New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summaries for November 2020 – Year A
Scripture Summary – All Saints Day – November 1, 2020 by Rev. Shelley
Revelation 7:9-17: St. John sent this letter to the persecuted churches throughtout Asia Minor. He is assuring them that although they are suffering now, the final victory would belong to God. All peoples, nations, and the heavenly beings will be brought into God’s presence. Those who have suffered will be comforted and healed and all will acknowledge God’s salvation.
Psalm 34: 1-10, 22: David is going through a terrible time in his life. Still he chooses to trust in God. He invites otheres who are suffering to follow his example. Those who put their trust in God will never be condemned.
1 John 3:1-3: God loves us so much that we have been adopted into the family. We are now children of God. It is difficult to believe this but one day we will know it for a certainty. One day we will see God and we will be transformed into God’s likeness.
Matthew 5:1-12: After recording the calling of Jesus’ disciples in chapter four, Matthew now gives us the sermon on the mount. Here the disciples and the crowds (including us) are shown what this new life in God’s kingdom will look like. Like a new Moses on the mountain, Jesus gives new laws. These are not given to deny the old ones, but to fulfil them. “Thou shalt” gets replaced by “blessed are”. Yet the commitment is no less rigourous. Only God’s spirit wilthin us will enable this new life to take place.
Scripture Summary – 23rd Sun. after Pentecost – November 8, 2020 by Rev. Shelley
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25: After the death of Moses, Joshua will lead the Israelites. He asks the people to re-commit to following the Lord, as they begin to enter the promised land. He reminds them that this will involve renouncing all their other gods, and trusting fully in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They all agree that they will serve the Lord.
Psalm 78:1-7: Here the Psalmist becomes the teacher. He will speak in parables, but will also recite the good and miraculous deeds of the Lord. To what purpose? So that the children will know the stories and trust in the same Lord. They will then continue the pattern for each new generation.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18: This is one of the great New Testament passages on the true hope of the gospel. Many of the Thessalonians were worried that their loved ones had died before Jesus came back to earth. What would become of them? Paul assures them that all those who died in Christ will also be raised in Christ. We will all be with the Lord forever – be encouraged.
Matthew 25: 1-13: This is a sobering parable. All the bridesmaids are waiting for the groom to arrive. But some are prepared for a long wait; others are not. Only when we have the oil of the Spirit will we be able to wait for as long as it takes.
Scripture Summary – 24th Sun. after Pentecost – Nov. 15, 2020 by Rev. Shelley
Judges 4:1-7: The Israelites are now in the Promised Land and being ruled by judges. Although they had pledged to follow the Lord, that promise had already been broken. Judge Deborah reminds army lead Barak that it is the Lord that they must trust for any of their victories.
Psalm 123: Servants look to their masters. Maidens look to their mistresses. The Psalmist looks to the rule of the heavens with his plea for mercy. The proud look at them all with contempt. The Psalmist has no other recourse but to turn to the One who takes the part of the humble against the proud.
I Thessalonians 5:1-11: Against the speculations of “when will the Lord return?”, Paul says that Christ will return like “a thief in the night”. Rather than speculate on a date, the call is to remain awake. Live each day with faith and love and the certain hope of salvation. This is what will bring us the encouragement that we need to live our daily lives.
Matthew 25:14-30: Here Jesus gives another sobering parable. Once again, a landowner goes on a long journey after entrusting his property to his servants. The fate of the servants depends on what they do with property. And what they do with the property seems to depend on how they view the landowner.
Scripture Summary – Reign of Christ – November 22, 2020 by Rev. Shelley
Ezekial 34:11-16, 20-24: Ezekiel pictures God as a shepherd searching for his sheep. The rescue operation is to bring them back to their homeland where God will care for them, feeding them, strengthening them, healing the wounded. God will feed them with justice. God will also appoint another shepherd – a son of David – to be their Prince.
Psalm 100: This psalm is truly a song to the Lord. Make a joyful noise. Worship. Sing Praise. Bless. These are the verbs of the people of God. All of earth is invited to sing along. The reason? God’s love endures forever.
Ephesians 1:15-23: Here is Paul at his pastoral best. He has heard of the faith of the Ephesians and this causes him to give thanks. He prays that God will continue to guide them by giving them a spirit of wisdom, enlightened hearts, hope, an understanding of their spiritual inheritance, and the greatness of God’s power. This is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and fills the world with his forgiving Spirit.
Matthew 25:31-46: Here is another difficult parable. The Son of Man comes to judge and this judgement is linked to how well those judges treated the son of man. Even the recipients seem confused as to why they are justified or condemned. When did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Of when were you in prison and we visited you? Jesus seems to link the treatment of Him with how we treat prisoners, strangers, the hungry, and the thirsty.
Scripture Summary – 1st Sunday of Advent – November 29, 2020 by Rev. Shelley
Isaiah 64:1-9: Isaiah calls on God to show up again as He has in the past. God’s appearance on fiery mountains and in miraculous events not only made nations tremble, they also reassured God’s people. The most miraculous proclamation is that God will work on behalf of those who wait for Him.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19: The Psalmist is desperate for help. He appeals to the Shepherd who is the leader of the tribes of Abraham. He speaks in the imperative “Give ear. Restore. Stir up.” If this appeal works, then the people will promise never to turn away from the Lord.
I Corinthians 1:3-9: Paul begins his letter to the Corinthians with a doxology. He gives thanks for them because of all that God has done in their lives. In Jesus Christ they have every spiritual benefit. These spiritual gifts are not just for daily living, but God will also strengthen them until the end of time. Why? Because God is faithful.
Mark 13: 24-37: Jesus predicts a tine in the future when God’s people will be gathered together and will see the Son of Man in glory and power. He reminds his hearers to stay alert; living the Kingdom’s values. He doesn’t ask us to speculate on when this will happen, as only Father God knows this. Instead his command is to “keep awake”.