Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 3, 2017, Proper 17, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 3:1-15)

Yahweh mysteriously appears to Moses in the burning bush at Mt. Sinai, identifying himself as the God of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has heard the cry of his oppressed people back in Egypt and now he is going to send Moses to deliver the captives, leading them out to the Promised Land. The name by which he wishes to be known to them is simply “I AM WHO I AM”.

Psalm (105:1-6, 23-26, 45c)

The Psalmist encourages the people to remember Yahweh’s miracles and judgments and, while taking care to look to him alone, make his deeds known among the nations. He caused Israel to grow mightily even while persecuted in Egypt and sent Moses to deliver them so that they might serve him faithfully.

Second Reading (Romans 12:9-24)

St. Paul exhorts the Christian community to have genuine love for one another and serve the Lord faithfully especially when under persecution. Instead of taking revenge on their enemies themselves they are to put it into God’s hands, knowing that good will ultimately triumph over evil.

Gospel (Matthew 16:21-28)

Right after he had praised Peter for recognizing him as Messiah Jesus rebukes him for not understanding that suffering and death are ahead for both Messiah and his disciples. We are not to seek to save our lives, but to deny ourselves and follow Jesus, remembering that he will repay many times over in the resurrection.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• It is God who saves us, not we ourselves

• Doing good will triumph over evil

• Suffering is to be expected as part of the Christian life

• Relief from suffering is in God’s hands

• We are to follow in God’s ways in all circumstances, loving God, fellow Christians and our enemies

• The need to remain faithful, especially under pressure to conform to this world

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Jeremiah 15:15-21)

Jeremiah makes his case to Yahweh, asking that his persecutors suffer retribution. He claims to have been faithful but his suffering is growing worse, making him wonder if Yahweh will fail him. Yahweh, on the other hand, sees a need for Jeremiah to turn back to God in order to be restored to his calling and delivered from his foes.

Psalm (26:1-8)

Because he has been faithful in his walk, the Psalmist expects vindication from Yahweh. He even challenges Yahweh to test him in his innocence. He has not kept company with sinners, but has joined the procession of praise and thanksgiving around the altar instead. He loves the house of God because of the divine presence that is gloriously evident there.

Second Reading (Romans 9:1-5)

St. Paul exhorts the Christian community to have genuine love for one another and serve the Lord faithfully especially when under persecution. Instead of taking revenge on their enemies themselves they are to put it into God’s hands, knowing that good will ultimately triumph over evil.

Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21)

Right after he had praised Peter for recognizing him as Messiah Jesus rebukes him for not understanding that suffering and death are ahead for both Messiah and his disciples. We are not to seek to save our lives, but to deny ourselves and follow Jesus, remembering that he will repay many times over in the resurrection.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• It is God who saves us, not we ourselves

• Doing good will triumph over evil

• Suffering is to be expected as part of the Christian life

• Relief from suffering is in God’s hands

• We are to follow in God’s ways in all circumstances, loving God, fellow Christians and our enemies

• The need to remain faithful, especially under pressure to conform to this world

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, August 20, 2017, Proper 15, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 45:1-15)

Years after selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt, his brothers do not recognize him as the Egyptian government official in a position to save them in a time of famine. When he reveals himself to them they are filled with fear, but he reassures them, stating that it was God who sent him on ahead in order to preserve their whole family. They wept and talked together in a moving scene of reconciliation.

Psalm (133)

The Psalmist describes the blessing of family unity using two metaphors of excess: the anointing oil that had overflowed Aaron in connection with his consecration as high priest and the drenching dew on the mountains of Israel. In all of this benevolence can be glimpsed a picture of the rich blessing of Yahweh, life forever more.

Second Reading (Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32)

Paul reassures his readers that what he has been saying in no way implies God’s rejection of the Jewish people. It is true that their general negative response to the Gospel has opened the door for Gentiles but it must be remembered that both divisions of the human family have been disobedient but both have also been shown mercy.

