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Sunday Pause for Thought Trinity 15 : God has No Favourites

Sunday Pause for Thought Trinity 15 : God has No Favourites

Sunday 24 September 2017

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

 

Common Worship Lectionary

Proper 20

Exodus 16.2–15 The Lord sends manna from heaven
Psalm 105.1–6, 37–45* God’s faithfulness to Israel
Philippians 1.21–30 Living is Christ and dying is gain: live worthy lives
Matthew 20.1–16 Parable of the labourers in the vineyard

 

Discipline is the dominant note as God’s people grumble their way through the wilderness. God’s care is firm but tangible. In our struggles we need encouragement and Paul shows his converts at Philippi what good and wise encouragement looks like. No parable of Jesus strikes us more shockingly than Matthew 20 – what sort of world is it about? It is not about our world, but God’s – where fortunately for us, his grace takes no account of our deserts. Pray to be glad that God has no favourites.

 

These lectionary resources were originally written for RSCM Sunday by Sunday magazine and are reprinted here with their permission.

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Sunday Pause for Thought – The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

 

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Common Worship Lectionary

Proper 19

 

Exodus 14.19–31 Israel saved by Moses parting the waters
Psalm 114 or Israel fled from Egypt to sanctuary in Judah

 

Canticle: Exodus 15.1b–11, 20, 21 Moses’ song after the Exodus
Romans 14.1–12 Do not judge, for we are all accountable to God
Matthew 18.21–35 Seventy-seven times forgiveness? The unforgiving servant

 

The parable in Matthew is terrifying and brings dramatically home the message of the Lord’s Prayer – to forgive readily as we ourselves are forgiven by God. Christians, like others, can squabble and divide about matters that seem to be in the end of minor importance. Paul reminds us that only love can restore a true sense of proportion. It is hard to trust that, even despite all appearances, all shall be well. Pray always to hold to the great signs of God’s love.

 


 

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

 

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

 

Common Worship Lectionary

Proper 18

 

Exodus 12.1–14 Instructions for celebrating the first Passover
Psalm 149 God is on Israel’s side
Romans 13.8–14 Awake from sleep – put on the armour of light
Matthew 18.15–20 Reprove sinners; bind and loose on earth and in heaven

 

We all live with the past – a wonderful combination of blessings and burdens. Let us pray that we commemorate past blessings with joy. The Passover meal tells of the great release to which the meal was the preview and gives us a promise of Jesus as active redeemer. Paul reminds us of the commands to love and to live the good life, always in the setting of the urgency of God’s call. We need to heed the wise teaching that we hear and to ask others to support us on our journey of discipleship.


 

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

 

Common Worship Lectionary

Proper 17

 

Exodus 3.1–15 God reveals the divine name to Moses at the burning bush
Psalm 105.1–6, 23–26, 45b* Seek the Lord, make known his deeds
Romans 12.9–21 Let love be genuine; overcome evil with good
Matthew 16.21–28 Jesus predicts his death; ‘Take up your cross’

 

In Exodus, Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush is crucial – a sacred moment with the name of God. Jeremiah reminds us that the service of God is not an easy ride and we can protest to him at its impossibility, but he will surely see us through. Paul gives simple and basic moral teaching and we are asked to accept and follow in God’s grace. The Gospel reading asks us to consider whether we can bear to become nothing for the sake of having everything in the end. Let us pray to accept ill from others with true patience.


 

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Sunday Pause for Thought – The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Saying yes to Jesus leads straight into a practical role. Peter, the rock, signifies the church in its day-to-day life – its ultimate victory on behalf of God is sure. We are reminded in the Old Testament readings that the greatness of God dwarfs us all and that we are constantly being challenged to choose death or life. Paul tells us that we should be a distinctive presence – in the world but not of it. Perhaps we should reassess our sense of importance before God. We pray that confession of Christ leads us to an active part in his purpose.

Readings :

Exodus 1.8 – 2.10

The Israelites in Egypt are oppressed; Moses is born
Psalm 124 Our help is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth
Romans 12.1–8 Present your bodies as holy, for we are members together
Matthew 16.13–20

Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah