Thanksgiving Day, November 23. 2017, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Deuteronomy 8:7-18)

Moses warns the Israelites not to forget Yahweh when they occupy Canaan and begin to enjoy the extreme fruitfulness of the Land. It was Yahweh who not only brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness but who also gives them the strength to work the land and acquire great wealth. They owe it all to him.

Psalm (65)

The Palmist calls for praise to the God who answers prayer and forgives sins. Those among whom he dwells are blessed indeed, but, as he is the hope of the ends of the earth, all flesh will come to him. As creator he continues to provide the resources for the enormous bounty of the earth, eliciting joy from the whole realm of nature.

Second Reading (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)

One of St. Paul’s major projects was the collection and delivery of funds from the Gentile churches for the relief of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Here he encourages the Corinthians to give cheerfully and generously remembering that their blessings have comes from God in the first place. Indeed, their giving will generate further blessing for themselves as well as thanksgiving to God from both Paul and the recipients.

Gospel (Luke 17:11-19)

Ten lepers approach Jesus for healing as he makes his way down to Jerusalem. He tells them to show themselves to the priests whose task it is to determine if those with communicable diseases are well enough to re-enter society. On their way they are all healed but only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus and praise God. It amazes Jesus that only one out of ten had come back and he sends him on his way with a commendation.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • All that we have, including possessions and abilities, comes from God
  • Giving thanks is not to be taken for granted but needs to be encouraged
  • Failing to give thanks is often an act of forgetfulness
  • God has already done so much for us that thanksgiving is always called for
  • Thanksgiving for blessings, especially when tangibly expressed, brings blessings in turn
  • You can’t out-give God

 

 

 

 

 

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.