Ascension Day, Year A, May 21, 2020

Lection Connection for the Sixth Sunday after Easter 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 (Acts 1:1-11)

After his resurrection Jesus teaches his disciples about the kingdom of God for forty days. He tells them to wait for the baptism in the Holy Spirit to enable them to be witnesses even to the ends of the earth. As he rises into a cloud, he promises that he will return in the same way.

Psalm (47)

All peoples are called to joyful praise of the Lord because he is king over all the earth, having subdued it through his people Israel. He has gone up to his throne over all other powers with great acclaim and so the call goes for all the nations to honour him as their God as well.

OR

Alternate Psalm (93)

The Lord is the everlasting and universal king of creation, his creation. He is far more majestic than even the awesome thunder of the heavens or the crashing waves of the sea. His laws are sure and his house is holy.

Second Reading (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Having heard of the faith and love of the Ephesians, Paul gives thanks and prays that they will know the rich hope to which they are called. God will do this, whose power raised Jesus from the dead and seated him on high over all other authorities as the head of the church, his body.

Gospel (Luke 24:44-53)

In his last resurrection appearance Jesus shows his disciples how the Scriptures predicted his suffering and rising. Witnesses to this, they are to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in his name even to the ends of the earth. With that he blesses them and ascends into heaven.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The ascension of Jesus to the Father marks the end of his earthly ministry and the beginning of his ministry extended through the church
  • The ascension of Jesus reveals his true position as the authoritative Son of God
  • Jesus’ followers are to carry the gospel of his kingdom to all the earth and all its inhabitants
  • Jesus ascends to a place beside God as universal king over all the nations

SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

Go and make disciples of all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, to the close of the age. Matthew 28.19, 20

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
your Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord.
Keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of his peace,
and bring the whole of creation
to worship at his feet,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year A, March 29, 2020

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

The Lord has Ezekiel prophesy to a valley of scattered bones which then come together to form many living people again. The Lord explains that this represents how he will put his Spirit into his scattered people, bring them out of exile and restore them to the Land.

Psalm (130)

The Psalmist expresses his conviction that the Lord will indeed forgive his sins and, in spite of present troubles, he waits in hope for this to happen. He exhorts all Israel similarly to trust in the Lord’s steadfast love and promise of redemption.

Second Reading (Romans 8:6-11)

Paul urges us not to set our minds on the sinful “flesh” which is opposed to God and subject to death. Instead, we should embrace the Holy Spirit who is in each believer imparting Christ’s righteousness and a present share in resurrection life.

Gospel (John 11:1-45)

Jesus deliberately delays going to heal Lazarus, who then dies. He is able to point one sister, Martha, to the resurrection but Mary is upset with him. Weeping at the tomb and praying for God’s glory and human faith to increase, he then brings Lazarus back to life.

 

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Jesus is the source of new life, both for this life and the next
  • In the light of the resurrection, we can see that physical and spiritual death are not the final word
  • Our present life often seems to bring only death, but Christ is already at work in us and in the world, bringing everlasting life
  • Holiness and righteousness are the result of resurrection life at work in God’s people

SCRIPTURE SENTENCE (BAS, Canada)

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. John 11.25, 26

COLLECT OF THE DAY (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
your Son came into the world
to free us all from sin and death.
Breathe upon us with the power of your Spirit,
that we may be raised to new life in Christ,
and serve you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

 

Resurrection of the Lord (Easter), April 21, 2018, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set and Alternates

First Reading (Acts 10: 34-43)

Peter tells the Roman Cornelius that God accepts all who fear him, regardless of nationality, and then informs him about Jesus. His death and resurrection reveal him as the universal Lord and judge of all. and everyone who believes in him receives salvation.

OR

Alternate First Reading (Isaiah 65:17-25)

Through Isaiah the Lord proclaims that he is going to create a new heaven and a new earth with Jerusalem at its centre. He will delight in his people who will weep no more. They will be free of the frustrations and tragedies of life and nature will be at peace.

