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CEL home > Resources > Econotes2 - Lent to July

GREEN POINTERS FOR PREACHERS

Mountain pansy

Ecological Notes to the Common Worship Lectionary -
by Keith Innes

Click for Introduction and Index
Click for This coming Sunday

Lent 4   - Note this is also Mothering Sunday
Year A

(3o Mar 2014)

I Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41
The Lord rules with loving care (Psalm 23). His King was a shepherd (I Samuel 16:11). Similarly the power given in creation to humans is to be exercised with tenderness, not ruthless exploitation. Jesus used mud in healing (John 9:6). His divine power worked with the substance of creation. God, who desires our health, has put a treasure store of healing in creation, which we should value and cherish. Care for creation is surely among those 'good, right and true' things which are the fruit of light and are pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:9-10)..

Year B (Sun 18 Mar 2012)
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3,
  17-22 (or 1-9)
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21
Just as the physical image of a snake was a focus for the Israelites' longing and faith for healing (Numbers 21:4-9) so the physical Cross of Christ 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' is the means of our salvation (John 3:14-21). An ethereal, over-spiritualised religion is the enemy of creation care; a true faith is rooted in God's creation as well as his redemption.

Sun 21 March 2004 is also Mothering Sunday
Year C
(Sun 3 Mar 2013)
Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3,11b-32

God in his mercy gives new beginnings in a new creation. The Israelites' first meal from the produce of the promised land was one such new beginning (Joshua 5:11-12). Personal forgiveness leads to newness of life (Psalm 32). Reconciliation to God through Christ leads to participation in a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-21). God wills that this newness leads us to value properly all that has been given to us instead of despising and squandering it (Luke 15:11-32).

Mothering Sunday
Year A

(Sun 30 Mar 2014)

Year B

(Sun 18 Mar 2012)

Year C

(Sun 10 Mar 2013)

Exodus 2:1-10 or
1 Samuel 1:20-28
Psalm 34:11-20 or
Psalm 127:1-5
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 or
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:33-35 or
John 19:25b-27
All that parents can do for their children depends on resources given by the Creator - for example the materials used in making the original 'Moses basket' (Exodus 2:3). All human care falls within God's care. We should value human parents and value the earth, for God's provision reaches us through both.



Lent 5   
Year A

(Sun 6 Apr 2014)


Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45

A Christian lifestyle reflects the Gospel that the Church believes. If we place our hope in a God who gives life and raises the dead, our actions must tend to foster life, not death, in all creation and all beings..

Year B
(Sun 25 Mar 2012)
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-13 or
Psalm 119:9-16
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

Physical washing is analogous to spiritual cleansing (Psalm 51:2,7). The death and fruitfulness of a seed is archetypal for the experience of Jesus and of us (John 12:23-26). God speaking bears some relationship to thunder (John 12:28-29).

Year C
(Sun 17 Mar 2013)
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8



The renewal of nature (Isaiah 43:20-21) is here pictured in the context of the promise of return from exile, which was seen as a 'second exodus'. This promise of transformation also points forward to the final 'universal restoration' referred to in Acts 3:21. In the radical reassessment of values consequent on coming to know Christ (Philippians 3:4b-14) one of the discarded elements is the pursuit of excess. Such pursuit contributes to the destruction of the earth. It is exemplified in the character of Judas as portrayed in John 12:4-8. .



Palm Sunday  Liturgy of the Palms  
Year A
(Sun 13 Apr 2014)

Matthew 21:1-11
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 19-24, [25-29]


Also see just below - Liturgy of the Passion on the same day.
The story of the Triumphal Entry includes the positive use of an animal (the donkey) to show the peaceful mission of Jesus. The cutting of branches to carpet the road perhaps enshrines a similar principle to the use of flowers to decorate places of worship; but the unsustainable use of plants would not honour God. Jesus's remark that, if the crowds were silent in his praise, the stones would cry out (Luke 19:40) may prompt us to reflect on the ways in which inanimate nature does, indeed, bear witness to him.

Year B
(Sun 1 Apr 2012)

Mark 11:1-11 or
John 12:12-16
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 19-24

The story of the Triumphal Entry includes the positive use of an animal (the donkey) to show the peaceful mission of Jesus. The cutting of branches to carpet the road perhaps enshrines a similar principle to the use of flowers to decorate places of worship; but the unsustainable use of plants would not honour God. Jesus's remark that, if the crowds were silent in his praise, the stones would cry out (Luke 19:40) may prompt us to reflect on the ways in which inanimate nature does, indeed, bear witness to him.

Year C
(Sun 24 Mar 2013)


Luke 19:28-40
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 19-24, [25-29]


The story of the Triumphal Entry includes the positive use of an animal (the donkey) to show the peaceful mission of Jesus. The cutting of branches to carpet the road perhaps enshrines a similar principle to the use of flowers to decorate places of worship; but the unsustainable use of plants would not honour God. Jesus's remark that, if the crowds were silent in his praise, the stones would cry out (Luke 19:40) may prompt us to reflect on the ways in which inanimate nature does, indeed, bear witness to him.

