Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 30, 2018, Proper 21, Year B

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22)

While in Persian exile, the Israelite Mordecai, father of Queen Esther, had overheard a plot to assassinate her husband, King Ahasuerus. A grateful king grants her wish to save the Jews and executes their enemy Haman, thus originating their feast called Purim.

Psalm (124)

The Psalmist celebrates how, if the Lord had not been on their side, the enemies of Israel would have destroyed them completely. Now they freely acknowledge that their help is his name alone, the creator of all.

Second Reading (James 5:13-20)

James encourages his readers to be people of prayer and praise: prayer when they are suffering and praise when they are happy. Sins can be forgiven through the powerful instrument of prayer. To bring a sinner back to the truth will save him from death.

Gospel (Mark 9:38-50)

Jesus teaches that anyone who is not against him and his disciples is for them. Anyone who helps a “little” follower of his will be rewarded while a hinderer will be severely punished. Hell is to be avoided at all costs while we are to be at peace with one another.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The enemies of God are in dangerous territory because he is on the side of his people, both big and small
  • Sin is a very serious matter and should be avoided at all costs
  • God can use anyone for his purposes
  • The believer is to be dependent upon God alone

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29)

Moses complains to the Lord that the obstinate nation is too heavy for him. The Lord puts a portion of his Spirit on 70 elders to assist him. When two who were absent begin to prophesy as well, Moses wishes the Spirit could come on all God’s people.

Psalm (19:7-14)

The Law of God is perfect and revives the soul. His precepts are much more valuable than pure gold. Following them has its own reward and keeps us from sin, even if unknown to ourselves. Both our thoughts and words need to be in tune with God.

Second Reading (James 5:13-20)

James encourages his readers to be people of prayer and praise: prayer when they are suffering and praise when they are happy. Sins can be forgiven through the powerful instrument of prayer. To bring a sinner back to the truth will save him from death.

Gospel (Mark 9:38-50)

Jesus teaches that anyone who is not against him and his disciples is for them. Anyone who helps a “little” follower of his will be rewarded while a hinderer will be severely punished. Hell is to be avoided at all costs while we are to be at peace with one another.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Our entire life, inner and outer, needs to be submitted to God and lived in his will
  • Sin is a very serious matter and should be avoided at all costs
  • God will provide
  • We need God’s presence to do God’s work

 

 

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