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

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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.

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