Lectionary C

Lectionary – For past exegetical notes, go the year, below, and then click on the date to view commentary.

Please let me know if links don’t function: bishop@gulfcoastsynod.org

Year C (2016, 2019, 2022)

Some introductory remarks about Luke’s gospel

The gospel is titled “τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν,” but the title was added later. The author never identifies himself in the text. But attestation of Lukan authorship is found in the Muratorian Canon, the anti-Marcionite Prologue to Luke, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius, and Jerome, so let’s play along. When Luke died in Bithinia (~74 A.D.) Matthew and Mark had already written their gospels. He wrote from Achaia (Greece) for a Greek-speaking world. His is the best Greek in the New Testament. He did something the other gospel writers did not. He added a 28 chapter “Volume 2” to his gospel: The Acts of the Apostles. Luke is a two volume set: The Gospel According to St. Luke and The Acts of the Apostles.

“The story in Acts is essential in understanding who Jesus of Nazareth was, and what he means,” said Dr. Ed Krentz as he lectured us in Houston, Brenham and New Orleans in 2009. He encouraged us to use Acts for the second reading during this Lukan year.

Luke tells us that he is inspired by some eye-witnesses. He has Mark’s gospel in front of him, but he has his own sources too. 41% is copied from Mark. 23% is from the Sayings Source (Q) that Matthew also uses. 35% is Luke’s own material. Indeed, without Luke’s gospel, we would not know the stories of The Good Samaritan (July 7, Luke 10) or The Prodigal Son (March 10, Luke 15).

Luke is the only gospel that mentions any Roman Emperors. Without –Luke we couldn’t date anything.

  • Caesar Augustus
  • Tiberius
  • Claudius (Acts 18)

Luke is the only one who coordinates the gospel with secular history.

Luke is very aware of status in the empire. According to James Malcolm Arlandson (the Lensky model), it is a 7-level, top-to-bottom hierarchy that one must grasp if one is to understand Luke’s message:

  1. Emperor
  2. Governing Classes/Urban Elite (wealth, status, power)
  3. Merchants and Traders (urban) and freeholders (rural)
    Upper-level small freeholders (15-50 acres) – you could live on what you grow
    Lower-level small freeholders (4-15 acres) – if you had a good crop you could exist. With a drought you would lose your land and move down into the tenant farmer (below).
  4. Artisans (urban), like Paul who was a leather worker making saddles and tents, and Tenant Farmers (rural). Luke has a number of stories about tenant farmers and day laborers (below)
  5. Day Laborers and Landless Peasants
  6. Slaves
  7. Expendable people (prostitutes, gladiators, actors)

Luke’s gospel turns the social order upside down, elevating children, women, slaves and all those toward the bottom of the social ladder, while bringing low those at the top, as is so clear in the Magnificat. In the Kingdom, the first become the last, and the last become first.

A rough outline of Luke’s gospel:

I. Prologue 1:1-4
II. The Birth and Childhood of Jesus 1:5-2:52
III. Preparation for the Public Ministry of Jesus 3:1-4:13
IV. The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee 4:14-9:50
V. The Journey to Jerusalem 9:51-19:48
VI. Teaching in Jerusalem 20:1-21:38
VII. The Suffering and Death of Jesus 21:1-23:56
VIII. The Resurrection 24:1-5

ADVENT – Year C

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.
– Baruch 5

ADVENT 1C - December 2, 2012, November 29, 2009

Jeremiah 33:14-16 - I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
Psalm 25:1-10
- Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 - And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.
Luke 21:25-36 – There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.

ADVENT 2CDecember 9, 2012, December 6, 2009

Baruch 5:1-9 – Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
OR
Malachi 3:1-4 - See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.
Luke 1:68-79 - Zechariah. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
Philippians 1:3-11 – I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
Luke 3:1-6John the Baptist: As written in the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord.’”

Advent 3C - December 16, 2012

Zephaniah 3:14-20 – Sing aloud, O daughter Zion… The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies.
Isaiah 12:2-6 – First Song of Isaiah: 2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
Philippians 4:4-7Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice!
Luke 3:7-18
John the Baptist: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Thoughts: First Song of Isaiah by Jack Noble White.

Advent 4C- December 23, 2012, December 20, 2009
Micah 5:2-5a - But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
Luke 1:47-55
Magnificat: And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior…”
OR
Psalm 80:1-7
– Hear O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock: “Restore us!”
Hebrews 10:5-10when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; 6in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
– Mary and Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb.

CHRISTMAS C
And the Word became flesh…

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD (three choices) – December 24-25, 2012, December 24/25, 2009

Set I
Isaiah 9:2-7
– The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For unto us a child is born, a son is given.
Psalm 96
– Sing to the Lord a new song, all the earth.
Titus 2:11-14
– He gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify a people of his own
Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)
– In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus… Shepherds watching their flocks by night… And angel of the Lord appeared, then a host: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace…”

Set II
Isaiah 62:6-12
– Say to Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”
Psalm 97
– The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Titus 3:4-7
– When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of our works, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20
– Shepherds watching their flocks by night… And angel of the Lord appeared, then a host: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace…”

Set III
Isaiah 52:7-10
– How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Psalm 98
– Sing to the Lord a new song… Let the earth sing, for he is coming to judge the world with justice.
Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)
– Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son
John 1:1-14
– In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Christmas 1CDecember 30, 2012

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26Elkanah and Hannah give birth to Samuel, who grows is stature and favor of the Lord.
Psalm 148 Everyone and everything praise the Lord just about everywhere.
Colossians 3:12-17 Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, and above all else: love.
Luke 2:41-52 – The boy Jesus in the Temple increases in stature and divine favor.