Gospel (Matthew 15:[10-20], 21-28)

Concerning the distinctive Jewish food laws, Jesus emphasizes that true defilement originates in the sinful heart rather than from food taken into the mouth. Then he moves into Gentile territory where a local woman calls out to him to have mercy on her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus declines because, as he tells the disciples, he has been sent only to the Jewish people. But when he perceives her persistent faith he puts all that aside and heals her daughter.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• The blessing of family unity (including the human family)
• God’s providential care for his people
• The equality of Jew and Gentile in the kingdom of God
• Mercy (Grace) trumps disobedience
• The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 56:1, 6-8)

The prophet Isaiah envisions Yahweh’s coming salvation as clearly including Gentiles as well as Israelites. Foreigners will come to worship on Mount Zion and the Temple will be known as a house of prayer for all nations. All those now considered outcasts, both Jew and Gentile, will be gathered together by Yahweh.

Psalm (67)

The Psalmist suggests that the abundant blessings of God upon Israel will lead to him being known throughout the nations and praise erupting from every corner. All the peoples will honour his name when they see the amazing harvests in Israel.

Second Reading (Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32)

Paul reassures his readers that what he has been saying in no way implies God’s rejection of the Jewish people. It is true that their general negative response to the Gospel has opened the door for Gentiles but it must be remembered that both divisions of the human family have been disobedient but both have also been shown mercy.

Gospel (Matthew 15:[10-20], 21-28)

Concerning the distinctive Jewish food laws, Jesus emphasizes that true defilement originates in the sinful heart rather than from food taken into the mouth. Then he moves into Gentile territory where a local woman calls out to him to have mercy on her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus declines because, as he tells the disciples, he has been sent only to the Jewish people. But when he perceives her persistent faith he puts all that aside and heals her daughter.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• The inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of God
• The equality of Jew and Gentile in the kingdom of God
• Mercy (Grace) trumps disobedience
• The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart

Readings for November 27, 2016 Year A First Sunday of Advent

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 2:1-5
  • Psalm 122

Second Reading

  • Romans 13:11-14

Gospel

  • Matthew 24:36-44

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Isaiah sees a time when Jerusalem, as the location of the temple, will be exalted and attract the nations eager to learn the ways of God as his word issues forth from its precincts. The LORD shall act as judge between the nations, resulting in an everlasting and universal peace. The prophet then urges his readers to “walk in the light of the LORD.” The Psalmist exults in the joy of finding himself in the house of YAHWEH and within the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the very centre of divine worship and the place of kingly judgment. He ends with an exhortation to pray for its peace. St. Paul reminds the Christians at Rome that as the night is almost over they should cast off the works of darkness and live as in the day. Which means clothing oneself with Jesus and casting off the works of the flesh. In the Gospel Jesus deals with his second coming, how no one except the Father knows the hour. He likens it to the days of Noah when judgment took away those not ready and left behind the faithful who were saved on the ark. We are to live each moment as if it was the expected hour, living as we should be living and therefore ready to greet the Son of Man.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Isaiah sees a time when Jerusalem, as the location of the temple, will be exalted and attract the nations eager to learn the ways of God as his word issues forth from its precincts. The LORD shall act as judge between the nations, resulting in an everlasting and universal peace. The prophet then urges his readers to “walk in the light of the LORD.”

Psalm

The Psalmist exults in the joy of finding himself in the house of YAHWEH and within the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the very centre of divine worship and the place of kingly judgment. He ends with an exhortation to pray for its peace.

New Testament

St. Paul reminds the Christians at Rome that as the night is almost over they should cast off the works of darkness and live as in the day. Which means clothing oneself with Jesus and casting off the works of the flesh.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus deals with his second coming, how no one except the Father knows the hour. He likens it to the days of Noah when judgment took away those not ready and left behind the faithful who were saved on the ark. We are to live each moment as if it was the expected hour, living as we should be living and therefore ready to greet the Son of Man.

 

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

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

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.

