Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 27, 2020

Please see Using Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 17:1-7)

The Israelites test the Lord by quarrelling with Moses because they find no water at Rephidim. Again, the Lord miraculously provides for them, this time having Moses strike a rock to get water. A very frustrated Moses calls the place “Testing” and “Quarrelling”.

Psalm (78:1-4, 12-16)

The Psalmist calls Israel to celebrate and pass on to their own children the cautionary tale of the Lord’s repeated provisions for their ancestors during the Exodus.

Second Reading (Philippians 2:1-13)

Paul urges his readers to adopt “the mind of Christ”, who did not exploit his equality with God but took on human form, humbling himself to death on a cross. Therefore, the same God who works in us raised him Lord of all, with every knee to bow before him.

Gospel (Matthew 21:23-32)

Jesus silences Jewish leaders questioning his authority with a counter question about the authority of John the Baptist. He then shows them that true obedience is not just lip service, but actually doing God’s will, just like the notorious sinners who believed John.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

Testing the Lord is not a good move

Testing the Lord reveals the hardness of our own hearts

Miracles, even repeated miracles, will not by themselves suffice for faith

God is a God of grace and mercy

Humility or self-focus? Which opens the door to others and to God?

True belief shows itself in godly action

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them and they follow me. John 10.27

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Grant, O merciful God,
that your Church,
being gathered by your Holy Spirit into one,
may show forth your power among all peoples,
to the glory of your name;
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 (Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32)

The Lord claims every human being, while each individual is responsible for their own actions. To punish the child for the sins of the parents is wrong. The one who sins is the one who dies, and this gives no pleasure to God. But those who repent shall live.

Psalm (25:1-9)

The Psalmist expresses his keen desire to follow the ways of the Lord who is full of mercy and steadfast love. He calls for help from the one who is eager to respond to the humble. Only because of the Lord’s nature can the Psalmist’s youthful sins be forgiven.

Second Reading (Philippians 2:1-13)

Paul urges his readers to adopt “the mind of Christ”, who did not exploit his equality with God but took on human form, humbling himself to death on a cross. Therefore, the same God who works in us raised him Lord of all, with every knee to bow before him.

Gospel (Matthew 21:23-32)

Jesus silences Jewish leaders questioning his authority with a counter question about the authority of John the Baptist. He then shows them that true obedience is not just lip service, but actually doing God’s will, just like the notorious sinners who believed John.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

The importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s sin

Personal and/or corporate repentance?

Is God unfair?

God is a God of grace and mercy

Humility or self-focus? Which opens the door to others and to God?

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them and they follow me. John 10.27

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Grant, O merciful God,
that your Church,
being gathered by your Holy Spirit into one,
may show forth your power among all peoples,
to the glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

 

 

 

Second Sunday after Christmas, Year A, January 5, 2020

Lection Connection for Epiphany of Our Lord can be found here.

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Jeremiah 31:7-14)

Jeremiah calls the remnant of Israel to celebrate the fact that the Lord will ransom and redeem them from their disastrous exile. The nations will see him gather his sheep and restore them to the Land, numerous, healthy and prosperous under his fatherly care.

Psalm (147:12-20)

The Psalmist exhorts Israel to praise the Lord because he gives them both protection and peace. Through his commanding word all of nature provides for their needs. The divine word is also expressed in his beneficial laws given uniquely to them, of all the nations.

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 participants in God’s glorious future: blameless, chosen, adopted, redeemed and forgiven. The Spirit within is our guarantee that of all of this is true.

 Gospel (John 1:1-14)

John tells us that as the Word who created the world took on our flesh, God made himself known. John the Baptist is only a witness to this light, one greater than Moses just as grace is superior to law. Only those who receive the Word are born of God and made his children.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Celebrate: God has done so much for us
  • God is with us in so many ways
  • We owe everything to the Word of God
  • Jesus is the final and ultimate Word of God