Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, 2018, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Micah 5:2-5a)

The prophet Micah declares that Israel’s ruler will come, as promised, from the smallest clan of Judah in the little town of Bethlehem. They will be bereft until a woman has given birth to a son and his people return. He shall shepherd them securely in the peace and strength of the Lord.

Psalm/Canticle ([Magnificat] Luke 1:46b-55)

Mary praises God for raising her from obscurity to become the mother of the Lord. She sees this as part of God’s pattern of lifting up the lowly and needy and putting down the proud and rich. This is a pattern rooted in the covenant promise made to Abraham and his descendants.

Second Reading (Hebrews 10:5-10)

The coming of Christ means the end to the old sacrifices and offerings as his body is offered once for all instead. Those sacrifices and offerings under the law were unable to please God and it was his will to send Christ into the world that through his body we might be truly sanctified.

Gospel (Luke 1:39-45)

After Gabriel’s visit, Mary hurries to her cousin Elizabeth who is indeed pregnant. Her child leaps for joy at Mary’s greeting and Elizabeth herself is filled with the Holy Spirit. She tells Mary that her baby is blessed, as is she, because she had believed the word of the Lord.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God has not lost sight of the humble and lowly
  • Mary, as a humble believer in God’s word, is lifted up
  • Part of God’s lifting up of the humble involves the sacrifice of his Son.
  • The promises of God are sure

OR

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Micah 5:2-5a)

The prophet Micah declares that Israel’s ruler will come, as promised, from the smallest clan of Judah in the little town of Bethlehem. They will be bereft until a woman has given birth to a son and his people return. He shall shepherd them securely in the peace and strength of the Lord.

Psalm (80:1-7)

The Psalmist, aware of Yahweh’s displeasure with his people, asks him three times to shine his face upon them that they might be saved. They have suffered greatly but Yahweh remains in their midst and will surely respond to their calls upon his name.

Second Reading (Hebrews 10:5-10)

The coming of Christ means the end to the old sacrifices and offerings as his body is offered once for all instead. Those sacrifices and offerings under the law were unable to please God and it was his will to send Christ into the world that through his body we might be truly sanctified.

Gospel (Luke 1:39-55)

After Gabriel’s visit, Mary hurries to her cousin Elizabeth who is indeed pregnant. Her child leaps in joy at Mary’s greeting and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary praises God for lifting up lowly Israel, fulfilling the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants forever.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God has not lost sight of the humble and lowly
  • Mary, as a humble believer in God’s word, is lifted up
  • Part of God’s lifting up of the humble involves the sacrifice of his Son.
  • The promises of God are sure

 

Nativity of the Lord – Proper 3, December 25, 2017, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 52:7-10)

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

Psalm (98)

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

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

The author celebrates the fact that God has now spoken through his Son, who, reflecting him perfectly, is both creator and heir of all things. Much superior to the angels who worshipped him 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 active in creation taking on flesh, God himself has come among us as light and life. John the Baptist serves as a witness to this light 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
  • New beginnings
  • Announcing/giving witness to the Word
  • The difference made by God’s arrival: its like night and day
  • Celebrating new birth
  • All things made new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nativity of the Lord – Proper 2, December 25, 2017, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 62:6-12)

Jerusalem will enjoy a reversal of its current debasement when Yahweh’s salvation comes. Its inhabitants will reap the rewards of their labour and be known throughout the whole earth as the holy people, redeemed by Yahweh and living in a city no longer forsaken.

Psalm (97)

The Psalmist celebrates the fact that Yahweh is universal king over the earth and calls all to joyful thanksgiving. The peoples 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 appeared and he saved us through the waters of rebirth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was his mercy and not our own efforts that did this, making us heirs of eternal life through grace alone.

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

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, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had stirred the angels to light up the nighttime sky.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The arrival of God’s salvation
  • The universal and enduring significance of the birth of Jesus
  • The Light has come and God has acted
  • God lifts up the fallen who cannot help themselves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nativity of the Lord – Proper 1, December 25, 2017, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Isaiah, writing at the darkest point in Israel’s history, sets forth a bright vision in which the nation’s fortunes are miraculously reversed. A son is born to the throne of David who will exercise his power wisely, ruling forever over a kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness. This is the great desire of YAHWEH.

Psalm (96)

The Psalmist calls the nations to abandon their idols and come to worship YAHWEH in a song. He is coming to judge the peoples fairly and 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 bringing salvation to all has come into a world opposed to him. This same grace is preparing us to live godly lives as we await his final appearing at the end of the age.

Gospel (Luke 2:1-20)

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, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had stirred the angels to light up the nighttime sky.

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 darkness

 

 

Readings for December 25, 2016 Year A Christmas Proper 1

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

 

First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 9:2-7
  • Psalm 96

Second Reading

  • Titus 2:11-14

Gospel

  • Luke 2:1-20

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Isaiah, writing at the lowest point in Israel’s history, sets forth a remarkable vision of a time in which the nation’s fortunes will be wonderfully and miraculously reversed. A son will be given to the line of David and he will exercise his power and authority wisely, ruling forever over a kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness. This will come about because YAHWEH is behind him all the way. The Psalmist calls all the nations to abandon their idols and come to worship YAHWEH in a song they have never sung before. He is coming to judge the peoples fairly and bringing salvation with him. As a result even nature will join in a universal outpouring of praise. St. Paul declares that through the death of Jesus Christ God’s grace has come into a world set against him, bringing salvation to all. This same grace is preparing us to live godly lives as we await his final appearing at the end of the age. St. Luke tells of how Jesus came into this world in the line of David, in the city of David, and with the praise of angels. But it was to a band of humble shepherds they appeared and it was to a simple manger the men were sent. There they caught a glimpse of the tiny Saviour whose coming had shattered their nighttime sky into glorious light. It was Messiah at last!

As Introductions

Old Testament

Isaiah, writing at the lowest point in Israel’s history, sets forth a remarkable vision of a time in which the nation’s fortunes will be wonderfully and miraculously reversed. A son will be given to the line of David and he will exercise his power and authority wisely, ruling forever over a kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness. This will come about because YAHWEH is behind him all the way.

Psalm

The Psalmist calls all the nations to abandon their idols and come to worship YAHWEH in a song they have never sung before. He is coming to judge the peoples fairly and bringing salvation with him. As a result even nature will join in a universal outpouring of praise.

New Testament

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

Gospel

St. Luke tells of how Jesus came into this world in the line of David, in the city of David, and with the praise of angels. But it was to a band of humble shepherds they appeared and it was to a simple manger the men were sent. There they caught a glimpse of the tiny Saviour whose coming had shattered their nighttime sky into glorious light. It was Messiah at last!