Readings for November 13, 2016 Year C Proper 28 (33)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Isaiah 12

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Malachi 4:1-2a
  • Psalm 98

Second Reading

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Gospel

  • Luke 21:5-19

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Through the prophet Isaiah YAHWEH sets out his coming salvation for Israel in terms of a new heaven and a new earth. It will be so blessed that there will be only joy and delight, no weeping or mourning. No life will be cut off before its time and YAHWEH will always be close at hand. Even the wolf and the lamb will feed together. The Psalm, taken from Isaiah as well, celebrates the coming day of YAHWEH’s salvation before the nations with thanksgiving and joy. He will be powerfully amongst them at last. In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others. Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through the prophet Isaiah YAHWEH sets out his coming salvation for Israel in terms of a new heaven and a new earth. It will be so blessed that there will be only joy and delight, no weeping or mourning. No life will be cut off before its time and YAHWEH will always be close at hand. Even the wolf and the lamb will feed together.

Psalm

The Psalm, taken from Isaiah as well, celebrates the coming day of YAHWEH’s salvation before the nations with thanksgiving and joy. He will be powerfully amongst them at last.

New Testament

In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others.

Gospel

Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

Based on the Alternative Readings

The prophet Malachi uses the image of stubble burned in an oven to convey the awful reality of YAHWEH’s coming judgment upon those who persist in evil. On the other hand, those who honour him will experience restoration through the rising of the sun of righteousness. The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself. In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others. Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

As Introductions

Old Testament

The prophet Malachi uses the image of stubble burned in an oven to convey the awful reality of YAHWEH’s coming judgment upon those who persist in evil. On the other hand, those who honour him will experience restoration through the rising of the sun of righteousness.

Psalm

The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself.

New Testament

In the light of the coming of Jesus, St. Paul urges the Thessalonians to not be idle or to suffer idlers. It is the time to work, even to settle down and not be a burden to others.

Gospel

Jesus tells his disciples that terrible times lie ahead for Jerusalem but even that is not the end. False messiahs will arise in a time of great worldwide turmoil and conflict but they are not to be followed. Before all this his followers will be severely persecuted but Jesus will be with them and no ultimate harm will come to them if they are faithful.

 

Readings for November 6, 2016 Year C Proper 27 (32)

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First Reading and Psalm

  • Haggai 1:15b-2:9
  • Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21

Second Reading

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17

Gospel

  • Luke 20:27-38

Alternative Psalm for above Readings

  • Psalm 98

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Job 19:23-27a
  • Psalm 17:1-9

Full lections can be read here.

Connection Based on the Readings as Set

Haggai is given the word of YAHWEH for the people of Judah who have returned to the Holy Land from exile. They have found their temple in ruins and are assured that it will rise again. In fact its splendor will be greater than Solomon’s temple, filled with the wealth of the nations as YAHWEH continues to dwell among them. In the Psalm the nation is called to meditate on the unsurpassed splendor of YAHWEH who blesses the faithful and destroys the wicked. All flesh will someday come to worship him. To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming salvation. In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as the present God of the ancient patriarchs.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Haggai is given the word of YAHWEH for the people of Judah who have returned to the Holy Land from exile. They have found their temple in ruins and are assured that it will rise again. In fact its splendor will be greater than Solomon’s temple, filled with the wealth of the nations as YAHWEH continues to dwell among them.

Psalm

In the Psalm the nation is called to meditate on the unsurpassed splendor of YAHWEH who blesses the faithful and destroys the wicked. All flesh will someday come to worship him.

New Testament

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming salvation.

Gospel

In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as the present God of the ancient patriarchs.

Connection Based on the Readings as Set but with Alternative Psalm

Haggai is given the word of YAHWEH for the people of Judah who have returned to the Holy Land from exile. They have found their temple in ruins and are assured that it will rise again. In fact its splendor will be greater than Solomon’s temple, filled with the wealth of the nations as YAHWEH continues to dwell among them. The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself. To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming great salvation. In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will powerfully transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as still the God of the ancient patriarchs.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Haggai is given the word of YAHWEH for the people of Judah who have returned to the Holy Land from exile. They have found their temple in ruins and are assured that it will rise again. In fact its splendor will be greater than Solomon’s temple, filled with the wealth of the nations as YAHWEH continues to dwell among them.

