demand a king like the other nations. The Lord sees this as rejecting him as king, and points out that a human monarch will plunder them. But they insist, making Saul king.

 Psalm (138)

The Psalmist offers thanks and praise to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness in answered prayer. His glory is great and his word exalted. All the kings of the earth will praise him. The Lord also cares for the lowly, and so the Psalmist can trust in his aid.

 Second Reading (2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1)

Paul explains that his continuing zeal for the gospel stems from the resurrection of Jesus in which we participate. Already we are being spiritually renewed in spite of bodily decay. Future glory greatly outweighs temporary troubles as we focus what is eternal.

 Gospel (Mark 3:20-35)

Jesus’ ministry attracts impossible crowds and the scribes claim he using the power of Satan to cast out demons. Jesus logically points out that if so, Satan’s house has collapsed. Ascribing such an obvious good to anyone but the Holy Spirit is blasphemy.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Putting the Lord first in our lives puts things in proper perspective
  • God reigns over all other kings and powers
  • Those in leadership positions need to remember that they serve “under God”
  • Opposition to God’s leading puts us on dangerous ground

 Based on the Alternative Readings

 First Reading (Genesis 3:8-15)

The Lord God confronts Adam and Eve after they had sinned by eating from the forbidden tree. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. God tells the serpent that, while his offspring would strike the heel of Eve’s, hers would strike his head.

 Psalm 130

The Psalmist cries out to the Lord in his need, aware of his sins but also longing for the forgiveness he knows is available. On this conviction he encourages all Israel to hope in the Lord whose steadfast love offers both powerful redemption and forgiveness.

 Second Reading (2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1)

Paul explains that his continuing zeal for the gospel stems from the resurrection of Jesus in which we participate. Already we are being spiritually renewed in spite of bodily decay. Future glory greatly outweighs present troubles as we focus what is eternal.

 Gospel (Mark 3:20-35)

Jesus’ ministry attracts impossible crowds and the scribes claim he using the power of Satan to cast out demons. Jesus logically points out that if so, Satan’s house has collapsed. Ascribing any such obvious good to anyone but the Holy Spirit is blasphemy.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Jesus’ victory over Satan and death is “from the beginning”
  • Putting the Lord first in our lives puts things in proper perspective
  • Opposition to God’s leading puts us on dangerous ground
  • Satan unbound/Satan bound (Adam’s failure/Christ’s victory)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Sunday after Pentecost, June 3, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (1 Samuel 3:1-10, [11-20])

Toward the end of the rule of the judges, the word of the Lord unexpectedly comes to the boy Samuel who was serving under Eli the priest. It is a challenging message for the budding prophet as it concerns the Lord’s coming punishment upon Eli and his sons.

Psalm (139:1-6, 13-18)

The Psalmist celebrates the fact that the Lord not only knows him inside out, but also wondrously formed him in his mother’s womb knowing what plans he had for him. Such a God far exceeds the Psalmist’s ability to fully comprehend.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 4:5-12)

Paul emphasizes that any glory and power seen in his or our ministry is merely a reflection of Jesus within us. Even in our many shortcomings and sufferings we manage to reflect this inner treasure, showing him to be the source of life in us.

Gospel (Mark 2:23-3:6)

On a Sabbath, Jesus’ disciples harvest a bit of grain to eat while he heals a man’s hand. Watching Pharisees see this as breaking the law but, to their dismay, Jesus shows that the law as written was to be a benefit to us and then even claims superiority over it.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Word of God often has a disturbing quality
  • God is interested in the heart, not in exterior matters
  • Humility is the best attitude to have toward God and his Word
  • God is pleased to use broken vessels to do his work

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

As they are about to enter the Promised Land, Moses reminds the Israelites of the law to not work on the Sabbath. It applies to their animals and slaves as well. For they too were slaves before the Lord set them free from their terrible labour and oppression.

Psalm 81:1-10

The Psalmist calls upon Israel to celebrate the Lord their God on their holy days because he freed them from terrible labour and oppression in Egypt. Now they should listen to him alone and have no other gods, for he will bless them with all they need.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 4:5-12)

Paul emphasizes that any glory and power seen in his or our ministry is merely a reflection of that of Jesus within us. Even in our many shortcomings and sufferings we manage to reflect this inner treasure, thus proving that he, not ourselves, is responsible.

Gospel (Mark 2:23-3:6)

On a Sabbath Jesus’ disciples harvest a bit of grain to eat while he heals a man’s hand. Watching Pharisees regard all this as breaking the law but, to their anger, Jesus shows that the law as written was intended to be beneficial and then claims superiority over it.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Sabbath relief from labour is a reminder that we are no longer slaves
  • God’s laws are meant for our benefit, not as labourious demands
  • God is interested in the heart more than in exterior matters
  • The spirit of the law is as important, perhaps more important, than the letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinity Sunday, May 27, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Isaiah is called to his prophetic task through a vision in which he finds himself in the awesome presence of YAHWEH seated upon his heavenly throne. Seraphs thunder their threefold chants of “Holy” while one purifies Isaiah’s unclean lips, qualifying him to proclaim God’s word.

Psalm (29)

The Psalmist calls all heavenly creatures to worship YAHWEH garbed in perfect holiness. His voice is altogether powerful, a rushing mighty flame of fire able to strip the forest bare. All in his temple call “Glory!” to the eternal king. May he bless his people with strength and peace.

Second Reading (Romans 8:12-17)

St. Paul affirms that it is by the Holy Spirit that Christians conquer over the “flesh” and are granted eternal life. All who possess the Holy Spirit are God’s adopted children. Instead of fearful slaves in his presence, they are heirs with Christ, sharing in his glory through suffering.

Gospel (John 3:1-17)

Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born from above in order to enter the Kingdom of God. While this is a mysterious work of the Spirit, Jesus, being from heaven, can testify to its truth. God sent him out of love, in order that all who believe in him might not perish but be saved.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God makes a way for sinful humankind to draw near to him: from being estranged to being an heir
  • The interrelated work of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • The holy and majestic nature of God
  • Being in the presence of God is not something to be taken lightly