Third Sunday of Advent, December 16, 2018, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Zephaniah 3:14-20)

The prophet Zephaniah calls upon Israel to rejoice because, in his vision, he sees the Lord turn away her enemies. Israel should not fear because her true King will arrive victoriously, bring the exiles home and change the people’s shame as outcasts into the praise of nations.

Psalm/Canticle (Isaiah 12:2-6)

The prophet Isaiah proclaims his trust in the Lord, who is his strength and salvation. And Israel will draw from this same well, giving thanks and praising the Lord among the nations for what he has done for them. Exult O royal Zion, for your Holy One is in your midst!

Second Reading (Philippians 4:4-7)

Paul encourages the Philippians to be always rejoicing in the Lord. They should be known for their gentleness, knowing the Lord is near. Looking to him in prayer, they will know the deep peace of having their hearts and minds protected by presence of Christ.

Gospel (Luke 3:7-18)

John has distain for those who are coming to him for baptism but who fail to exhibit true repentance in their lives by changing their behaviour. Merely being Jews is not enough to escape the coming judgment. He points to a greater one coming to baptize with the Holy Spirit.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The coming of the Lord is both judgment and salvation
  • Greater things are coming
  • Preparing for Jesus involves trust and righteous living, the keys to true peace
  • Knowing the Lord is coming should affect the way we live

 

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, October 14, 2018, Proper 23, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Job 23:1-9, 16-17)

Job complains that God’s hand is heavy upon him and he dares to enter the dwelling of the Almighty to get his answer. Even though God is elusive even there, Job’s innocence makes him bold even though he feels he would rather hide in his terror.

Psalm (22:1-15)

Encircled by enemies like raging beasts, the Psalmist cries out at in God’s seeming absence. His ancestors were saved, but he is but a despised worm. Although tempted to give up hope, he remembers that he has always successfully depended on the Lord.

Second Reading (Hebrews 4:12-16)

God’s Word is living and very sharp, penetrating into our hearts but Jesus is our great and sympathetic high priest from heaven. Like us, he has been fully tested but without sin. We can therefore boldly approach God through him for mercy and grace.

Gospel (Mark 10:17-31)

A rich man declines to give away all he possesses to follow Jesus and gain eternal life. Jesus points out how hard it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom but with God anything is possible. Those who have given up much to follow Jesus shall be rewarded.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • We can boldly approach our God
  • The divide between God and man is bridged by the God/man Jesus.
  • Possessions in this life may or may not be a sign of God’s blessing
  • Love of possessions runs counter to our spiritual health

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Amos 5:6-7, 10-15)

The prophet Amos threatens rich people who trample the poor and refuse to listen to reproof. They shall suffer devastation and never enjoy the fancy things that they own. Be sure that the Lord will only be with those who seek good and not evil.

Psalm (90:12-17)

The Psalmist pleads with the Lord to help his people be wise in the light of time’s fleeting passage. Long afflicted, they desperately need the Lord to turn back to them. They yearn for a time of blessing that makes their troubles fade in comparison.

Second Reading (Hebrews 4:12-16)

God’s Word is living and very sharp, penetrating into our hearts but Jesus is our great and sympathetic high priest from heaven. Like us, he has been fully tested but without sin. We can therefore boldly approach God through him for mercy and grace.

Gospel (Mark 10:17-31)

A rich man declines to give away all he possesses to follow Jesus and gain eternal life. Jesus points out how hard it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom but with God anything is possible. Those who have given up much to follow Jesus shall be rewarded.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • We can boldly approach our God
  • Possessions in this life may or may not be a sign of God’s blessing
  • Love of possessions runs counter to our spiritual health
  • True blessing is being with the Lord and not in riches