St. John Apostle and Evangelist – December 27 (This rarely falls on a Sunday. A great day to lift up John’s vision and Christology.)

Genesis 1:1-5, 26-31 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalm 116 – What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits? I will lift the cup of salvation…
1 John 1:1 – 2:2 – This is the message we have heard and proclaim, that God is light and in his is no darkness.
John 21:20-25– The last verses of John. Peter’s jealousy of the disciple Jesus loved. This text appears nowhere else in the three-year lectionary but here.

Epiphany C – January 6, 2013

Isaiah 60:1-6—Arise, shine for your light has come. Nations shall come to your light and kings to your brightness. They shall bring gold and frankincense.
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
– All kings shall bow down before him. (Ps. 72:11)
Ephesians 3:1-12 – Paul the prisoner, least of the saints is graced to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.
Matthew 2:1-12
The magi offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They go home another way, avoiding Herod.

Time after Epiphany C

Epiphany at-a-glance

Epiphany reaches from the Magi on January 6 this year, to the Transfiguration on February 10, 2013.

January 6 – Epiphany (Eastern Magi pay homage to Jesus)
January 13 – Epiphany 1C (Baptism of our Lord)
January 20 – Epiphany 2C (Water into Wine)
January 27 – Epiphany 3C (Jesus in his home synagogue: The Spirit has anointed me…)

February 3 – Epiphany 4C (Jeremiah’s call. Jesus in his hometown: No prophet is without honor, except in his own country.)
February 10 – Epiphany 5C (Isaiah’s call. Jesus teaches from a boat. The great catch.)

In Epiphany the Magi come to Christ. Pagans. Foreigners. We remember that the gospel is for the Gentiles as well. In the last days, God’s Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh. We also focus on calling. Jesus’ call in his baptism, voiced through the prophet Isaiah. Jeremiah’s call. Isaiah’s call. This is a great time to talk about calling, vocation, mission, purpose, as individuals and as communities.

Baptism of Christ C - January 13, 2013

Isaiah 43:1-7 – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Psalm 29 – The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
Acts 8:14-17
– Baptized Samaritans receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by John and Peter.
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
– The Holy Spirit descends on Jesus at his baptism. “You are my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Notes:

  • Consider using Affirmation of Baptism/Affirmation by the Assembly in place of the Confession. Move the font to a central location to draw attention to it.
  • Sundays and Seasons suggests making simple necklaces out of seashells and ribbons to give as a gift to remind people of their baptisms. Children could distribute them during the service. Inexpensive shells with pre-drilled holes can be found online at www.OrientalTrading.com.

Epiphany 2CJanuary 20, 2013

Isaiah 62:1-5 – The fortunes of Zion will be restored. The land will be married to God, who will rejoice over Zion like a bridegroom rejoices over a bride.
Psalm 36:5-10
– Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – There are varieties of gifts, but on Spirit. Nine gifts mentioned.
John 2:1-11
– Jesus turns water into wine, the first of his “signs” in John’s gospel.

January 18-25, 2010 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Epiphany 3CJanuary 27, 2013, January 24, 2010

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 – Ezra reads the Law of Moses to the returned exiles in the public square, reminding them that the joy of the Lord is their strength.
Psalm 19 – The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a – The church is a body with many members. One member of the body cannot disown another.
Luke 4:14-21 – Jesus announces his job description at the Synagogue of his hometown: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Epiphany 4CFebruary 3, 2013

Jeremiah 1:4-10 – Call of Jeremiah. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy… You will go where I send you. Do not be afraid, I am with you.”
Psalm 71:1-6In you, Lord I take refuge, let me never be put to shame. Be my rock.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 The love chapter. After I Cor. 12 Paul says he will show a more excellent way. Paul says without love, even faith isn’t enough.
Luke 4:21-30No prophet is without honor, except in his own hometown.

Transfiguration – February 10, 2013, February 14, 2010

Exodus 34:29-35 – Moses’ face shines when he comes down from Mt. Sinai with the 10 Commandments. He has to veil his face.
Psalm 99
– Extol the Lord our God and worship him at his holy mountain.
2 Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2
– Paul contrasts the glory of Moses with the glory of Christ. When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)
– The Transfiguration foreshadows the resurrection. God affirms Jesus’ identity again, as at Jesus’ baptism.

Lent – Year C
Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.

– Joel 2

Lent at-a-glance

February 13 – Ash Wednesday: Dust. Ashes. Mortality. Repentance. Fasting. Don’t show off your piety.
February 17
– Lent 1C: First fruits for the Levite and alien. Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
February 24
– Lent 2C: Abram’s call. Faith reckoned as righteousness. Jesus laments for Jerusalem.
March 3
– Lent 3C: Repent, for there is only so much time left for the fig tree to bear fruit.
March 10 – Lent 4C: Lost sheep. Lost sons.
March 17 – Lent 5C: I am about to do a new thing… Mary anoints Jesus’ feet.
March 24 – Palm/Passion Sunday: Jesus entry into Jerusalem as an anti-triumph.

The Prodigal God – A Lenten Series Suggestion

The story of the Prodigal Son comes up this year. It only appears in a Lukan year, and it only appears Lent 4C (March 10, 2013). Most readers and preachers assume this story is about forgiveness. Timothy Keller, in his book The Prodigal God, says the story is ultimately about the self-righteous moral disease of the older brother. At the very least, this easy read will enhance your preaching, reminding you of the cultural context most of us know, but sometimes forget. However, the publisher (Dutton) also offers a study guide, so this book could make an excellent small group study in Lent (or early Fall) when the story surfaces in the lectionary. Click here for the book: Book. Click here for the study guide: Study Guide.

