New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summary for the 21th Sunday after Pentecost - Year C (November 3)
by Rev. Shelley
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4: The prophet Habakkuk complains to God that he sees violence and injustice; yet God seems silent. Why? He decides to watch for God's response from the ramparts of the city. Miraculously God does answer. And his answer? Don't be afraid to write what you see. The proud will eventually fall and the righteous will live by their faith.
Psalm 119: 137-144: Once again the Psalmist declares the goodness of God's laws and judgements. There is nothing harsh in them; but they are right, faithful, everlasting and true. When the psalmist is in trouble and anguish, these laws bring his heart delight. They are worth meditating on because they never grow old. They are everlasting.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11,12: Paul and his companions Silvanus and Timothy together write this letter to the Thessalonian Christians. Its opening lines are ones of encouragement and praise. They praise the believers for their growing faith and for their increasing love for others. That praise reminds the writers to pray for these Christians, that God will continue his work in them. The result will be that God's name will be glorified in the believers, and the believers will in turn be glorified by God.
Luke 19:1-10: This is one of the most delightful encounters with Jesus; found only in Luke's gospel. The chief tax collector Zacchaeus can't even get a glimpse of the miracle worker because the crowds are so great and he is so short. So up the tree he goes; soaring over the throngs. Yet Jesus sees him, calls him by name, and invites himself to dinner. Zacchaeus immediately repents. Jesus again proclaims that his is what his mission is all about. He has come to “seek and to save the lost”.
Scripture Summary for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost - Year C (November 10)
by Rev. Shelley
Haggai: 1:15b-2:9: The Lord anticipates that the exiles returned to Jerusalem will be depressed when they compare their newly built Temple to the splendour of Solomon's original. So God assures them that He is still with them. The glory that God will bring to them and this new Temple will far exceed its splendour from the past.
Psalm 145: 1-5, 18-22: The beginning of this Psalm tells us what the songwriter is going to do. He is going to give praise to God. God is great and worthy of this praise. The second half of the psalm gives some reasons for the writer to exalt God. The Lord is just in all his dealings; and kind in all He does. The Lord is near those who call on God and watches over those who love God.
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-5, 13-17: Paul wants to encourage the Thessalonian believers. They are worried that Christ has not returned and their loved ones are beginning to die. He exhorts them to trust the gospel, continue to have faith, and live a life of goodness and hope.
Luke 20: 27-38: The religious Sadducees try to trick Jesus with their question about resurrection-a doctrine that they do not even believe in. They set up a ridiculous scenario; probably hoping to make Jesus look foolish. Jesus, however, takes their question seriously and reprimands them for their small view of both God and of heaven. God is not the God of the dead, but of all the beloved living ones. All the categories used to label and keep people in their places on earth will have no weight in heaven. They will all be their true selves – children of God.
Scripture Summary for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost – Year C (November 17)
by Rev. Shelley
Isaiah 65: 17-25: The prophet Isaiah brings a comforting message from God. The Jewish nation's current conditions (and sadness) will come to an end. God is doing a new thing. In fact God is going to begin from scratch; new heavens and a new earth. Hard times will be forgotten. Life will be long and glorious; all nature will be in harmony.
Isaiah 12 (Canticle 3): In these two paragraphs Isaiah prophesies how the people will speak about God in the future days. “You will say in that day” is the catch phrase. In the first refrain, people speak personally about their relationship with God. I was in rough shape, but You have now comforted me. In the second paragraph, people are now looking beyond themselves and wanting to share this story of salvation with others. They invite all the people to join in the singing and praise.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13: Some believers thought that Jesus' 2nd coming to usher in the new age was going to happen immediately. They stopped working and witnessing to await this new epoch. Paul cautions them to continue to be vital members of society-productive and loving. He himself set the example. Doing what is right is never out of sync with God's purposes.
Luke 21:15-19: People comment on the beauty of the Jerusalem Temple, admiring its precious stones. Jesus uses the opportunity to teach his disciples about the fleetingness of even sturdy buildings. Rome will soon come and destroy this beautiful Temple. The disciples will soon be persecuted because of the gospel. He wanted them to be prepared, and not be shocked by this. They would change the world with their message.
Scripture Summary for the Reign of Christ – Year C (November 24)
by Rev. Shelley
Today we celebrate the Reign of Christ (old name: Christ the King). All of our readings centre around some aspect of how God is our ruler.
Jeremiah 23:1-6: Jeremiah echoes God's frustration and dismay at the leaders (both civil and religious) who have misused his people. They are responsible for the dire situation that the nation is in. God will now personally take over his peoples' care. He will be the shepherd of his people and they will be his flock. He will raise up someone from King David's household who will be righteous and just. Christians see this prophecy as pointomg to Jesus.
Luke 1:68-79 (Canticle C): The elderly Zechariah bursts into a song of joy at the birth of his son John (the Baptist). Through the power of the Holy Spirit he tells of the coming Saviour who will be of King David's household and will be the one who will rescue the people from their oppressors. His own son will be a prophet to prepare the way of the Saviour, and teach the people about salvation. The Saviour will bring light, peace and forgiveness for all the people.
Colossians 1:11-20: Paul reminds his readers that because of Christ's overcoming of death, we as his children can share in this power to transform. We are now children of light, able to endure anything. We are Christ's children, therefore inheritors of all that is His. Christ has shown us what the face of God looks like. He is the goal, the joy, and the glue that holds the galaxy together. His goal is to bring together in joy all elements of the cosmos.
Luke 23: 33-43: The final act of Christ the King will be to transform the whole basis of power. He rules by self-giving love. He overcomes hatred by love, goodness, and sacrifice. And the first person to enter the eternal realm with Him will be a crucified thief. His only request is “Jesus, remember me”. This is enough for Jesus. “Today you will be with me in paradise”. When our hearts are open to God, we too enter the loving reign of our King.