Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, August 27, 2017, Proper 16, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 1:8-2:10)

Three hundred years after the death of Joseph the Israelites are still in Egypt and have become a numerous and powerful people. Pharaoh severely oppresses them and tries to limit them by destroying all their male babies. Their midwives frustrate him and when one Levite woman sets her newborn son in a waterproof basket on the Nile, his own daughter finds him and arranges to save the child through the intervention of his quick-witted sister. His name is Moses.

Psalm (124)

The Psalmist encourages Israel to remember that it was Yahweh alone who delivered them from the raging flood of their enemies. They escaped like a bird from a broken snare because Yahweh, the creator of all, is their help.

Second Reading (Romans 12:1-8)

St. Paul affirms that true worship includes presenting our entire beings, body and soul, unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means acting in humility and sobriety, knowing that we all have been given gifts of grace enabling the whole church to carry out its purpose as an effective unit.

Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20)

While many of his contemporaries think that Jesus must be one of the prophets of old, Peter identifies him as “Messiah, Son of the living God”. Jesus blesses him for this divine insight and affirms that Peter is the rock on which his church will be built. It will be able to attack and destroy even hell itself and its earthly actions will even be reflected in heaven. He then instructs the disciples that they are to keep quiet about his identity.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God delivers his people from their enemies
  • No foe is superior to God
  • The importance of everyone, from greatest to least, doing their part
  • God’s people need leaders and followers both
  • The people of God carry out the purposes of God
  • The importance of humility

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 51:1-6)

Isaiah calls for those who seek Yahweh and his righteousness to look back to Abraham and Sarah as the example of how Yahweh is faithful. He will bring about a joyful restoration of the land of Israel and its people will sing their thanksgivings. This mighty act of salvation will be so all-encompassing that the nations will be included and even the present cosmos will pass away.

Psalm (138)

The Psalmist thanks Yahweh for his faithfulness in answering his prayer. All the rulers of the earth shall praise Yahweh when they see how the lowly are exalted instead of the mighty. Such things inspire confidence in Yahweh’s continuing care and his ability to accomplish his purposes in the life of the Psalmist.

Second Reading (Romans 12:1-8)

St. Paul affirms that true worship includes presenting our entire beings, body and soul, unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means acting in humility and sobriety, knowing that we all have been given gifts of grace enabling the whole church to carry out its purpose as an effective unit.

Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20)

While many of his contemporaries think that Jesus must be one of the prophets of old, Peter identifies him as “Messiah, Son of the living God”. Jesus blesses him for this divine insight and affirms that Peter is the rock on which his church will be built. It will be able to attack and destroy even hell itself and its earthly actions will even be reflected in heaven. He then instructs the disciples that they are to keep quiet about his identity.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The salvation of God’s people will attract the attention of others
  • The importance for faith of looking at examples from the past
  • God delivers his people from their enemies
  • No foe is superior to God
  • The importance of everyone, from greatest to least, doing their part
  • God’s people need leaders and followers both
  • The importance of humility