Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Proper 27, Year A

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Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25)

Having led Israel in the conquest of Canaan, Joshua charges the nation always to follow Yahweh and not the gods of their ancestors or the gods of the Land. Joshua commits himself and his family to Yahweh and the people do so as well, Joshua sealing their commitment with a covenant.

Psalm (78:1-7)

The Psalmist calls upon Israel to pay attention to things in their past in danger of becoming obscure. The nation is challenged to remember and pass on to future generations the great things Yahweh has done for them, encouraging hope and obedience.

Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Some early Christians are concerned that believers who had already died would miss out on the return of the Lord. St. Paul points out that the resurrection of Jesus means that the dead would assuredly partake in this great event. Indeed, they will rise first to meet him in the air, followed by the living. This hope should give comfort to all.

Gospel (Matthew 25:1-13)

Jesus tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids waiting to meet the bridegroom: five foolish who took no oil for their lamps and five wise who did. When he finally arrived, the foolish bridesmaids, away to get oil, missed out on the wedding feast. Jesus concludes that we should always be looking and prepared for his return.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Our hope for the future is rooted in the past faithfulness of God
  • Our commitment to God needs constant renewal
  • Forewarned is forearmed
  • The importance of sustaining urgency in the light of Christ’s delayed return

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Amos 5:18-24)

Amos warns his listeners not to expect that the Day of the Lord will bring them vindication and victory. Instead it will bring judgment because, in spite of their meticulous religious observances, they have neglected justice and righteousness.

Psalm (70)

The Psalmist cries out to Yahweh at his delay in coming to deliver and save. He wants his adversaries to suffer dishonor and the faithful to be vindicated. In the meantime he remains confident that Yahweh will act, but pleads for immediate relief.

Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Some early Christians are concerned that believers who had already died would miss out on the return of the Lord. St. Paul points out that the resurrection of Jesus means that the dead would assuredly partake in this great event. Indeed, they will rise first to meet him in the air, followed by the living. This hope should give comfort to all.

Gospel (Matthew 25:1-13)

Jesus tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids waiting to meet the bridegroom: five foolish who took no oil for their lamps and five wise who did. When he finally arrived, the foolish bridesmaids, away to get oil, missed out on the wedding feast. Jesus concludes that we should always be looking and prepared for his return.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Our commitment to God needs constant renewal
  • Forewarned is forearmed
  • The importance of sustaining urgency in the light of Christ’s delayed return
  • We ought at all times to acknowledge our sins before God, but especially so in the light of Christ’s return
  • An orientation to God’s future has implications for the present

 

 

 

 

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