Psalm

The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of YAHWEH as demonstrated in his decisive lifting up of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in rejoicing along with nature itself.

New Testament

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming great salvation.

Gospel

In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as the present God of the ancient patriarchs.

Connection Based on Alternative Readings

In this remarkable passage Job cries out for a pen so that his words can be recorded for posterity. In spite of his great suffering he is confident of his ultimate vindication and that in his own flesh he shall see God even long after he has died and his body destroyed. The Psalmist sees himself as a besieged innocent and cries out to YAHWEH for vindication. He is confident of being heard and ultimately finding refuge under the shadow of God’s wing. To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming great salvation. In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will powerfully transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as still the God of the ancient patriarchs.

As Introductions

Old Testament

In this remarkable passage Job cries out for a pen so that his words can be recorded for posterity. In spite of his great suffering he is confident of his ultimate vindication and that in his own flesh he shall see God even long after he has died and his body destroyed.

Psalm

The Psalmist sees himself as a besieged innocent and cries out to YAHWEH for vindication. He is confident of being heard and ultimately finding refuge under the shadow of God’s wing.

New Testament

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the second coming of Jesus and being gathered to him, St. Paul assures them that this glorious event still lies ahead of them. Present and future circumstances not withstanding, their current experience of the love and grace of God in Christ is the first fruit of this coming great salvation.

Gospel

In the Gospel Luke tells of Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees who tried to make belief in the resurrection seem ridiculous by telling the story of the widow who married seven brothers in succession. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they demand. In response Jesus affirms the resurrection but teaches that it is a reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world. He also argues that the Old Testament witnesses to the resurrection in its characterization of YAHWEH as the present God of the ancient patriarchs.

 

 

 

Readings for November 1, 2016 Year C All Saints Day

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Lection Connection for Proper 26(31) can be found here.

First Reading and Psalm

  • Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
  • Psalm 149

Second Reading

  • Ephesians 1:11-23

Gospel

  • Luke 6:20-31

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Daniel is given a vision of four great kings or kingdoms that shall arise out of the earth. Each is visualized as a horrific “beast”, striking terror in the heart of the prophet. In spite of this threatening scenario, Daniel is assured that the kingdom will ultimately belong forever to the holy ones of God. The Psalm calls for praise to YAHWEH because he gives glorious victory to lowly Israel, setting it over the kings and nobles of the nations. Paul writes of the glorious inheritance we now have in Christ, rooted in the power exhibited in his resurrection and demonstrated in his being designated head over all things for us. While he is our head, we are his body and share in his fullness. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes it is clear that things in the kingdom of God will be upside down from our normal experience. The lowly will be made great and vice versa. In the meantime we are called to embody a kind of upside down kingdom way of life, loving our enemies and treating them as we ourselves desire to be treated.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Daniel is given a vision of four great kings or kingdoms that shall arise out of the earth. Each is visualized as a horrific “beast”, striking terror in the heart of the prophet. In spite of this threatening scenario, Daniel is assured that the kingdom will ultimately belong forever to the holy ones of God.

Psalm

The Psalm calls for praise to YAHWEH because he gives glorious victory to lowly Israel, setting it over the kings and nobles of the nations.

New Testament

Paul writes of the glorious inheritance we now have in Christ, rooted in the power exhibited in his resurrection and demonstrated in his being designated head over all things for us. While he is our head, we are his body and share in his fullness.

Gospel

In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes it is clear that things in the kingdom of God will be upside down from our normal experience. The lowly will be made great and vice versa. In the meantime we are called to embody a kind of upside down kingdom way of life, loving our enemies and treating them as we ourselves desire to be treated.