Liturgy of the Passion  
Year A

13 Apr 2014
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16, [17-18]
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54

The crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17) exemplifies the misuse of the resources of nature as a means of inflicting harm and indignity. Reflecting on such abuses can be a rich source of penitence. The passion story includes other examples of the misuse of natural materials: the cross itself, the nails, the reed used to strike Jesus. In how many ways do we also misuse and abuse natural things, and grieve God's heart of love?

The darkness (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44) and the earthquake (Matthew 27:51) show that the crucifixion of God's Son is an event of cosmic significance, not only important for humanity.


Year B
(Sun 1 Apr 2012)
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16, [17-18]
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 or
15:1-39, [40-47]


The crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17) exemplifies the misuse of the resources of nature as a means of inflicting harm and indignity. Reflecting on such abuses can be a rich source of penitence. The passion story includes other examples of the misuse of natural materials: the cross itself, the nails, the reed used to strike Jesus. In how many ways do we also misuse and abuse natural things, and grieve God's heart of love?

The darkness (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44) and the earthquake (Matthew 27:51) show that the crucifixion of God's Son is an event of cosmic significance, not only important for humanity.

Year C

(Sun 24 Mar 2013)

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16, [17-18]
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14-23:56 or
23:1-49




The crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17) exemplifies the misuse of the resources of nature as a means of inflicting harm and indignity. Reflecting on such abuses can be a rich source of penitence. The passion story includes other examples of the misuse of natural materials: the cross itself, the nails, the reed used to strike Jesus. In how many ways do we also misuse and abuse natural things, and grieve God's heart of love?

The darkness (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44) and the earthquake (Matthew 27:51) show that the crucifixion of God's Son is an event of cosmic significance, not only important for humanity.



Maundy Thursday Year B (Thur 5 Apr 2012)  

Year A 17 Apr 2014

Year C

(Sun 28 Mar 2013)

Exodus 12:1-4, [5-10,] 11-14
Psalm 116:1, 10-17 (or 9-17)
I Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-17, 31b-35


'Ecological' themes around the institution of the Eucharist are the sacramental character of material things (the material creation lends itself to the revelation of the divine); and the fact that what 'earth has given and human hands have made' can be charged with spiritual meaning. The meaning however is not arbitrary but is controlled by God's Word.



Easter Sunday  
Year A
(Sun 20 Apr 2014)


Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 14-24
Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

Acts 10:34-43: The Scriptures testify that Christ's resurrection was a physical event, and his resurrection body was physical although changed (41).

Jeremiah 31:1-6: God's continuing, saving love delights to give his people natural fruitfulness (5), economic prosperity (4a) and physical enjoyment (4b). He unites those who are separated by sinful divisions (Ephraim, the people of the northern kingdom of Israel, going to worship and learn from God in Zion ? Jerusalem, in Judah, the southern kingdom, where the Temple was). The victory of the risen Christ brings these blessings to all people and communities that open their doors to him.

Colossians 3:1-4: Because Christ is risen and reigns, we are to live our physical, earthy lives centred on him and his reign, not on merely natural or physical answers to our needs and wants.

John 20:1-18/Matthew 28:1-10: The Resurrection of Jesus is God's powerful affirmation of the physical world. It assures a future for matter, including the human body, and for all that God has created. It also indicates that our bodies and the whole creation are to undergo a transformation and be made perfect in Christ.

By making Mary of Magdala [and the other Mary?] the first witness to the resurrection, God established the importance of women in articulating and making known the message of the Risen Christ.

( Year B
(Sun 8 April 2012)


Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 14-24
I Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8


Acts 10:34-43: The Scriptures testify that Christ's resurrection was a physical event, and his resurrection body was physical although changed (41).

Isaiah 25:6-9: Through Christ's Resurrection God will fulfil all his promises. The entire time between the Resurrection and Judgment will see the outworking of the Good News, patchily and incompletely now, perfectly and totally then.

I Corinthians 15:1-11: The Scriptures testify that the physical resurrection of Christ is an integral part of the Good News.

John 20:1-18/Mark 16:1-8: The Resurrection of Jesus is God's powerful affirmation of the physical world. It assures a future for matter, including the human body, and for all that God has created. It also indicates that our bodies and the whole creation are to undergo a transformation and be made perfect in Christ.

By making Mary of Magdala [and the other Mary and Salome?] the first witnesses to the resurrection, God established the importance of women in articulating and making known the message of the Risen Christ..

( Year C

(Sun 31 Mar 2013)


Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 118:[1-2,] 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43
John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12


Acts 10:34-43: The Scriptures testify that Christ's resurrection was a physical event, and his resurrection body was physical although changed (41).