Ash Wednesday – February 13, 2013

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17Blow the trumpet. Sound a fast. Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Tear your hearts, not your garments.
Isaiah 58:1-12
Fasting as you do will not make your voice heard on high. This is the fast I choose: loose the bonds of injustice, set the oppressed free, share your bread with the hungry, invite the homeless poor into your house.
Psalm 51:1-17
Indeed I am guilty, a sinner from my mother’s womb. Wash me thoroughly and I shall be clean.
2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10
Be reconciled to God. Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation! We have endured many afflictions. Dying yet alive. Punished yet not killed. Sorrowful yet rejoicing. Poor yet rich!
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Don’t practice your piety before others ostentatiously, so that you can be seen. Direct your fasting to God. Your reward is in heaven.

Lent 1CFebruary 17, 2013, February 21, 2010
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 – You shall share your first fruits with the Levites (priests) and aliens as a response to God’s awesome acts of salvation, for you were once sojourners in Egypt.
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
– Eagles’ Wings. Lest you strike your foot against a stone, which the devil quotes to Jesus in the wilderness, in the gospel, below.
Romans 10:8b-13 – Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Jew and Greek. There is no distinction. But they can’t call upon him if they haven’t heard. Blessed are those who bring good news.
Luke 4:1-13 – Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness. The devil quotes Scripture (Ps. 91).

Lent 2CFebruary 24, 2013, February 28, 2010
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 – Abram believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Righteousness by faith.
Psalm 27
– The Lord is my light and my salvation. He will hide me in his tent and set me upon a high rock.
Philippians 3:17 – 4:1
– I press on toward the goal: the heavenly call of God in Christ. Enemies of the cross: their god is the belly. Their end is destruction.
Luke 13:31-35
– Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I have longed to gather you as a mother hen gathers her young under her wings.

Lent 3CMarch 3, 2013, March 7, 2010
Isaiah 55:1-9 – Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Return to the Lord… for he will abundantly pardon.
Psalm 63:1-8 – O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water… In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – The results of idolatry and immorality are devastating. So do not fall. No test has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God will strengthen you for your testing.
Luke 13:1-9 – Those Galileans slaughtered by Pilate, were they any worse sinners than anyone else? No. How about those who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? No. But unless you repent, you will also perish. Jesus likens his ministry to a man who allows his gardener to tend a fruitless fig tree for one year. If it doesn’t bear fruit, it will be destroyed. Prediction of the fall of Jerusalem?

Lent 4CMarch 10, 2013, March 14, 2010
Joshua 5:9-12 — After the Israelites cross the Jordan, the disgrace of Egypt is over, the manna stops and the people eat the bounty of the land.
Psalm 32
— I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
– We once saw Christ from a human standpoint, but no longer. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. God reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself. So we are ambassadors for Christ. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
– Lost Sheep/Lost Sons

Suggestion: Prodigal God by Timothy Keller as a Lenten theme, sermon prep, or small group study.

Lent 5CMarch 17, 2013, March 21, 2010
Isaiah 43:16-21 – Rivers in the desert: I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Psalm 126 – When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. 4Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
OR
Psalm 119:9-16
– How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Philippians 3:4b-14 – I more than any have reason to be confident in the flesh (my own works-righteousness) but I regard them all as rubbish in order to gain Christ, and know him as Lord, a righteousness based on faith, not works. And so I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
John 12:1-8
– Mary anoints Jesus feet with costly nard and wipes them with her hair. Judas objects. And the much maligned: You always have the poor with you, but not me.

Passion/Palm SundayMarch 24, 2013, March 28, 2010

Sovereign God, you have established your rule in the human heart through the servanthood of Jesus Christ. By your Spirit, keep us in the joyful procession of those who with their tongues confess Jesus as Lord and with their lives praise him as Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Luke 19:28-40 – Processional Gospel with Palms. The Triumpal Entry into Jerusalem. An anti-triumph, in contrast to the Roman triumphal marches after a conquering victory.
Isaiah 50:4-9a – Game face: I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting… therefore I have set my face like flint…
Psalm 31:9-16
– In you, O Lord, I take refuge. Let me never be put to shame. I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
Philippians 2:5-11
– Christ hymn: Have this mind, that was in Christ, who didn’t count on his equality with God, but emptied himself, taking on the form of a servant, and becoming obedient, even to death on a cross.
Luke 22:14 – 23:56
The Passion: Lord’s Supper, Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus.
OR
Luke 23:1-49
– Passover dinner and arrest. Shortened version begins with Jesus before Pilate: “Are you the king of the Jews?” Longer version includes the burial by Joseph of Arimathea.

The Three Days

MAUNDY THURSDAYMarch 28, 2013

Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 – Passover. Yahweh to Moses and Aaron: This month shall be the beginning of months for you. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you.
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
– What shall I give the Lord for his benefit to me? I will lift the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
– Paul’s Eucharistic theology: I passed on to you what I received: The words of institution.
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
– Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. A new commandment I give you: Love one another.

GOOD FRIDAYMarch 29, 2013

Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 – Suffering servant: Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
Psalm 22
– My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
Hebrews 10:16-25
– Christ offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins. By a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. This is the covenant: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.
OR
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
– For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
John 18:1 – 19:42
– Jesus’ arrest, trail and crucifixion, all the way to his burial by Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus.