 

Readings for October 30, 2016 Year C All Saints Day (Transferred)/Proper 26 (31)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

All Saints Day (Transferred)

[See below for Year C Proper 26 (31)]

First Reading and Psalm

  • Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
  • Psalm 149

Second Reading

  • Ephesians 1:11-23

Gospel

  • Luke 6:20-31

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Daniel is given a vision of four great kings or kingdoms that shall arise out of the earth. Each is visualized as a horrific “beast”, striking terror in the heart of the prophet. In spite of this threatening scenario, Daniel is assured that the kingdom will ultimately belong forever to the holy ones of God. The Psalm calls for praise to YAHWEH because he gives glorious victory to lowly Israel, setting it over the kings and nobles of the nations. Paul writes of the glorious inheritance we now have in Christ, rooted in the power exhibited in his resurrection and demonstrated in his being designated head over all things for us. While he is our head, we are his body and share in his fullness. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes it is clear that things in the kingdom of God will be upside down from our normal experience. The lowly will be made great and vice versa. In the meantime we are called to embody a kind of upside down kingdom way of life, loving our enemies and treating them as we ourselves desire to be treated.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Daniel is given a vision of four great kings or kingdoms that shall arise out of the earth. Each is visualized as a horrific “beast”, striking terror in the heart of the prophet. In spite of this threatening scenario, Daniel is assured that the kingdom will ultimately belong forever to the holy ones of God.

Psalm

The Psalm calls for praise to YAHWEH because he gives glorious victory to lowly Israel, setting it over the kings and nobles of the nations.

New Testament

Paul writes of the glorious inheritance we now have in Christ, rooted in the power exhibited in his resurrection and demonstrated in his being designated head over all things for us. While he is our head, we are his body and share in his fullness.

Gospel

In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes it is clear that things in the kingdom of God will be upside down from our normal experience. The lowly will be made great and vice versa. In the meantime we are called to embody a kind of upside down kingdom way of life, loving our enemies and treating them as we ourselves desire to be treated.

Year C Proper 26 (31)

First Reading and Psalm

  • Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
  • Psalm 119:137-144

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 1:10-18
  • Psalm 32:1-7

Second Reading

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Gospel

  • Luke 19:1-10

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Crying out for YAHWEH to end his silence in the midst of Judah’s destruction, the prophet Habakkuk decides simply to listen for the divine word. He is assured both of a coming “end” for which he is to wait and also that it is through such faithfulness that the righteous will live. The Psalmist, although he is in the midst of serious trouble, exults in the life-giving quality of God’s word at every level of existence and pleads for fuller understanding. Paul praises the Thessalonians who are steadfast in the midst of suffering and persecution. Indeed, they are growing in faith and love through the power of God, bringing glory to the Lord Jesus. St. Luke tells the story of Zacchaeus who, in the midst of his sin, had a passion to see Jesus in spite of the obscuring throng. Up in the tree above the crowd he hears Jesus’ word and his life is transformed as he experiences the new life of God’s salvation.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Crying out for YAHWEH to end his silence in the midst of Judah’s destruction, the prophet Habakkuk decides simply to listen for the divine word. He is assured both of a coming “end” for which he is to wait and also that it is through such faithfulness that the righteous will live.

Psalm

The Psalmist, although he is in the midst of serious trouble, exults in the life-giving quality of God’s word at every level of existence and pleads for fuller understanding.

New Testament

Paul praises the Thessalonians who are steadfast in the midst of suffering and persecution. Indeed, they are growing in faith and love through the power of God, bringing glory to the Lord Jesus.

Gospel

St. Luke tells the story of Zacchaeus who, in the midst of his sin, had a passion to see Jesus in spite of the obscuring throng. Up in the tree above the crowd he hears Jesus’ word and his life is transformed as he experiences the new life of God’s salvation.

Based on the Alternative Readings

The prophet Isaiah compares the sin of Judah to that of Sodom and Gomorrah and calls the nation to right living as well as right religion. He offers the promise that, if the nation repents, its sins will be forgiven. The Psalmist rejoices in sins forgiven and even in the difficult times that inspired true repentance. YAHWEH is a hiding place in times of trouble for those who will look to him. Paul praises the Thessalonians who are steadfast in the midst of suffering and persecution. Indeed, they are growing in faith and love through the power of God, bringing glory to the Lord Jesus. St. Luke tells the story of Zacchaeus who, in the midst of his sin, had a passion to see Jesus in spite of the obscuring throng. Up in the tree above the crowd he hears Jesus’ word and his life is transformed as he experiences the new life of God’s salvation.