Psalm (118:1-2, 14-24)

The Psalmist has experienced the Lord’s punishment and then, in answer to prayer, a last-minute rescue from death. The gates of righteousness are now thrown open and the rejected stone has now become the cornerstone. It is the day of the Lord’s salvation.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 15:19-26)

Paul sets the entire weight of our salvation upon the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. For those who belong to him it is the overcoming of death introduced through Adam. They will rise in turn when he comes to consummate the victory of his kingdom.

OR

Alternate Second Reading (Acts 10:34-43)

Peter tells the Roman Cornelius that God accepts all who fear him, regardless of nationality, and then informs him about Jesus. His death and resurrection reveal him as the universal Lord and judge of all. and everyone who believes in him receives salvation.

Gospel (John 20:1-18)

Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb and runs to tell Peter and the other disciple who run to see for themselves. Mary encounters the risen Lord and recognizes him when he calls her name. Told to tell the others that he will soon ascend, she does so.

OR

Alternate Gospel (Luke 24:1-12)

Mary Magdalene and other women take burial spices to anoint Jesus but find his tomb unexpectedly open. Inside, they are alarmed by two men in dazzling clothes who assure them that Jesus is risen as he said. Only Peter acted on their report and saw for himself.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The resurrection of Jesus has implications for all humanity as Lord of all
  • The resurrection of Jesus is a turning point in history itself
  • The resurrection of Jesus turns everything upside down.
  • The resurrection of Jesus opens the gate of life to all who would believe
  • The resurrection of Jesus and it’s reality is the foundation of Christian faith
  • The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the new creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 17, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Jeremiah 17:5-10)

Jeremiah declares that to trust in humankind is to end up like a plant dying in the desert. But to trust in the Lord is to be blessed, like a thriving tree planted by water, unafraid of any drought. The human heart is unreliable and known only to the Lord, who rewards those who do good.

Psalm (1)

The Psalmist declares happy those who ignore the advice of the wicked and instead delight in the Law of the Lord. They are like perpetually fruitful trees beside a river instead of chaff blown away by the wind. The wicked will suffer judgment while the Lord guides the righteous forever.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 15:12-20)

If it is true that the dead are not raised, says Paul, then the apostles are liars, Jesus is still dead, sin has not been dealt with, and the Christian dead have died without hope. We are the most pitiful people of all. But, in fact, Christ has been raised, the first of many others sure to follow.

Gospel (Luke 6:17-26)

A large crowd gathers to hear Jesus and to be healed by his evident power. He tells his disciples that the poor, the hungry, the sorrowful and the reviled will have their fortunes reversed, while those who are enjoying life now will lose it all. He warns that God’s heralds are never popular.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • A message cannot be judged by how well it is received
  • The way of faithfulness is not immediately obvious
  • Jesus has power over every difficult circumstance and even death itself
  • The judgment of God will reverse every injustice and set things right
  • Following the ways of God ultimately leads to a full and fruitful life

 

 

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 10, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 6:1-8, [9-13])

Isaiah is granted a compelling vision of the Lord, majestic and holy in his temple. Having his sinful lips purified from the altar, the shaken prophet agrees to deliver a message of judgment on a sinful people that will be ignored until it is too late. But from the ashes will come new life.

Psalm (138)

The Psalmist gives thanks to the Lord because his cries for help have been answered. Even kings will be impressed by his testimony of how the Lord lifts up the lowly. Confident of help in the midst of his troubles, he asks for the Lord’s support in order to fulfill his divine purpose.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

Paul reminds the Corinthians that their faith and salvation are based on the truth of the apostolic witness to the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. His own encounter with the risen Christ while actively persecuting the Church is the perfect example of God’s grace at work.