EASTER VIGILMarch 30, 2013

Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Hebrew Bible Readings:

1. Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a– Creation.
Response: Psalm 136:1-9, 23-262. Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13– Flood.
Response: Psalm 463. Genesis 22:1-18 – Testing of Abraham.
Response:Psalm 164. Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 – Deliverance at the Red Sea.
Response:Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-185. Isaiah 55:1-11– Ho! Salvation offered freely to all.
Response: Isaiah 12:2-66. Proverbs 8:1-8; 19-21; 9:4b-6 or Baruch 3:9-15, 32 – 4:4– The wisdom of God.
Response: Psalm 197. Ezekiel 36:24-28– A new heart and a new spirit.
Response: Psalm 42 and 438. Ezekiel 37:1-14– The valley of the dry bones.
Response: Psalm 1439. Zephaniah 3:14-20– The gathering of God’s people.
Response: Psalm 9810. Jonah 1:1-2:1– The deliverance of Jonah.
Response: Jonah 2:2-3 [4-6] 7-911. Isaiah 61:1-4, 9-11 – Clothed in the garments of salvation.
Response: Deuteronomy 32:1-4, 7, 36a, 43a12. Daniel 3:1-29 – Deliverance from the fiery furnace.
Response: Song of the Three, vv. 35-65 (apocryphal)

Romans 6:3-11 – We have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

John 20:1-18 – Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene

Easter C

Easter at-a-glance

March 31, 2013 – RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD: The women at the tomb find the stone rolled away
April 7, 2013
– Easter 2C: Doubting Thomas. Revelation: He will come on the clouds.
April 14, 2013
– Easter 3C (SYNOD ASSEMBLY): Breakfast with Jesus on the beach. Be fishers and shepherds.
April 21, 2013
– Easter 4C or St. Mark, Evangelist: Good Shepherd Sunday, or St. Mark.
April 28, 2013
– Easter 5C: New Commandment. Love as the mark of the church.
May 5, 2013
– Easter 6C: The gospel goes to Europe – Paul’s vision of the Macedonians. John’s vision of the Holy City Jerusalem. Jesus’ vision of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the comforter, who will teach us everything.
Thursday, May 9
, 2013
– ASCENSION OF OUR LORD (May be celebrated Sunday, May 12)
May 12, 2013
– Easter 7C or Ascension Sunday: Ascension or Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity.

RESURRECTION OF OUR LORDMarch 31, 2013, April 8, 2012

God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Acts 10:34-43 – Peter’s sermon: We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear…
OR
Isaiah 65:17-25
– I am about to create a new heaven and a new earth.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 – God’s steadfast love endures forever.
I Corinthians 15:19-26 – Paul’s discourse on the resurrection. Death as the final enemy.
OR
Acts 10:34-43
– Peter’s sermon: We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear…
John 20:1-18
– Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene
OR
Luke 24:1-12
– Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women with them find the stone rolled away, encounter an angel, and run to tell the apostles.

Easter 2CApril 7, 2013, April 11, 2010
Acts 5:27-32 – Peter to the high priest: The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
Psalm 118:14-29
– Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. What can mortals do to me? The Lord is on my side…
OR
Psalm 150
– Praise the Lord with every musical instrument you can find.
Revelation 1:4-8 – The opening of John’s apocalypse: Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
John 20:19-31
Doubting Thomas. Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.
Hymn: Given the second lesson, Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending.

Easter 3CApril 14, 2013, April 18, 2010
Acts 9:1-6, (7-20) – Saul’s light from heaven. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Psalm 30
– For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Revelation 5:11-14 – Angels at the throne: “Worthy is the Lamb…”
John 21:1-19
– Breakfast with Jesus. Jesus forgives Peter. ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’

Easter 4CApril 21, 2013, April 25, 2010
Acts 9:36-43 – The resuscitation of Tabitha in Joppa (Peter).
Psalm 23
– The Lord is my shepherd…
Revelation 7:9-17 – The host arrayed in white at the throne: They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd…
John 10:22-30 – My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

[St. Mark, Evangelist - Thursday, April 25, 2013]

Isaiah 52:7-10 – How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who announce the good news of peace…
Psalm 57
– Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.
2 Timothy 4:6-11, 18
– Paul to Timothy: Bring Mark with you.
Mark 1:1-15
(see also Mark 1:9-15) – The beginning of Mark’s gospel. (The baptism of Jesus.)

Easter 5CApril 28, 2013, May 2, 2010
Acts 11:1-18 – Peter’s report to the church at Jerusalem on why he ate with the uncircumcised. His vision.
Psalm 148 – Praise the Lord mountains and hills, cattle and bugs, men and women, young and old.
Revelation 21:1-6 – New heaven. New Earth. New Jerusalem. Wipe tears from every eye. Death will be no more.
John 13:31-35 – Little children, I am with you only a little longer. I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

Easter 6CMay 5, 2013, May 9, 2010 (Mother’s Day in 2010)
Acts 16:9-15 – Paul has a vision during the night: A man from Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’
Psalm 67
– Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Revelation 21:10, 22 – 22:5 – And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God… No temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb… Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
John 14:23-29
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
OR
John 5:1-9
– Jesus heals a man at the pool of Beth-Zatha, by the Sheep Gate of Jerusalem.

ASCENSION OF OUR LORD – Thursday, May 9, 2013 (May also be celebrated on Sunday, May 12, 2013, May 20, 2012, May 16, 2010)
Acts 1:1-11
– As they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
Psalm 47
– The Lord has gone up with a shout, with the sound of the trumpet!
OR
Psalm 93
– The Lord is king, robed in majesty, whose throne is of old.
Ephesians 1:15-23 – God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Luke 24:44-53
–While he was blessing them [at Bethany], he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Easter 7C - May 12, 2013 (Or Ascension. This is also Mother’s Day in 2013.)

Acts 16:16-34 – Paul’s exorcism of the slave girl at Philippi. His subsequent imprisonment. The earthquake. Then his staying in prison to convert and baptize the jailkeeper and his household.
Psalm 97
– The Lord is king. Let the earth rejoice. The mountains melt like wax before him.
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
I am the Alpha and the Omega. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who is thirsty, come. I am the bright and morning star. Surely I am coming soon. Maranatha.
John 17:20-26
Jesus prays that his followers will be one, as he and the Father are one.

