Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 28, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 22:1-14)

After promising Abraham that he would have many descendants through Isaac, God commands the patriarch to sacrifice his son. At the last moment an angel intervenes and a ram is provided as a substitute. Abraham is commended for his difficult obedience.

Psalm (13)

The Psalmist’s world has collapsed around him in pain, sorrow and humiliation. Nevertheless, he trusts in the steadfast love of the Lord and looks forward to rejoicing at his salvation by a gracious God.

Second Reading (Romans 6:12-23)

Paul clarifies that we are not free to sin simply because we are no longer under the law. Having died to sin and to the death it brings, we have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In response, our freedom is guided by an obedience from within.

Gospel (Matthew 10:40-42)

Having warned his disciples that following him would engender fierce opposition, Jesus also assures them of welcome and assistance from others. Such persons would actually be welcoming him and would not go unrewarded even for minor acts of kindness.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The promises of God are sure
  • Even when things are going badly, God is at work making a way
  • Present circumstances do not dictate the final end of things
  • Following the Lord is not an easy path
  • The gift of a relationship with God in Christ brings with it both struggle and victory

SCRIPTURE SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
1 Peter 2.9

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you have taught us through your Son
that love fulfils the law.
May we love you with all our heart,
all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and may we love our neighbour as ourselves; 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 (Jeremiah 28:5-9)

Jeremiah publicly confronts a false prophet who had proclaimed that peace was coming soon. Genuine prophets are usually called to announce impending disaster when there is widespread disobedience. Predicting peace in such times is not likely inspired by God.

Psalm (Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18)

The Psalmist is confident of the Lord’s steadfast love because of the covenant he made with David establishing his throne forever. The people of Israel are rightly happy in their privileged position, exulting in the name of the Lord, from whom all blessings come.

Second Reading (Romans 6:12-23)

Paul clarifies that we are not free to sin simply because we are no longer under the law. Having died to sin and to the death it brings, we have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In response, our freedom is guided by an obedience from within.

Gospel (Matthew 10:40-42)

Having warned his disciples that following him would engender fierce opposition, Jesus also assures them of welcome and assistance from others. Such persons would actually be welcoming him and would not go unrewarded even for minor acts of kindness.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The promises of God are sure
  • Even when things are going badly, God is at work making a way
  • Following the Lord is not an easy path
  • The gift of a relationship with God in Christ brings with it both struggle and victory
  • The faithful can exult in having God’s eye upon them in all circumstances

SCRIPTURE SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
1 Peter 2.9

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you have taught us through your Son
that love fulfils the law.
May we love you with all our heart,
all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and may we love our neighbour as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

Third Sunday after Pentecost, June 21, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 21:8-21)

After Isaac the son of promise is born, Sarah wants Abraham to get rid of Hagar and her son Ishmael, Isaac’s half-brother. He agrees only after God assures him that they would prosper. God then saves them from certain death after hearing their cries in the desert.

Psalm (Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17)

In a time of great need the Psalmist pleads with the Lord for deliverance, confident of the steadfast love of the one true God for all those who cry out to him, even if they are of humble origin.

Second Reading (Romans 6:1b-11)

Paul points out the implications of being united with Christ through baptism into his death and resurrection: our old self dies and we are raised to new life. Now alive to God and dead to sin, we are enabled to walk in newness of life.

Gospel (Matthew 10:24-39)

Jesus warns that his followers will come under persecution for making his message known. They are not to fear, as his Father cares for even the tiniest bird that falls. Obeying Jesus is costly, even cutting across family lines, but brings life beyond death.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Lord provides for those participating in his mission
  • The Lord is ever attentive to the cries of his faithful people
  • Walking in obedient witness does bring its difficulties but God is with us
  • Being united with Christ commits us to a life patterned on his
  • Commitment to Jesus takes precedence over all other commitments, even family ones

SCRIPTURE SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

The Spirit of truth will bear witness to me, says the Lord; and you also are witnesses. John 15.26, 27

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

O God our defender,
storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair,
deliver your sons and daughters from fear,
and preserve us all from unbelief;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. AMEN

 

Based on the Alternate Readings

First Reading (Jeremiah 20:7-13)

Jeremiah complains to the Lord because he has been persecuted by his fellow Israelites for delivering an unwelcome divine word. As a prophet, Jeremiah realizes he has had no choice and comes to realize that the Lord is with him and will prevail.

Psalm (69:7-10 [11-15], 16-18)

The Psalmist recounts the negative things that have happened to him because of his faithfulness to the Lord, including the estrangement of his family. At the same time, he is prayerfully trusting in the steadfast love of the Lord for deliverance.

Second Reading (Romans 6:1b-11)

Paul points out the implications of being united with Christ through baptism into his death and resurrection: our old self dies and we are raised to new life. Now alive to God and dead to sin, we are enabled to walk in newness of life.

Gospel (Matthew 10:24-39)

Jesus warns that his followers will come under persecution for making his message known. They are not to fear, as his Father cares for even the tiniest bird that falls. Obeying Jesus is costly, even cutting across family lines, but brings life beyond death.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Lord provides for those participating in his mission
  • The Lord is ever attentive to the cries of his faithful people
  • Walking in obedient witness does bring its difficulties but God is with us
  • Being united with Christ commits us to a life patterned upon his
  • Commitment to Jesus takes precedence over all other commitments, even family ones

SCRIPTURE SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

The Spirit of truth will bear witness to me, says the Lord; and you also are witnesses. John 15.26, 27

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

O God our defender,
storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair,
deliver your sons and daughters from fear,
and preserve us all from unbelief;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. AMEN

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A, February 2, 2020

Lection Connection for the Presentation of the 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 (Micah 6:1-8)

Micah pictures the Lord calling the mountains as witnesses to what he teaches wayward Judah. Do they not remember being brought out of Egypt to the Promised Land? It is not more ritual sacrifices that he requires, but humbly walking in his way of love and justice.

Psalm (Psalm 15)

The Psalmist points out that those who would dwell with the Lord must walk blamelessly, speaking and doing the truth no matter the cost.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

Paul points out that the message of the cross contradicts the way spiritual truth is normally acquired. It is foolishness to Greeks seeking wisdom and weakness to Jews seeking powerful signs. The Lord alone saves and therefore no one can boast.

Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12)

Matthew recounts how Jesus, having ascended a mountain, teaches about the attitudes and actions that characterize those who will inherit the kingdom of God. He outlines a blessed life of meekness and humility which results in opposition and even persecution.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God’s ways are not our ways and can sometimes contradict them
  • God is the one to exercise spiritual power, while we are to follow him in humility
  • It is God who saves, not we ourselves
  • To walk humbly before our God is to put his ways above ours and to believe that he will indeed save us in spite of appearances to the contrary