Gospel (Luke 5:1-11)

At the seaside, Jesus teaches the crowd from Simon Peter’s boat and then instructs him to go into deeper water in order to fish. Peter, having tried earlier with no results, reluctantly agrees. Shaken after a huge catch, he and his partners leave all behind to catch people with Jesus.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Even though we are sinful and undeserving people, the Lord still uses us
  • Our witness to the work of God in our lives is part of his purpose for us
  • Our inability is no obstacle to God
  • With God, new life arises out of dead circumstances

 

 

 

Resurrection of the Lord (Easter), April 1, 2018, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection. If used as an introduction during worship, a suggested format can be found here.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set and Alternates

First Reading (Acts 10: 34-43)

Peter tells the Roman Cornelius that God accepts all who fear him, regardless of nationality, and then informs him about Jesus. His death and resurrection reveal him as the universal Lord and judge of all, and everyone who believes in him receives salvation.

Alternate First Reading (Isaiah 25:6-9)

YAHWEH promises that he will provide a sumptuous feast for all peoples on Mt. Zion, destroying the shroud of death that threatens them now. He will wipe away all tears and remove the disgrace of Israel. Their long wait for his salvation will be over.

Psalm (118:1-2, 14-24)

The Psalmist has experienced YAHWEH’S punishment and then, in answer to prayer, a last minute rescue from death. The gates of righteousness are now thrown open and the rejected stone has now become the cornerstone. It is the day of YAHWEH’S salvation.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

St. Paul reminds his readers of the cornerstone of his preaching and their faith. Christ died for our sins, was buried and then raised, as Scripture predicts. He appeared to all the apostles, including Paul, the last and the least, as an example of pure grace.

Alternate Second Reading (Acts 10:34-43)

Peter tells the Roman Cornelius that God accepts all who fear him, regardless of nationality, and then informs him about Jesus. His death and resurrection reveal him as the universal Lord and judge of all, and everyone who believes in him receives salvation.

Gospel (John 20:1-18)

Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb and runs to tell Peter and another disciple. Both race to find only the burial garments inside. Mary alone encounters the risen Lord who wants her to tell the others that he will soon be ascending. She hurries to obey.

Alternate Gospel (Mark 16:1-8)

Mary Magdalene and two other women take burial spices to anoint Jesus but find his tomb unexpectedly open. Inside, they are alarmed by a man in white who assures them that Jesus is gone to Galilee and they are to tell the disciples. Thunderstruck, they fail to do so.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The unexpected grace of God crosses all kinds of barriers
  • The resurrection of Jesus has implications for all humanity as Lord of all
  • The resurrection of Jesus is a turning point in history itself
  • The resurrection of Jesus turns everything upside down.
  • The resurrection of Jesus opens the gate of life to all who would believe
  • The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christian faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, August 27, 2017, Proper 16, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 1:8-2:10)

Three hundred years after the death of Joseph the Israelites are still in Egypt and have become a numerous and powerful people. Pharaoh severely oppresses them and tries to limit them by destroying all their male babies. Their midwives frustrate him and when one Levite woman sets her newborn son in a waterproof basket on the Nile, his own daughter finds him and arranges to save the child through the intervention of his quick-witted sister. His name is Moses.

Psalm (124)

The Psalmist encourages Israel to remember that it was Yahweh alone who delivered them from the raging flood of their enemies. They escaped like a bird from a broken snare because Yahweh, the creator of all, is their help.

Second Reading (Romans 12:1-8)

St. Paul affirms that true worship includes presenting our entire beings, body and soul, unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means acting in humility and sobriety, knowing that we all have been given gifts of grace enabling the whole church to carry out its purpose as an effective unit.

Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20)

While many of his contemporaries think that Jesus must be one of the prophets of old, Peter identifies him as “Messiah, Son of the living God”. Jesus blesses him for this divine insight and affirms that Peter is the rock on which his church will be built. It will be able to attack and destroy even hell itself and its earthly actions will even be reflected in heaven. He then instructs the disciples that they are to keep quiet about his identity.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God delivers his people from their enemies
  • No foe is superior to God
  • The importance of everyone, from greatest to least, doing their part
  • God’s people need leaders and followers both
  • The people of God carry out the purposes of God
  • The importance of humility

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 51:1-6)

Isaiah calls for those who seek Yahweh and his righteousness to look back to Abraham and Sarah as the example of how Yahweh is faithful. He will bring about a joyful restoration of the land of Israel and its people will sing their thanksgivings. This mighty act of salvation will be so all-encompassing that the nations will be included and even the present cosmos will pass away.

Psalm (138)

The Psalmist thanks Yahweh for his faithfulness in answering his prayer. All the rulers of the earth shall praise Yahweh when they see how the lowly are exalted instead of the mighty. Such things inspire confidence in Yahweh’s continuing care and his ability to accomplish his purposes in the life of the Psalmist.

Second Reading (Romans 12:1-8)

St. Paul affirms that true worship includes presenting our entire beings, body and soul, unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means acting in humility and sobriety, knowing that we all have been given gifts of grace enabling the whole church to carry out its purpose as an effective unit.

Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20)

While many of his contemporaries think that Jesus must be one of the prophets of old, Peter identifies him as “Messiah, Son of the living God”. Jesus blesses him for this divine insight and affirms that Peter is the rock on which his church will be built. It will be able to attack and destroy even hell itself and its earthly actions will even be reflected in heaven. He then instructs the disciples that they are to keep quiet about his identity.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The salvation of God’s people will attract the attention of others
  • The importance for faith of looking at examples from the past
  • God delivers his people from their enemies
  • No foe is superior to God
  • The importance of everyone, from greatest to least, doing their part
  • God’s people need leaders and followers both
  • The importance of humility

 

Readings for May 7, 2017 Year A Fourth Sunday of Easter

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

 

First Reading and Psalm

  • Acts 2:42-47
  • Psalm 23

Second Reading

  • 1 Peter 2:19-25

Gospel

  • John 10:1-10

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

The early church, newly endowed with the Holy Spirit, is radically committed to the apostles’ teaching and to one another. The apostles themselves perform awesome miracles while everyone shares their belongings willingly, eating and worshipping joyfully in common. This deeply impresses all who see and many flock through the door into their amazing community. The Psalmist sees YHWH as a good shepherd who looks after his flock, abundantly providing for them even in difficult circumstances. Goodness and mercy characterize a life lived in his fold. St. Peter likens Christians to strayed sheep who have returned to Jesus their true shepherd. Although innocent, he has borne their sins and freed them to follow in the paths of righteousness. If they suffer unjustly he points out that they are only following his example. In John’s Gospel Jesus refers to himself as both the door of the sheepfold and the shepherd whose voice the sheep know. They enter by him and are saved and pastured by him, and by no other. Under his care they enjoy truly abundant life.

As Introductions and/or Bulletin Use

Old Testament

The early church, newly endowed with the Holy Spirit, is radically committed to the apostles’ teaching and to one another. The apostles themselves perform awesome miracles while everyone shares their belongings willingly, eating and worshipping joyfully in common. This deeply impresses all who see and many flock through the door into their amazing community.

Psalm

The Psalmist sees YHWH as a good shepherd who looks after his flock, abundantly providing for them even in difficult circumstances. Goodness and mercy characterize a life lived in his fold.

New Testament

St. Peter likens Christians to strayed sheep who have returned to Jesus their true shepherd. Although innocent, he has borne their sins and freed them to follow in the paths of righteousness. If they suffer unjustly he points out that they are only following his example.

Gospel

In John’s Gospel Jesus refers to himself as both the door of the sheepfold and the shepherd whose voice the sheep know. They enter by him and are saved and pastured by him, and by no other. Under his care they enjoy truly abundant life.