Pentecost and the Time after Pentecost

Synod Assembly is May 16-18, 2013 at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.

DAY OF PENTECOSTMay 19, 2013, May 27, 2012, June 12, 2011, May 23, 2010
Acts 2:1-21Day of Pentecost. Roaring wind and tongues of flame.
OR
Genesis 11:1-9 Tower of Babel
Psalm 104:24-34, 35bAll creatures great and small
Romans 8:14-17
The Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.
OR
Acts 2:1-21 – Day of Pentecost. Roaring wind and tongues of flame.
John 14:8-17, (25-27)
–In my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. 15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.

THE HOLY TRINITYMay 26, 2013, June 3, 2012
First Sunday after Pentecost
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 – Before the oceans and mountains were born, Wisdom was set in place.
Psalm 8When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
Romans 5:1-5
– Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
John 16:12-15
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth… He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine.

Sundays after Pentecost (Ordinary Time) Epistles-at-a-Glance (5 months)

  • June in Galatians: Summer takes us through Galatians in June, ironically about how the law was our custodian (an adolescent babysitter) until faith came (June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7).
  • July in Colossians: Then we get a taste of Colossians (July 14, 21, 28 and August 4), which I’ll summarize in Matthew Fox’ words: The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.
  • August in Hebrews: Then in August we get the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” texts from Hebrews 11-13 (August 11, 18, 25. And September 1).
  • September and October in 1 and 2 Timothy: Continuing on, we get Philemon on September 8, then carefully chosen 1 Timothy texts the rest of September, and October in 2 Timothy until Reformation Sunday when of course we get Romans.

Sundays after Pentecost (Ordinary Time) Gospels-at-a-Glance (5 months)

After Trinity Sunday (May 26) we begin a steady march through Luke. We’ve heard the Birth Narrative and the Passion Narrative. Now we start June 2 with Luke 7 and pace ourselves chapter-by-chapter through Luke 18 in October:

  • June in Luke 7-9: Healing of the Centurion’s Slave, Raising of the Widow of Nain’s son, sinful woman with alabaster jar forgiven, healing of the Geresene demoniac, Jesus rejected by Samaritan village (cost of discipleship).
  • July in Luke 10-11: Sending of the 70, Good Samaritan, Mary and Martha, Jesus’ teaching on prayer (and the Lord’s Prayer).
  • August in Luke 12-13: Including Labor Day Weekend: Parable of the Rich Fool, Where your treasure is there will your heart be also, I have not come to bring peace but sword, healing of a crippled woman on the Sabbath.
  • September in Luke 14-16: Jesus heals again on the Sabbath and lectures on the Law, Renounce family and possession, then four weeks of parables – Parable of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, Parable of the Shrewd Manager, Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus.
  • October in Luke 17-18: Parable of the Mustard Seed (undeserving slaves), Healing of the Ten Lepers, Parable of the Judge and the Widow (pray and don’t lose heart), Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (warning against hypocrisy), then Reformation.

Pentecost 2C – June 2, 2013
1 Kings 18:20-21, (22-29), 30-39
or 1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
Psalm 96
or Psalm 96:1-9
Galatians 1:1-12
Luke 7:1-10

Pentecost 3C, June 9, June 6, 2010

1 Kings 17:8-16, (17-24)God provides so that the widow of Zarephath can feed Elijah.
OR
1 Kings 17:17-24Elijah revives the widow of Zarephath’s son.
Psalm 146
I will praise the Lord. Do not put your trust in princes. The Lord vindicates the poor and oppressed.
OR
Psalm 30O Lord you pulled me up from Sheol, you rescued me from those going down to the grave.
Galatians 1:11-24
Paul’s gospel is not of human origin. Paul was set apart before he was born, then called by God’s grace, to proclaim Christ among the Gentiles.
Luke 7:11-17
Jesus raises the widow’s son at Nain

Pentecost 4C – June 16, 2013 (Father’s Day in 2013), June 13, 2010

1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14), 15-21a
OR
2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:10, 13-15 – The prophet Nathan condemns David, with a story of a rich man and a poor man with one little lamb. David: “This man deserves to die.” Nathan: “You are the man!”
Psalm 5:1-8Listen to what I say, O Lord. Hear my prayer.
OR
Psalm 32 – Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Galatians 2:15-21 – For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. If justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Luke 7:36 – 8:3
– Sinful woman with alabaster jar forgiven. Women follow Jesus: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

Note: June 19, 1865 is Junteenth, Emancipation Day in Texas. More here.

Pentecost 5C – June 23, 2013, June 20, 2010 (Father’s Day in 2010)

1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15aAhab told Jezebel all Elijah had done. Elijah hides in a cave. He experiences a wind storm, earthquake and fire, but God is not in them. God is in the quiet whisper.
OR
Isaiah 65:1-9Yahweh will judge, but not destroy everyone.
Psalm 42As the deer longs for streams of water, so my heart longs for you Lord.
and 43Vindicate me, O Lord, against an evil nation. Why so downcast O my soul?
OR
Psalm 22:19-28
Save me from the claws of the wild dog. Rescue me from the mouth of the lion.
Galatians 3:23-29The law was our custodian until Christ came. Now that faith is here, we are no longer under a guardian. There is no longer Jew/Greek, slave/free, male/female, for we are all one in Christ our Lord.
Luke 8:26-39
– Jesus heals the Geresene demoniac.

