Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 19, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 28:10-19a)

Jacob dreams that where he is sleeping there is a ladder with angels moving between earth and heaven. The Lord gives him the same promise he made to Abraham and vows not to leave him until it is fulfilled. Awestruck, Jacob calls the place the “house of God”.

Psalm (139:1-12, 23-24)

The Psalmist, awestruck that the Lord knows him intimately wherever he might be, invites divine examination to expose his every wickedness and lead him in the everlasting way under his divine protection.

Second Reading (Romans 8:12-25)

Paul writes that living by the flesh brings death while living by the Spirit brings life, including adoption as God’s children to be heirs of his new creation. Present suffering cannot compare to this coming glory for those bearing the first fruits of the Spirit.

Gospel (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Jesus tells about a farmer who sowed seed on his land only to discover that an enemy had sowed weeds. To preserve the grain, he put off weeding until harvest. Similarly, Jesus says, both evil and righteous folk will share the kingdom until judgment at the end.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The way of the Lord versus the way of the world
  • A new world is coming for the faithful
  • Awe at the presence of God
  • Justice will prevail in spite of current circumstances
  • The promises of God are sure
  • The inheritors of God’s promises are under his care and already enjoying his presence

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

My word shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55.11

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
your Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence.
Give us pure hearts and constant wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
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 44:6-8)

In asserting his uniqueness as the one and only God, the Lord challenges other so-called gods to prove themselves by predicting the future as he has done. Israel, witnessing this truth repeatedly, has every reason to trust in him and to not fear current circumstances.

Psalm (86:11-17)

The Psalmist pleads with the Lord for an undivided heart, serving and glorifying him alone. Having been delivered before through the steadfast love of the Lord, he asks for deliverance from the ungodly who now threaten his very life.

Second Reading (Romans 8:12-25)

Paul writes that living by the flesh brings death while living by the Spirit brings life, including adoption as God’s children to be heirs of his new creation. Present suffering cannot compare to this coming glory for those bearing the first fruits of the Spirit.

Gospel (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Jesus tells about a farmer who sowed seed on his land only to discover that an enemy had sowed weeds. To preserve the grain, he put off weeding until harvest. Similarly, Jesus says, both evil and righteous folk will share the kingdom until judgment at the end.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The way of the Lord versus the way of the world
  • A new world is coming for the faithful
  • Justice will prevail in spite of current circumstances
  • The Lord our God is a jealous God
  • We can trust in the Lord on the basis of his historical acts of salvation

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

My word shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55.11

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
your Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence.
Give us pure hearts and constant wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

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

Second Sunday in Lent, Year A, March 8, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set, and with Alternative Gospel

First Reading (Genesis 12:1-4a)

After the Lord had frustrated the building of the Tower of Babel, he speaks to Abram in Haran. He tells him to leave his country and go to another where he would become a great nation that will be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth.

Psalm (121)

The Psalmist draws our attention to the fact that it is only the Lord who is our genuine help. As both creator and ever-present one, he protects and keeps us from all evil and danger.

Second Reading (Romans 4:1-5; 13-17)

Paul sees grace at work in the great promises that God made to Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. Righteousness and justification come by faith alone, not by works of the law. As such, they are guaranteed on the basis of God’s grace, not our performance.

Gospel (John 3:1-17)

Jesus tells Nicodemus that we need to be born again in order to enter God’s kingdom. This is a mysterious work of the Spirit in those who simply put their trust in the word and work of Jesus, the one sent from heaven for the salvation of the whole world.

OR

Alternative Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

After teaching his disciples about his impending death, Jesus goes up onto a mountain where his appearance is transformed in brilliant light. When he is joined by Moses and Elijah, a heavenly voice clarifies that Jesus, as God’s son, deserves our full attention.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The critical role of faith in our relationship with God
  • The wonderful nature of grace in contrast to the futility of relying upon our own efforts to reach up to God
  • The centrality of Christ to the gospel
  • The continuity of the story of grace
  • The message of the gospel is intended for the whole of humanity

 

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross,
give us faith to perceive his glory,
that being strengthened by his grace
we may be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN.

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, November 10, 2019, Proper 27, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Haggai 1:15b-2:9)

Haggai is given a message for the people of Judah who have returned from exile to the Holy Land: the Lord will continue to be with them and their ruined temple will rise again. More splendid even than Solomon’s temple, it will be filled with the wealth of nations.

Psalm (145:1-5, 17-21)

The Psalmist is caught up in praise as he contemplates the unsurpassed majesty and splendor of the Lord, who blesses the faithful and destroys the wicked. All flesh will someday come to worship him as well.

Second Reading (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17)

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the return of Jesus and being gathered to him, Paul re-affirms that this glorious event will occur, but only after the rise of the lawless one. As the first fruits of this coming salvation, his readers are to hold fast.

