Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, October 18, 2020

Please see Using Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 33:12-23)

The Lord promises Moses that his Presence will remain with Israel, demonstrating her unique status among the nations. In order to reassure him, the Lord grants his request to see the divine glory, but only a glimpse is allowed for his own protection.

Psalm (99)

The Psalmist begins with the affirmation of the Lord as King of all peoples, a King whose love of justice and righteousness has been displayed first of all in Israel. Three times he calls the people to worship in his holy and awesome Presence.

Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

Paul knows his readers are among God’s chosen because his preaching of the Gospel was in the power of the Spirit and they responded with faith. Having turned from idols to become joyful examples in spite of persecution, they await Jesus’ saving return.

Gospel (Matthew 22:15-22)

Some Pharisees try to discredit Jesus by asking him about an unpopular Roman tax. He asks them whose face and caption are on the coin being used. It is the emperor’s, they admit, and fall silent when Jesus says to give to both emperor and God what is theirs.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Everything in all creation belongs to God and joins in worshipping him
  • God calls all peoples to worship him alone
  • The blessings we enjoy are intended to turn others to the Lord
  • The importance of the right attitude when confronted with the truth of God
  • To whom do we owe ultimate allegiance?
  • The holiness of God
  • The Lord is not safe, but he is good (apologies to C.S. Lewis)
  • God is sovereign over all kings and rulers
Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

Shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. See Philippians 2.15, 16

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty and everliving God,
increase in us your gift of faith,
that forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to what is before,
we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; 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 (Isaiah 45:1-7)

The Lord describes Cyrus the Persian emperor as his anointed servant, through whom he is working on behalf of Israel. The Lord affirms his divine sovereignty over Cyrus and history itself. His actions are intended to make his unique status universally known.

Psalm (96:1-9, [10-13])

In a breathtaking affirmation of the Lord’s absolute sovereignty over all the earth, the Psalmist calls all nations to come to worship him as the only king. He is the all-powerful creator and judge, while other gods are mere idols. Nature itself joyfully worships him.

Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)

Paul knows his readers are among God’s chosen because his preaching of the Gospel was in the power of the Spirit and they responded with faith. Having turned from idols to become joyful examples in spite of persecution, they await Jesus’ saving return.

Gospel (Matthew 22:15-22)

Some Pharisees try to discredit Jesus by asking him about an unpopular Roman tax. He asks them whose face and caption are on the coin being used. It is the emperor’s, they admit, and fall silent when Jesus says to give to both emperor and God what is theirs.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Everything in all creation belongs to God and joins in worshipping him
  • To whom do we owe ultimate allegiance?
  • God is sovereign over all earthly kings and rulers
  • God is accomplishing his purposes in history
  • Turning from idols to the living God
  • The joy of following Jesus
Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

Shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. See Philippians 2.15, 16

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty and everliving God,
increase in us your gift of faith,
that forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to what is before,
we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  AMEN

Nativity of the Lord – Propers I,II, & III, December 25, 2019

Years A, B, and C all use the same three sets of Readings. Propers II and III are alternatives to Proper I.

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

 

Proper I

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Isaiah, writing at a dark point in Israel’s history, sets forth a bright vision of a miraculous reversal of fortunes. A son born in David’s line will rule wisely over a kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness forever. As the Lord’s strong intention, it will all come to pass.

Psalm (96)

The Psalmist calls the nations to abandon their idols and sing in worship to the living God, Creator of all. He is coming to judge the peoples fairly and he is bringing salvation with him. As a result, even nature will join in a universal outpouring of praise.

Second Reading (Titus 2:11-14)

St. Paul declares that, through the death of Jesus Christ, God’s grace that is bringing salvation to all has come into a rebellious world. This same grace prepares us to live as godly inhabitants of that world as we await his final appearing at the end of the age.

Gospel (Luke 2:1-14 [15-20])

St. Luke tells how Jesus was born in the line and city of David to the praise of angels. They appear to a band of humble shepherds in glorious light, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had so stirred the angels.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The arrival of God’s salvation
  • Hoping in God’s salvation
  • The universal and enduring significance of the birth of Jesus
  • Nothing can frustrate the plan of God
  • The Light shines in the darkness
  • The grace of God is evident in his salvation

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Proper II

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 62:6-12)

Jerusalem will enjoy a reversal of its low estate when the Lord’s salvation comes. Its inhabitants, enabled to enjoy the fruits of their labour, will be known throughout the earth as a holy people, redeemed by the Lord, and living in a city no longer forsaken.

Psalm (97)

The Psalmist celebrates the fact that the Lord is king over the whole earth and calls all people to joyful thanksgiving. The nations behold his superior power and majesty over all other pretenders. His light dawns over the righteous, rescuing them from the wicked.

Second Reading (Titus 3:4-7)

The goodness and love of God has appeared and has saved us through the waters of rebirth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was through his mercy and not our own efforts that this occurred, making us heirs of eternal life through grace alone.

Gospel (Luke 2: [1-7], 8-20)

St. Luke tells how Jesus is born in the line and city of David to the praise of angels. They appear to a band of humble shepherds in glorious light, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had so stirred the angels.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The arrival of God’s salvation
  • Hoping in God’s salvation
  • The universal and enduring significance of the birth of Jesus
  • The Light shines in the darkness
  • God lifts up the fallen who cannot save themselves
  • The grace of God is evident in his salvation

________________________________

 

Proper III

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 52:7-10)

Jerusalem’s watchmen, seeing the Lord return with salvation for the ruined city, are exhorted to call her to joyful celebration. All nations will observe her people comforted and redeemed as the Lord acts in sovereign power.

Psalm (98)

All nature is called to loudly celebrate the coming victory of the Lord on behalf of Israel. Every nation will observe the powerful vindication of his people, aware that he will act fairly and rightly as universal judge.

Second Reading (Hebrews 1:1-4, [5-12])

The author celebrates the fact that God has spoken through his Son, who, reflecting him perfectly, is both creator and heir of all things. Much superior to the worshipping angels at his birth, he has made purification for our sins and his kingdom is never ending.

Gospel (John 1:1-14)

St. John tells us that with the Word of creation taking on flesh, God himself has come among us as light and life. John the Baptist serves as witness but not all to whom the Word is sent receive him. Believers, conversely, are born of God and made his children.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Creation, all over again/All things made new
  • Announcing/giving witness to the Word
  • The difference made by God’s arrival: it’s like night and day
  • Celebrating new birth
  • The universal significance of the coming of God’s salvation
  • The nations will be aware of the coming of God’s salvation