As Introductions

Old Testament

The prophet Isaiah compares the sin of Judah to that of Sodom and Gomorrah and calls the nation to right living as well as right religion. He offers the promise that, if the nation repents, its sins will be forgiven.

Psalm

The Psalmist rejoices in sins forgiven and even in the difficult times that inspired true repentance. YAHWEH is a hiding place in times of trouble for those who will look to him.

New Testament

Paul praises the Thessalonians who are steadfast in the midst of suffering and persecution. Indeed, they are growing in faith and love through the power of God, bringing glory to the Lord Jesus.

Gospel

St. Luke tells the story of Zacchaeus who, in the midst of his sin, had a passion to see Jesus in spite of the obscuring throng. Up in the tree above the crowd he hears Jesus’ word and his life is transformed as he experiences the new life of God’s salvation.

Readings for October 23, 2016 Year C Proper 25 (30)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Joel 2:23-32
  • Psalm 65

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Jeremiah 14:7-10
  • Psalm 84:1-7

Second Reading

  • 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Gospel

  • Luke 18:9-14

Full lections can be read here.

Connection Based on the Readings as Set

The prophet Joel is granted a vision of a coming age in which YAHWEH will exalt his humiliated people by means of extremely abundant material and spiritual blessings . Indeed his very Spirit will be poured upon them and “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved”! The Psalmist calls us to rejoice in “the God of our salvation” who delivers us from evil and whose powers of creation, especially in providing abundant water, enable the fruits of the earth to flourish. The apostle Paul looks forward to “that day” when, having been poured out for the sake of the Gospel, he, along with all who have looked for Jesus to appear, will receive the “crown of righteousness”. He knows that he will be rescued from all evil attacks and saved for the kingdom. Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector vividly illustrates the fact that God will exalt the truly humble and humiliate the falsely proud. It is the sinner who calls out to God for mercy who is saved, not the one who is confident in his own righteousness.

As Introductions

Old Testament

The prophet Joel is granted a vision of a coming age in which YAHWEH will exalt his humiliated people by means of extremely abundant material and spiritual blessings . Indeed his very Spirit will be poured upon them and “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved”!

Psalm

The Psalmist calls us to rejoice in “the God of our salvation” who delivers us from evil and whose powers of creation, especially in providing abundant water, enable the fruits of the earth to flourish.

New Testament

The apostle Paul looks forward to “that day” when, having been poured out for the sake of the Gospel, he, along with all who have looked for Jesus to appear, will receive the “crown of righteousness”. He knows that he will be rescued from all evil attacks and saved for the kingdom.

Gospel

Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector vividly illustrates the fact that God will exalt the truly humble and humiliate the falsely proud. It is the sinner who calls out to God for mercy who is saved, not the one who is confident in his own righteousness.

Connection Based on Alternative Readings

The prophet Jeremiah voices the appeal of a repentant people to a YAHWEH whose ears appear to be closed. They acknowledge responsibility for their distress and do not plead on the basis of any good in them. Instead, they point out that if YAHWEH does not save his covenant people his own great name will be disgraced. The Psalmist exults in the blessings of living in the presence of God, his temple and his city. He affirms that those who derive their strength from God alone are the happiest of all. The apostle Paul looks forward to “that day” when, having been poured out for the sake of the Gospel, he, along with all who have looked for Jesus to appear, will receive the “crown of righteousness”. He knows that he will be rescued from all evil attacks and saved for the kingdom. Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector vividly illustrates the fact that God will exalt the truly humble and humiliate the falsely proud. It is the sinner who calls out to God for mercy who is saved, not the one who is confident in his own righteousness.

As Introductions

Old Testament

The prophet Jeremiah voices the appeal of a repentant people to a YAHWEH whose ears appear to be closed. They acknowledge responsibility for their distress and do not plead on the basis of any good in them. Instead, they point out that if YAHWEH does not save his covenant people his own great name will be disgraced.

Psalm

The Psalmist exults in the blessings of living in the presence of God, his temple and his city. He affirms that those who derive their strength from God alone are the happiest of all.

