Eighth Sunday after Pentecost July 30, 2017, Proper 12, Year A

There has been small changes to the format for Lection Connection. Please  review these changes at How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 29:15-28)

Jacob, sent by his mother Rebekah to seek a wife among her relatives back in Haran, agrees to work seven years for his uncle Laban in order to marry his beautiful daughter Rachel. He loves Rachel so much that the years of waiting seem as nothing. However, Laban tricks him into marrying his older daughter Leah instead, and then agrees to let him have Rachel in exchange for another seven years of servitude.

Psalm (105:1-11, 45b)

The Psalmist exhorts the people to live continuously in the presence of Yahweh, giving thanks and praise, seeking his strength. Remembering what he has done in the past and his eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they are called to a life of obedience.

OR

Alternative Psalm for these Readings (Psalm 128)

The Psalmist promises a productive life, especially in terms of family life, for those who walk with Yahweh. This is expressed in terms of the provision of many children and life long enough to see them have children of their own.

Second Reading (Romans 8:26-39)

St. Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit is active in our prayer, even if we don’t know what to pray. He points out that the God who cannot fail is working for all those he has called into the new family of his Son. Therefore, in spite of current severe afflictions all things will work out for those who bear his Son’s image. In spite of everything we remain victorious because nothing, including death itself, can separate us from his great love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel (Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52)

In a series of simple parables Jesus outlines various aspects of the Kingdom of God: like a seed it will begin tiny and end up huge; like yeast it will permeate into everything; like hidden treasure or a fantastic pearl it is worth our all; like a fishnet it will take in a great variety of persons but not all will pass judgment; like the good master of a household, a leader will draw on both old and new wisdom.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • the blessings of living with and for the Lord
  • the value of family, including the family of God (Alternative Psalm)
  • the surpassing value of following the Lord
  • the importance of prayer and praise (Psalm as Set)
  • the unfailing purposes of God
  • the difference between the end and the beginning of God’s work

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (I Kings 3:5-12)

When Yahweh appears to the young man Solomon, son of the great king David, knowing he is just a beginner, he wisely asks for understanding in order to govern God’s chosen people Israel. A pleased Yahweh grants him his request as well as blessing him with long life, victory over his enemies and a uniquely high status among rulers for all time.

Psalm (119:129-136)

The Psalmist extols the wonders of Yahweh’s laws that give light and understanding to the simple. They are an expression of his grace and keep us on the right path towards Yahweh and away from evil. Help us to know them and follow them and even mourn when they are neglected.

Second Reading (Romans 8:26-39)

St. Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit is active in our prayer, even if we don’t know what to pray. He points out that the God who cannot fail is working for all those he has called into the new family of his Son. Therefore, in spite of current severe afflictions all things will work out for those who bear his Son’s image. In spite of everything we remain victorious because nothing, including death itself, can separate us from his great love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel (Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52)

In a series of simple parables Jesus outlines various aspects of the Kingdom of God: like a seed it will begin tiny and end up huge; like yeast it will permeate into everything; like hidden treasure or a fantastic pearl it is worth our all; like a fishnet it will take in a great variety of persons but not all will pass judgment; like the good master of a household, a leader will draw on both old and new wisdom.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • led by the Lord/the Spirit/the Word
  • the unfailing purposes of God
  • the way of the Lord versus the way of the world
  • a new world coming for the faithful
  • the difference between the end and the beginning of God’s work
  • God guides the simple and the inexperienced through his wisdom