Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 4, 2020

Please see Using Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20)

The Ten Commandments are given for the first time on Mt. Sinai. These laws spell out how the Israelites are to live in relationship to both God and others. The thunder and lightning etc. signify the Lord’s presence and are meant to inspire obedience.

Psalm (19)

The Psalmist likens the Law’s ability to revive the soul to the awesome effect of the sun upon the earth each morning. It enables us to see what is right and wrong, exposing even our hidden faults. The Psalmist, desiring to be right with God, delights in his Law.

Second Reading (Philippians 3:4b-14)

Paul realizes that his advantages as a zealous Jew are mere rubbish compared to knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection. Righteousness comes from faith in Christ, not our own efforts to satisfy the Law. This fact inspires him to press on harder.

Gospel (Matthew 21:33-46)

Jesus tells some Jewish leaders about a man who rented out his vineyard and then saw his agents and even his son attacked when they tried to collect the rent. They seethe, knowing he is talking about them and how Israel has treated both him and the prophets.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• Divine boundaries are intended for our flourishing
• Sin is always destructive in its effect
• The history of Israel demonstrates humanity’s inability to achieve righteousness through its own efforts
• Christ is the key to God’s plan and eclipses all that came before
• Righteousness is a gift and a blessing

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

I chose you and appointed you, says the Lord, that you should go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. John 15.16

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you have built your Church
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.
Join us together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may become a holy temple, acceptable to you; 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 5:1-7)

Isaiah relates how the Lord had established Israel, his beloved, expecting it to yield justice and righteousness. This is like a vineyard that only yielded wild grapes and is now fit only to be exposed to destruction and trampled into waste ground.

Psalm (80:7-15)

The Psalmist yearns for the Lord to restore the nation and save it from destruction. He points out that Israel was his own planting and it had flourished for a time. So why have its protective walls been destroyed enabling it to be trampled by wild beasts?

Second Reading (Philippians 3:4b-14)

Paul realizes that his advantages as a zealous Jew are mere rubbish compared to knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection. Righteousness comes from faith in Christ, not our own efforts to satisfy the Law. This fact inspires him to press on harder.

Gospel (Matthew 21:33-46)

Jesus tells some Jewish leaders about a man who rented out his vineyard and then saw his agents and even his son attacked when they tried to collect the rent. They seethe, knowing he is talking about them and how Israel has treated both him and the prophets.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

• The history of Israel demonstrates humanity’s inability to achieve righteousness through its own efforts
• God’s plan is for his people and all of humanity to flourish
• Jesus Christ is the answer to Israel’s cries for God’s salvation
• The history of Israel is critical to the understanding of the mission and ministry of Jesus

Scripture Sentence (BAS, Canada)

I chose you and appointed you, says the Lord, that you should go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. John 15.16

Collect of the Day (BAS, Canada)

Almighty God,
you have built your Church
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.
Join us together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may become a holy temple, acceptable to you; 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.

Nativity of the Lord – Propers I,II, & III, December 25, 2019

Years A, B, and C all use the same three sets of Readings. Propers II and III are alternatives to Proper I.

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

 

Proper I

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Isaiah, writing at a dark point in Israel’s history, sets forth a bright vision of a miraculous reversal of fortunes. A son born in David’s line will rule wisely over a kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness forever. As the Lord’s strong intention, it will all come to pass.

Psalm (96)

The Psalmist calls the nations to abandon their idols and sing in worship to the living God, Creator of all. He is coming to judge the peoples fairly and he is 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 that is bringing salvation to all has come into a rebellious world. This same grace prepares us to live as godly inhabitants of that world as we await his final appearing at the end of the age.

Gospel (Luke 2:1-14 [15-20])

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 in glorious light, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had so stirred the angels.

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 the darkness
  • The grace of God is evident in his salvation

_________________________________

 

Proper II

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 62:6-12)

Jerusalem will enjoy a reversal of its low estate when the Lord’s salvation comes. Its inhabitants, enabled to enjoy the fruits of their labour, will be known throughout the earth as a holy people, redeemed by the Lord, and living in a city no longer forsaken.

Psalm (97)

The Psalmist celebrates the fact that the Lord is king over the whole earth and calls all people to joyful thanksgiving. The nations 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 has appeared and has saved us through the waters of rebirth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was through his mercy and not our own efforts that this occurred, making us heirs of eternal life through grace alone.

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

St. Luke tells how Jesus is born in the line and city of David to the praise of angels. They appear to a band of humble shepherds in glorious light, directing them to a simple manger. There they encounter the tiny Messiah whose coming had so stirred the angels.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The arrival of God’s salvation
  • Hoping in God’s salvation
  • The universal and enduring significance of the birth of Jesus
  • The Light shines in the darkness
  • God lifts up the fallen who cannot save themselves
  • The grace of God is evident in his salvation

________________________________

 

Proper III

Full lections can be read here.

First Reading (Isaiah 52:7-10)

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

Psalm (98)

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

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

The author celebrates the fact that God has spoken through his Son, who, reflecting him perfectly, is both creator and heir of all things. Much superior to the worshipping angels 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 of creation taking on flesh, God himself has come among us as light and life. John the Baptist serves as witness 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/All things made new
  • Announcing/giving witness to the Word
  • The difference made by God’s arrival: it’s like night and day
  • Celebrating new birth
  • The universal significance of the coming of God’s salvation
  • The nations will be aware of the coming of God’s salvation