Gospel (Luke 20:27-38)

Luke relates Jesus’ encounter with some Sadducees who try to make belief in the resurrection seem absurd. Jesus responds by teaching that the resurrection is a scripturally-based reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The unsurpassing glory of God brings forth our worship
  • God’s salvation will be seen by all people
  • God is in the resurrection business
  • God will keep his promises, no matter what things look like now
  • God’s future transcends our world and our expectations

 

Based on the Readings as Set, but with the Alternative Psalm

First Reading (Haggai 1:15b-2:9)

Haggai is given a message for the people of Judah who have returned from exile to the Holy Land: the Lord will continue to be with them and their ruined temple will rise again. More splendid even than Solomon’s temple, it will be filled with the wealth of nations.

Psalm (98)

The Psalmist calls for exuberant celebration of the great power of the Lord demonstrated in his decisive exaltation of Israel. The nations bear witness to this miracle and are urged to join in the rejoicing of nature itself.

Second Reading (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17)

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the return of Jesus and being gathered to him, Paul re-affirms that this glorious event will occur, but only after the rise of the lawless one. As the first fruits of this coming salvation, his readers are to hold fast.

Gospel (Luke 20:27-38)

Luke relates Jesus’ encounter with some Sadducees who try to make belief in the resurrection seem absurd. Jesus responds by teaching that the resurrection is a scripturally-based reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The unsurpassing glory of God brings forth our worship
  • God’s salvation will be seen by all people
  • God is in the resurrection business
  • God will keep his promises, no matter what things look like now
  • God’s future transcends our world and our expectations

 

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Job 19:23-27a)

In this remarkable passage Job cries out for his words of ultimate hope in the Lord to be written down. Despite his great suffering he is confident of his ultimate vindication. He says that in his own flesh he shall see God long after he has died and his body destroyed.

Psalm (17:1-9)

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

Second Reading (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17)

To the church in Thessalonica, concerned about the return of Jesus and being gathered to him, Paul re-affirms that this glorious event will occur, but only after the rise of the lawless one. As the first fruits of this coming salvation, his readers are to hold fast.

Gospel (Luke 20:27-38)

Luke relates Jesus’ encounter with some Sadducees who try to make belief in the resurrection seem absurd. Jesus responds by teaching that the resurrection is a scripturally-based reality that will gloriously transcend our experience of this world.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God’s salvation will be seen by all people
  • God is in the resurrection business
  • God will keep his promises, no matter what things look like now
  • God’s future transcends our world and our expectations
  • Vengeance is mine, says the Lord

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, August 11, 2019, Proper 14, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 1;1, 10-20)

Isaiah depicts wayward Judah to be as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah. The religious observances of the people actually give offence to God because of their evil lifestyles. The Lord is especially upset with the lack of justice in the land, but if they reform, blessings will follow.

Psalm (50:1-8, 22-23)

The awesome God of all the earth comes before his covenant people, calling them to hear his judgment upon them. Although they have offered many ritual sacrifices, they have actually forgotten their God and not followed his commandments. To please him, this needs to change.

Second Reading (Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16)

The writer uses Old Testament examples to show that true faith is the conviction that things promised by God are sure. He relates how Abraham never possessed the land but still trusted God’s word that he would. So also, people of faith look for the city of God as a certainty.

Gospel (Luke 12:32-40)

Jesus tells his disciples to give top priority to matters of the kingdom they are inheriting. They are to be ready for his return at any moment, like slaves preparing for the arrival of an absent master. Such readiness will result in a very pleased master who will actually serve them instead.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Faith, by keeping its eyes upon the sure promises of God, leads us to act accordingly
  • In order to please him, God’s people need to be obedient, not just participants in religious ceremonies
  • The life of faith is a matter of setting proper priorities
  • When things look bleak, even impossible, always trust God to keep his word

 

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Genesis 15:1-6)

The Lord appears to Abram and affirms his care for him. Abram is concerned that one of his slaves is going to inherit everything he has, but the Lord declares that he will have his own son and countless descendants. Because Abram believes this, he is counted righteous.

Psalm (33:12-22)

Although the Lord is over all the inhabitants of the earth, his eye is especially attentive to his covenant people. He is the one who is able to help them in every kind of need and keep them alive in threatening times. The result is a nation happy and secure in his steadfast love.

Second Reading (Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16)

The writer uses Old Testament examples to show that true faith is the conviction that things promised by God are sure. He relates how Abraham never possessed the land but still trusted God’s word that he would. So also, people of faith look for the city of God as a certainty.

Gospel (Luke 12:32-40)

Jesus tells his disciples to give top priority to matters of the kingdom they are inheriting. They are to be ready for his return at any moment, like slaves preparing for the arrival of an absent master. Such readiness will result in a very pleased master who will actually serve them instead.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • True faith is not primarily a matter of religious ritual, but of trust
  • Faith, by keeping its eyes upon the promises of God, leads us to act accordingly
  • The life of faith is a matter of setting proper priorities
  • When things look bleak, even impossible, always trust God to keep his word