Pentecost 6C – June 30, 2013, June 27, 2010

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14Elijah parts the water so that Elijah and Elisha walk across the Jordan on dry ground. Elijah taken to heaven by a fiery chariot in a wind storm.
OR
1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 Elisha becomes Elijah’s apprentice.
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20I will remember your wondrous deeds, O Lord.
OR
Psalm 16Protect me, O Lord, for I take shelter in you.
Galatians 5:1, 13-25 For freedom Christ has set you free! Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. The whole law is summed up in a single word: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 9:51-62 – Jesus rejected by Samaritan village. Cost of discipleship. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Pentecost 7C – July 7, 2013

2 Kings 5:1-14Syrian Namaan healed by Elisha.
OR
Isaiah 66:10-14 As a mother nurses a child, so I will console you O Jerusalem.
Psalm 30God’s anger lasts a moment, God’s favor for a lifetime.
OR
Psalm 66:1-9Praise the Lord, all you nations!
Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16 (Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.) You reap what you sow. Do not become wearing in doing good. I don’t boast in circumcision, but in the cross of Christ alone.
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 – The sending of the 70: See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near…

Pentecost 8C – July 14, 2013, July 11, 2010

Amos 7:7-17Amos’ call to prophesy. He prophesies against Israel and Jereboam.
OR

Deuteronomy 30:9-14
– God will make you prosper if you obey. The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
Psalm 82
Defend the poor and the orphan. Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!
OR
Psalm 25:1-10Teach me your paths O Lord. Remember not the sins of my youth!
Colossians 1:1-14 – Paul and Timothy write to the church at Colossae, commending them for their faith, and their love, made known to them by Epaphras. They pray that the church there may bear fruit in every good work and be prepared to endure what may come with patience.
Luke 10:25-37
– The parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus: “Go and do likewise.”

Pentecost 9C – July 21, 2013

Amos 8:1-12 – God’s judgment. Listen, you who trample on the poor and cheat the needy: You will rot like a basket of summer fruit.
OR
Genesis 18:1-10a
The Lord appears to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, in the form of three men.
Psalm 52
Why do you boast about your evil plans you powerful?
OR
Psalm 15Who can live on your holy hill? Those who do not lend money at interest, take bribes, testify against the innocent.
Colossians 1:15-28
– The Christ Hymn. Most scholars believe that Paul is quoting a hymn here. If so, it would be one of the earliest hymns about Christ ever written. Amazing how the divinity of Christ emerges so early in Christian theology. The creed derives much from this passage. Through him all things were created. And one of the earliest statements of the church was that God was in Christ, reconciling himself to the world. To all things (ta panta).
Luke 10:38-42
– Mary sits. Martha serves.

Pentecost 10C – July 28, 2013

Hosea 1:2-10Hosea marries a prostitute name Gomer and has three children: Jezreel, No-Pity and Not-My-People.
OR
Genesis 18:20-32God agrees to not destroy Sodom if there are ten righteous.
Psalm 85Will you stay mad at us forever, O Lord?
OR
Psalm 138
I will give thanks with all my heart.
Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19)Continue to live your lives in Christ. In him the fullness of deity dwells. You were buried with him in baptism, and raise with him by faith.
Luke 11:1-13 – The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus’ teaching on prayer. Be persistent.

Pentecost 11C – August 4, 2013

Hosea 11:1-11Assyria will rule over Israel because they refuse to repent.
OR
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23 2Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? 23For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
Consider the Lord’s loyal love. He delivers.
OR
Psalm 49:1-12 – Do not be afraid when some become rich, when the wealth of their houses increases. For when they die they will carry nothing away; their wealth will not go down after them. Mortals cannot abide in their pomp; they are like the animals that perish.
Colossians 3:1-11
– Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. There is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Luke 12:13-21
– The Parable of the Rich Fool. ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Possible Theme: Even at night their minds do not rest, Solomon says. Even the rich go down to the dust, David says. Do not store up treasures on earth, but treasures in heaven, Jesus says. These texts focus on the futility of our striving for wealth, power, position. Who has not experienced their mind racing at night in anxiety. Address this.

Pentecost 12C – August 11, 2013

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20Yahweh condemns Sodom and Gomorrah’s sins: injustice and oppression to the orphan and widow.
OR
Genesis 15:1-6 – The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23

OR
Psalm 33:12-22 – Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
– Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God. By faith Abraham obeyed. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old.
Luke 12:32-40
– Have no fear. Sell your possessions. Give alms. Be prepared like the householder and thief. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Pentecost 13C – August 18, 2013, August 15, 2010

Isaiah 5:1-7I will sing to my lover about his vineyard: It produced wild grapes. Therefore I will make it a wasteland.
OR
Jeremiah 23:23-29 Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
Shepherd of Israel: You planted a vineyard, then tore down its walls. Support us again, and we will not turn from you.
OR
Psalm 82 – Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy…. Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for the nations belong to you!
Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2
– By faith the people passed through the Red Sea… By faith the walls of Jericho fell.. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient… Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Luke 12:49-56
– I have not come to bring peace but sword. Read the times like the seasons.

Confession: This passage from Hebrews 12 is one of the most moving for me. “For the joy that was before him…”

Pentecost 14C – August 25, 2013, August 22, 2010

Jeremiah 1:4-10Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you. Do not say, “I am too young.” I will give you the words you are to speak for me.
OR
Isaiah 58:9b-14God’s chosen fast: Remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
Psalm 71:1-6In you O Lord, I have taken shelter. Let me never be confounded. I have trusted you since you pulled me from my mother’s womb.
OR
Psalm 103:1-8Praise the Lord who forgives your sins, heals your diseases and delivers you from the Pit.
Hebrews 12:18-29 – Jesus, mediator of a new covenant. The blood of Jesus replacing that of Abel.
Luke 13:10-17
– Jesus heals a crippled woman on the Sabbath.