 

 

Readings for April30,2017 Year A Third Sunday of Easter

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

First Reading and Psalm

  • Acts 2:14a, 36-41
  • Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

Second Reading

  • 1 Peter 1:17-23

Gospel

  • Luke 24:13-35

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

In the conclusion of his Pentecost sermon to the Jews in Jerusalem, St. Peter points out that the resurrection of Jesus means that God has made him both Lord and Messiah. And they had crucified him! However, even this grievous sin can be forgiven if they repent and are baptized in his name. Three thousand are moved to do so! The Psalmist declares his love for YHWH because, when he called upon him, he was saved from the bonds of death. The death of the faithful is always precious to YHWH and for this reason he is worthy of both thanks and praise. St. Peter affirms that the death and resurrection of Jesus are “end-time” events, making its future blessedness something of a present reality for those who believe. It is being born again to a new way of life marked by mutual love and obedience to the truth. St. Luke tells of two disillusioned disciples who leave Jerusalem after the discovery of the empty tomb only to be joined by a stranger on the way. He shows them that the entire Old Testament predicted both Messiah’s death and resurrection. When he breaks bread with them they finally recognize that it is Jesus. Just then he vanishes and they return to tell the other disciples.

As Introductions and/or Bulletin Use

First Reading

In the conclusion of his Pentecost sermon to the Jews in Jerusalem, St. Peter points out that the resurrection of Jesus means that God has made him both Lord and Messiah. And they had crucified him! However, even this grievous sin can be forgiven if they repent and are baptized in his name. Three thousand are moved to do so!

Psalm

The Psalmist declares his love for YHWH because, when he called upon him, he was saved from the bonds of death. The death of the faithful is always precious to YHWH and for this reason he is worthy of both thanks and praise.

New Testament

St. Peter affirms that the death and resurrection of Jesus are “end-time” events, making its future blessedness something of a present reality for those who believe. It is being born again to a new way of life marked by mutual love and obedience to the truth.

Gospel

St. Luke tells of two disillusioned disciples who leave Jerusalem after the discovery of the empty tomb only to be joined by a stranger on the way. He shows them that the entire Old Testament predicted both Messiah’s death and resurrection. When he breaks bread with them they finally recognize that it is Jesus. Just then he vanishes and they return to tell the other disciples.

 

Readings for April23,2017 Year A Second Sunday of Easter

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

 

First Reading and Psalm

  • Acts 2:14a, 22-32
  • Psalm 16

Second Reading

  • 1 Peter 1:3-9

Gospel

  • John 20:19-31

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Peter, in part of his Pentecost sermon to the pilgrims and residents in Jerusalem, reminds them that they were aware of the powerful signs and wonders that Jesus had performed but handed him over to death anyway. But he was proven stronger even than death when God raised him, an event David himself had predicted of the Messiah in the Psalms. Peter and the other disciples are indeed witnesses to this fact. In today’s Psalm David affirms his total commitment to YAHWEH and rejoices in the benefits of so doing. These even extend to victory over the power of the grave. In his first letter St. Peter exults in how the resurrection of Jesus has absolutely secured the believers’ inheritance beyond this life. This fact is a source of deep joy even in times of trials that test the reality of our faith. St. John tells of two post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in which he first bestows peace upon his disciples and then shows them his hands and his side. In the first appearance, on Easter evening, he breathes the Holy Spirit upon them and sends them into the world to continue his mission. In the second, one week later, he convinces a doubting Thomas and then uses the opportunity to especially bless those who come to faith without seeing his risen body.

As Introductions and/or Bulletin Use

First Reading

Peter, in part of his Pentecost sermon to the pilgrims and residents in Jerusalem, reminds them that they were aware of the powerful signs and wonders that Jesus had performed but handed him over to death anyway. But he was proven stronger even than death when God raised him, an event David himself had predicted of the Messiah in the Psalms. Peter and the other disciples are indeed witnesses to this fact.

Psalm

In today’s Psalm David affirms his total commitment to YAHWEH and rejoices in the benefits of so doing. These even extend to victory over the power of the grave.

New Testament

In his first letter St. Peter exults in how the resurrection of Jesus has absolutely secured the believers’ inheritance beyond this life. This fact is a source of deep joy even in times of trials that test the reality of our faith.

Gospel

St. John tells of two post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in which he first bestows peace upon his disciples and then shows them his hands and his side. In the first appearance, on Easter evening, he breathes the Holy Spirit upon them and sends them into the world to continue his mission. In the second, one week later, he convinces a doubting Thomas and then uses the opportunity to especially bless those who come to faith without seeing his risen body.