New Testament

The apostle Paul looks forward to “that day” when, having been poured out for the sake of the Gospel, he, along with all who have looked for Jesus to appear, will receive the “crown of righteousness”. He knows that he will be rescued from all evil attacks and saved for the kingdom.

Gospel

Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector vividly illustrates the fact that God will exalt the truly humble and humiliate the falsely proud. It is the sinner who calls out to God for mercy who is saved, not the one who is confident in his own righteousness.

 

Readings for October 16, 2016 Year C Proper 24 (29)

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

First Reading and Psalm

  • Jeremiah 31:27-34
  • Psalm 119:97-104

Second Reading

  • 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Gospel

  • Luke 18:1-8

Alternative First Reading and Psalm

  • Genesis 32:22-31
  • Psalm 121

Full lections can be read here.

Connection Based on the Readings as Set

Through Jeremiah YAHWEH promises a new covenant with Israel as the end result of his faithful watching over the beleaguered nation. While he may not have appeared to be listening while they suffered, all would be clear when he finally acted. In a new covenantal relationship he would put his law permanently in their hearts, forgiving and forgetting their past unfaithfulness. The Psalmist exults in the law of God, the practice of which makes him wiser than any of his enemies, teachers or elders. Such divine words are sweeter than honey itself. Paul reminds Timothy of the inspired nature of the Scriptures and their ability to form spiritually those willing to listen to them. Not listening guarantees wandering away from the truth. In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable in which a judge is forced to grant justice to an audacious widow by the sheer persistence of her asking. So it is that God will surely not resist the cry of the faithful who suffer. Justice delayed is not justice denied, but its delay poses a serious challenge to faith.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Through Jeremiah YAHWEH promises a new covenant with Israel as the end result of his faithful watching over the beleaguered nation. While he may not have appeared to be listening while they suffered, all would be clear when he finally acted. In a new covenantal relationship he would put his law permanently in their hearts, forgiving and forgetting their past unfaithfulness.

Psalm

The Psalmist exults in the law of God, the practice of which makes him wiser than any of his enemies, teachers or elders. Such divine words are sweeter than honey itself.

New Testament

Paul reminds Timothy of the inspired nature of the Scriptures and their ability to form spiritually those willing to listen to them. Not listening guarantees wandering away from the truth.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable in which a judge is forced to grant justice to an audacious widow by the sheer persistence of her asking. So it is that God will surely not resist the cry of the faithful who suffer. Justice delayed is not justice denied, but its delay poses a serious challenge to faith.

Connection Based on Alternative Readings

Jacob’s audacity and persistence in his wrestling bout with a mysterious “man” pays off with a profound blessing. His new name, Israel, reveals that he has been wrestling with God himself. It also hints at the nature of his descendants’ relationship with both God and humanity. The Psalmist knows where to look for help: to YAHWEH alone. It is he who “keeps” us: he will not sleep through our need, whatever that need might be. Paul reminds Timothy of the inspired nature of the Scriptures and their ability to form spiritually those willing to listen to them. Not listening guarantees wandering away from the truth. In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable in which a judge is forced to grant justice to an audacious widow by the sheer persistence of her asking. So it is that God will surely not resist the cry of the faithful who suffer. Justice delayed is not justice denied, but its delay poses a serious challenge to faith.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Jacob’s audacity and persistence in his wrestling bout with a mysterious “man” pays off with a profound blessing. His new name, Israel, reveals that he has been wrestling with God himself. It also hints at the nature of his descendants’ relationship with both God and humanity.

Psalm

The Psalmist knows where to look for help: to YAHWEH alone. It is he who “keeps” us: he will not sleep through our need, whatever that need might be.

New Testament

Paul reminds Timothy of the inspired nature of the Scriptures and their ability to form spiritually those willing to listen to them. Not listening guarantees wandering away from the truth.

Gospel

In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable in which a judge is forced to grant justice to an audacious widow by the sheer persistence of her asking. So it is that God will surely not resist the cry of the faithful who suffer. Justice delayed is not justice denied, but its delay poses a serious challenge to faith.