Pentecost 15C – September 1, 2013 (Labor Day weekend in 2013)

Jeremiah 2:4-13God states the case against the descendants of Jacob.
OR
Sirach 10:12-18 The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord.
OR
Proverbs 25:6-7 – Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. What your eyes have seen
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
I brought you out of the land of Egypt, but you did not obey me. So I gave you over to your stubborn desires.
OR
Psalm 112
Blessed is the one who obeys the Lord. His house contains riches.
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
– Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.
Luke 14:1, 7-14
– Jesus heals on the Sabbath and lectures on the law. Jesus teaches about taking the lower place. When you give a luncheon or dinner invite the poor and crippled.

Possible Theme: By Faith Welcome the Stranger. Hebrews: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers. Luke: invite the poor and crippled to your dinner parties.

August 29, 2005 is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

September 1, 2008 is the anniversary of Hurricane Gustav.

Pentecost 16C – September 8, 2013

Jeremiah 18:1-11The potter’s house: “Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, what the potter has done?”
OR
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live…
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
- O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You formed me in my inward parts. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (There is a great two-minute $10 video of this psalm at http://sermonspice.com/search?Category=All&q=psalm+139 .
OR
Psalm 1 - Happy are those who walk not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the seats of scoffers… They are like tress planted by streams of water, that yield fruit in due season…
Philemon 1-21
– Nearly the entire letter to Philemon, I would read the last three verses as well. Paul’s ominous, “Prepare a guest room for me” indicates: I’m coming to check up on you to see if you followed through with my request. This letter proves that when Paul says there is no longer slave or free (Gal 5:28-29), he means it. He doesn’t mean we’ll pretend when we’re in church, that these very real social distinctions don’t exist. He means a very real upheaval in relationships in the very real world.
Luke 14:25-33
– Renounce family and possessions. Take up your cross and follow me. Count the cost. Don’t start a tower and then fail to finish it.

Labor Day weekend. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers during a strike in 1894 Pullman President Grover Cleveland helped rush through Congress. Pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor—in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living. For the gift and opportunity of work. For all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.

September 1, 2008 is the anniversary of Hurricane Gustav.

Pentecost 17C – September 15, 2013

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28My people are stupid children with no understanding, who know how to do evil, but not good. The whole land shall be a desolation.
OR
Exodus 32:7-14
– Moses pleads with God to turn back his wrath against the people.
Psalm 14
– The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” You confound the
plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.
OR
Psalm 51:1-10 - I was a sinner from my mother’s womb. Create in me a clean heart, O God…
1 Timothy 1:12-17
– Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of which I am the foremost.
Luke 15:1-10
– Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin.

September 11, 2001 is the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center (resources at http://www.textweek.com/anniversary.htm).

September 13, 2008 is the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, which devastated Galveston.

Pentecost 18C – September 22, 2013

Jeremiah 8:18 – 9:1My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?
OR
Amos 8:4-7 - Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, 6buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat…” I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day. [Baldness on every head??]
Psalm 79:1-9
– The nations have laid ruin to Jerusalem and given our bodies to the birds. How long, O Lord, will you kindle your anger against us?
OR
Psalm 113 - Praise the name of the Lord, from the rising of the sun to its setting. He raises the poor from the dust and the needy from the ashes…
1 Timothy 2:1-7
– I wish everyone to raise up their hands without anger or argument. Pray for government leaders. For this is the will of God who wishes everyone to be saved.
Luke 16:1-13
– Parable of the Shrewd Manager. “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.” Interpretation: Use your filthy stinkin’ money to do some good in this life, so that in the next the poor will vouch for you.

September 23, 2005 is the anniversary of Hurricane Rita.

Pentecost 19C – September 29, 2013 (Or St. Michael and All Angels, below), September 26, 2010

Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15As the Babylonians are about to break through the walls in 588 B.C. Zedekiah asks Jeremiah why he’s be prophesying the exile. Jeremiah responds by saying he’s so certain that God will restore the fortunes of Zion that he’s even bought a plot of land. Jeremiah the speculator.
OR
Amos 6:1a, 4-7 – Amos warns those who lie on ivory beds, lounge on couches, who sing idle songs, anoint themselves with the finest oils and drink plenty of wine (the rich), that they will be the first to be carried into exile.
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
This is the “Eagle’s Wings” psalm: You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord and abide in the presence of the Almighty, he will deliver you from the hand of the fowler, under his wings you will find refuge. You will not fear the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day, though thousands fall around you…
OR
Psalm 146
- Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. 5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God who … executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry… lifts up those who are bowed down… who watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow…
1 Timothy 6:6-19
– We brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it (Fits with the rich man and Lazarus). The love of money is the root of all evil. Be rich in good works, generosity and sharing.
Luke 16:19-31
– Parable of the Rich man and poor Lazarus

OR

St. Michael and All Angels – September 29

Daniel 10:10-14; 12:1-3Michael, one of the chief princes, helps Daniel. Michael arises and many who sleep in the dust of the earth awake.

Psalm 103:1-5, 20-22Bless the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding.

Revelation 12:7-12Michael and his angels fight against the dragon as war breaks out in heaven.

