Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 15, 2017, Proper 23, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Exodus 32:1-14)

While Moses meets with Yahweh on Mt. Sinai the people, again upset with Moses’ leadership, demand that Aaron make gods for them. He makes a golden calf that they then celebrate as responsible for their deliverance out of Egypt. Yahweh angrily decides to destroy a people so quick to turn away from him. He plans to make a great nation out of Moses instead but changes his mind when the latter intercedes for the Israelites.

Psalm (106:1-6, 19-23)

The Psalmist reflects on the steadfast love of Yahweh for his chosen people in light of their great sin with the golden calf at Mt. Sinai. Although they dishonoured and insulted their saviour and angered him exceedingly, Moses was able to intercede and prevent their destruction.

Second Reading (Philippians 4:1-9)

St. Paul urges his readers to stand firm by being of the same mind in the Lord. He urges intercession for two women who are in disagreement and offers this advice to all: give thanks in everything. Thankfulness is the way to peace as we focus our attention on those things that are honourable, commendable and praiseworthy.

Gospel (Matthew 22:1-14)

Jesus likens the kingdom to a king who invites a number of guests to the wedding of his son but they violently reject his messengers when they announce the great feast that has been prepared. This so enrages the king that he invites everyone else to the feast and, while many come, one man is rejected for failing to wear a proper garment. Jesus concludes that although many are called into the kingdom not many will actually enter it.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God provides a feast
  • Feasting as a Godly celebration of salvation
  • The importance of interceding
  • The serious nature of refusing God’s invitation to follow him
  • Our excuses for disobedience only reveal our spiritual poverty
  • Being unthankful angers God and being thankful brings peace

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 25:1-9)

Isaiah exults in Yahweh as his God, a God who shelters the needy and has done such amazing deeds that all the peoples of the earth will be drawn to worship him. They will come to Mt. Zion for a great celebratory feast as death is finally destroyed and sorrow made a thing of the past. Isaiah calls for a glad anticipation of that day of salvation for both Israel and the nations.

Psalm (23)

The Psalmist characterizes Yahweh as a skilled shepherd who can provide for his sheep in all circumstances. He provides abundant pasture and water, allows the sheep to rest and rejuvenate, always keeping danger at bay. He even provides a feast under the noses of their enemies, making it certain that the sheep will always seek his presence.

Second Reading (Philippians 4:1-9)

St. Paul urges his readers to stand firm by being of the same mind in the Lord. He urges intercession for two women who are in disagreement and offers this advice to all: give thanks in everything. Thankfulness is the way to peace as we focus our attention on those things that are honourable, commendable and praiseworthy.

Gospel (Matthew 22:1-14)

Jesus likens the kingdom to a king who invites a number of guests to the wedding of his son but they violently reject his messengers when they announce the great feast that has been prepared. This so enrages the king that he invites everyone else to the feast and, while many come, one man is rejected for failing to wear a proper garment. Jesus concludes that although many are called into the kingdom not many will actually enter it.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Thanksgiving as a godly way of living
  • God provides a feast
  • Feasting as a Godly celebration of salvation
  • The importance of interceding
  • The serious nature of refusing God’s invitation to follow him
  • Our excuses for disobedience only reveal our spiritual poverty
  • Being unthankful angers God and being thankful brings peace
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