Tag Archives: worship

Word of the Week – November 16, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016 Christ the King / Lectionary 34 Introduction

Jeremiah’s promise of the execution of “justice and righteousness in the land” finds ironic fulfillment in the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. It appears so utterly contradictory that the king should be crucified with the criminal. This victory appears for all the world as ignominious defeat. Yet through the gate of death our Lord opens the door to paradise.

First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6

Today’s reading builds on the common ancient Near Eastern metaphor of the king as shepherd. Judah’s unjust rulers have caused their people, their “flock,” to be scattered. Nevertheless, the Lord will raise up a new and righteous shepherd who will rule a restored Judah.

Psalm: Psalm 46

I will be exalted among the nations. (Ps. 46:10)

Second Reading: Colossians 1:11-20

An early Christian hymn praises the mystery of the political, personal, and mystical Christ, the one who was present at creation and is eternally reigning with God.

Gospel: Luke 23:33-43

Amid scoffing and slander from those who sarcastically call him Messiah and king, Jesus reveals that to be Messiah and king is to give one’s life for others. Here he uses his power to welcome a despised sinner to paradise but puts his own death into God’s hands.

Word for the Week – November 6, 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016 All Saints Sunday Introduction

In holy baptism God makes saints out of sinners. In holy communion God forgives the sins of all the saints. In the assembly today we give thanks for all the saints “who from their labors rest,” who have fought the good fight, who have gained the crown. In the same breath we petition our God for the strength to hear and to heed the admonitions of the Lord Jesus in today’s gospel. Recalling that we have been sealed by the Spirit and sustained by the Savior’s body and blood, we keep on keeping on as God gives us breath, to the praise of God’s glory.

First Reading: Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18

The book of Daniel was written in the second century bce, when the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes was severely persecuting the Jews. Daniel’s vision of the four beasts serves to proclaim the message that human kings will come and go, but the kingdom will ultimately belong to God and to God’s people.

Psalm: Psalm 149

Sing the Lord’s praise in the assembly of the faithful. (Ps. 149:1)

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:11-23

After giving thanks for the faith of the Ephesians, Paul prays that they might understand the wisdom, hope, and power of God that is embodied in Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Luke 6:20-31

In echoes of the prophet Isaiah and Mary’s song of praise, Jesus reveals surprising things about who enjoys blessing and who endures woe. He invites his disciples to shower radical love, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, and trust, even to enemies and outsiders.


Word of the Week – October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016 Lectionary 31 Introduction

“God loves us all, both big and small,” a child’s verse declares. The sins of the world are covered. We are able to stand tall before God our righteous judge because in the person of Jesus “salvation has come to this house”—to our house today. In Christ Jesus God seeks us out to save us.

First Reading: Isaiah 1:10-18

Isaiah announces God’s displeasure with the offerings and sacrifices of a people who are without compassion. He urges them instead to do justice and defend the oppressed. Indeed, if they repent, the Lord promises, they will be made as clean as new-fallen snow.

Psalm: Psalm 32:1-7

All the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble. (Ps. 32:6)

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

This letter of Paul begins with a typical salutation, blessing, and words of praise for what God is accomplishing among the recipients. By remaining faithful and growing spiritually during hardship, the Thessalonian Christians have become witnesses to the glory of God.

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus encounters Zacchaeus, a rich man who is also a lost sinner. Moved by Jesus’ acceptance of him, Zacchaeus becomes a model of discipleship. In immediate response to being restored to God’s people, Zacchaeus ministers to the poor and seeks reconciliation with those whom he has wronged.