Luke 10:17-20The seventy return. Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”

October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Several congregations do a blessing of the pets around this day. Resources can be found at http://www.textweek.com/festivals/francis.htm.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month: http://www.parsonage.org/images/pdf/cam.pdf

October 6 is also the Commemoration of William Tyndale. See http://bishopmike.com/2012/11/03/tyndale-luther-and-hus/

Pentecost 20C – October 6, 2013 (Also William Tyndale, see above), October 3, 2010

Lamentations 1:1-6 - Post-exilic. How lonely sits the empty city, once full of people! She who once was great among the nations is now a vassal. Her greatness is gone.
OR
Lamentations 3:19-26The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
OR
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 - How long, O Lord, will I cry to you for help and you will not listen? How long will we cry, “Violence?” and you will not save?
Psalm 137
- By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps.
OR
Psalm 37:1-9 - Don’t worry too much about the wicked. In due time they will fade like grass. Trust in the Lord and do good.
2 Timothy 1:1-14
– To Timothy, my beloved child: I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Luke 17:5-10
– Parable of the mustard seeds. Undeserving slaves.

Pentecost 21C – October 13, 2013, October 10, 2010

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7Thus says the Lord to the exiles in Babylon: Build houses; plant gardens; take wives; have children. But seek the welfare of the city to which I have sent you.
OR
2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c – Namaan, a Syrian, goes to Elisha to be healed if his leprosy.
Psalm 66:1-12
– Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth, for he has tested us, refined us like silver.
OR
Psalm 111 - I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
2 Timothy 2:8-15 – I endure everything for the elect, that they may attain salvation. If we have died with him, we will also live with him. Do your best to show yourself an approved worker.
Luke 17:11-19 – Healing of the ten lepers.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month: http://www.parsonage.org/images/pdf/cam.pdf

St. Luke – October 18

Isaiah 35:5-8 – Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped…
Psalm 124
– If it had not been the Lord on our side, the flood would have swept us away.
2 Timothy 4:5-11
– Luke is the only one who stays with Paul in his distress.
Luke 1:1-4
; 24:44-53 – Luke’s reason for writing for Theophilus. Jesus’ resurrection address to the disciples.

Pentecost 22C – October 20, 2013, October 17, 2010

Jeremiah 31:27-34 – The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
OR
Genesis 32:22-31
– Jacob wrestles with the angel at Peniel.
Psalm 119:97-104 – Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.
OR

Psalm 121
– I lift my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come? He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:5 – Jesus will judge the living and the dead. Proclaim the message. Be persistent.
Luke 18:1-8 – Parable of the Judge and the Widow (pray and don’t lose heart)

October is Clergy Appreciation Month: http://www.parsonage.org/images/pdf/cam.pdf

Pentecost 23C – October 27, 2013 (or Reformation Sunday below), October 24, 2010

Joel 2:23-32 – I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Even on male and female slaves, I will pour out my Spirit.
OR
Sirach 35:12-17 – The Most High will not show partiality to the poor; but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged. He will not ignore the supplication of the orphan, or the widow when she pours out her complaint.
OR
Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 – Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonour your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us.
Psalm 65 – Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed, O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.
OR
Psalm 84:1-7 – How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts. My soul has a desire for the courts of the Lord. Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a place to rest her young at your altars.
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 – As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation. My time has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.
Luke 18:9-14
– Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (warning against hypocrisy)

October is Clergy Appreciation Month: http://www.parsonage.org/images/pdf/cam.pdf

Reformation Sunday – October 31 or Sunday, 10-27-13 is Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jeremiah 31:31-34The days are coming when I will make a new covenant with Israel and Judah: law on their hearts.
Psalm 46 - The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. (Ps. 46:4)
Romans 3:19-28No one will be justified by the law. Now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed.
John 8:31-36
– You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

All Saints – November 1 or Sunday, November 3, 2013, November 7, 2010 , November 1, 2009 (Also, Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday.)
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18 – The holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever—for ever and ever.’
Psalm 149 – Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.
Ephesians 1:11-23 – He has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Luke 6:20-31 – Blessed are you poor, hungry, weeping. Surely your reward will be great in heaven. Woe to you rich, full, laughing.

Pentecost 25C – November 10, 2013, November 14, 2010
Haggai 1:15b-2:9 – Haggai prophesies the future glory of the Temple. Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? Take courage people of God. The latter splendor of this house will be greater than the former.
OR
Job 19:23-27a – I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God.
Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 – One generation shall praise your works to another and declare your mighty acts.
OR
Psalm 98 – Sing to the Lord a new song! Let the seas roar, and the floods clap their hands! Let the hills sing together for joy!
OR
Psalm 17:1-9– Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17– Do not be alarmed or shaken by word, or by a letter, as though from us, that the day of the Lord has already come. Let no one deceive you.
Luke 20:27-38 – The Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, question Jesus. God is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.’

Pentecost 26C – November 17, 2013
Isaiah 65:17-25 – The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.
OR
Malachi 4:1-2a– The day is coming when the arrogant and evil-doers will be stubble. But for those who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.
Isaiah 12 – The First Song of Isaiah. Surely it is God who saves me. I will trust in him and not be afraid.
OR
Psalm 98– Sing to the Lord a new song! Let the seas roar, and the floods clap their hands! Let the hills sing together for joy!
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 – Keep away from believers who are idle. Imitate us, for we were not idle when we were with you. We worked day and night to not be a burden. Do not grow weary in doing good.
Luke 21:5-19 – The destruction of the Temple foretold. Nation will rise against nation. They will arrest you and persecute you. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.

CHRIST THE KING – November 24, 2013, November 25, 2012, November 22, 2009

Jeremiah 23:1-6 – Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord… The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
Luke 1:68-79 – The Song of Zechariah: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David.
OR
Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, we will not fear.
Colossians 1:11-20 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. He is the head of the body, the church. In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
Luke 23:33-43 – The Crucifixion. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

Thanksgiving – November 28, 2013
A good legacy story.
Delta Flight 15 story about generosity as giving thanks.

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 – When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess… you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you… You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.
Psalm 100 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
Philippians 4:4-9 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
John 6:25-35 – Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life. I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.