Isaiah 65:17-25: Christ's resurrection is the means and the beginning of the renewal of the whole Creation. God promises the renewal of heaven and earth and of his people, the redeemed community ('Jerusalem'). Human life and human endeavour will no longer be subject to frustration (20-23). The global harmony will have at its heart the harmony between God and his people (24). The conflict, pain and loss inherent in creation now will be swallowed up (25) in the victory of Christ's resurrection. This passage echoes Isaiah 11:6-9, and is affirmed in Revelation 21:1-8 (cf. 2 Peter 3:13). While these words contain a symbolic element, we should not spiritualise them away, as if everything here was only a metaphor for non-material, spiritual truths. That would deny the nature of the resurrection as an earthly as well as spiritual event.

I Corinthians 15:19-26: Christ is the firstfruits, the first of many to be raised up with new, resurrection bodies in the new heaven and earth.

John 20:1-18/Luke 24:1-12: The Resurrection of Jesus is God's powerful affirmation of the physical world. It assures a future for matter, including the human body, and for all that God has created. It also indicates that our bodies and the whole creation are to undergo a transformation and be made perfect in Christ.

By making Mary of Magdala [and the other women?] the first witnesses to the resurrection, God established the importance of women in articulating and making known the message of the Risen Christ.



Easter 2   
Year A
(Sun 27 Apr 2014)


Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16
I Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31
The language of Peter's sermon (Acts 2:22-32) shows that what human beings killed, i.e. the physical body of Christ, was what God raised from death. It was the 'flesh' of the Messiah which did not suffer corruption (Acts 2:31). Psalm 16 which is applied here to Christ, speaks in very physical terms.

The risen Christ kindly accepts Thomas's demand for personal physical proof of the resurrection (John 20:24-29). Thomas is invited to feel Christ's hand and side. At the same time he is rebuked for unbelief: faith is a trusting response to Jesus, not a merely logical conclusion (cf. 1 Peter 1:8). This story clearly shows that Christ's transformed body could be felt - it was not just an appearance. The Gospel speaks not of escape from the physical, but of its perfecting.

Year B
(Sun 15 April 2012)


Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
1 John 1:1-2:2
John 20:19-31
The Apostles' witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, which was borne with 'great power' (Acts 4:33), took place in a Christian community economically transformed. The sharing of possessions (Acts 4:32-35) was a fruit of the new life of Christ among them.

The risen Christ kindly accepts Thomas's demand for personal physical proof of the resurrection (John 20:24-29). Thomas is invited to feel Christ's hand and side. This story clearly shows that Christ's transformed body could be felt - it was not just an appearance. The Gospel speaks not of escape from the physical, but of its perfecting.

Year C
(7 April 2013)


Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29 or
Psalm 150
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31
s

The threefold description of Jesus (Revelation 1:5) as 'the faithful witness, the first born of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth' assures us that he is the first of many: all his believing people will follow him into the resurrection life. By the power of his cross he has power to redeem the world. He also makes us a royal priesthood (verse 6), bringing his redemption to all creation (cf. Romans 8:19-21).

The risen Christ kindly accepts Thomas's demand for personal physical proof of the resurrection (John 20:24-29). Thomas is invited to feel Christ's hand and side. This story clearly shows that Christ's transformed body could be felt - it was not just an appearance. The Gospel speaks not of escape from the physical, but of its perfecting.



Easter 3  
Year A
(Sun 4 May 2014)


Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17 (or 1-7)
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35
Ecological Christianity is sometimes seen as opposed to the Gospel of personal salvation. But a truly biblical faith includes both. We need to repent and receive forgiveness of our sins - against God, creation and other humans (Acts 2:38). The discovery that God hears our cry, values and saves us (Psalm 116) is the most precious experience of believers. We have been set free by the Cross of Christ, by him brought to faith and a new life (1 Peter 1:17-23). The story of the appearance of Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) shows Jesus after his resurrection as personal, physical, and recognisable, but changed. It shows the possibility of different modes of physical existence. We cannot tell whether Jesus's post-resurrection body is like the post-resurrection bodies of believers, nor how the new heaven and earth will relate to our present universe. What we do know is that God's purpose for us is not a destiny as disembodied spirits.

Year B
(Sun 22 April 2012)


Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48


The appearance of Jesus after his resurrection includes both continuity and difference from the mode of his earthly life. He is personal, physical, but changed. We cannot tell whether Jesus's post-resurrection body is like the post-resurrection bodies of believers, nor how the new heaven and earth will relate to our present universe. What we do know is that God's purpose for us is not a destiny as disembodied spirits.

Year C
(14 April 2013)


Acts 9:1-6, [7-20]
Psalm 30
Revelation 5:11-14
John 21:1-19


The story of St Paul's encounter with Christ modifies the account of the Resurrection given elsewhere in the New Testament. Although Jesus is said in Acts 9:17 to have 'appeared' to him, what he saw actually seems to have been a light (the accounts in Acts 22:6-16, 26:12-18 show slightly different emphases). Moreover Christ's Body, as in Paul's letters, was the Church which Paul was persecuting. But elsewhere in Acts, including sermons attributed to Paul, the appearances before the Ascension are mentioned just as in the Gospels (Acts 13:31), and Paul places himself alongside the other apostles as a witness of the Resurrection. The change marked by the Ascension (Acts 1:6-11) accounts for the distinctive features of Paul's experience. In the vision of Revelation 5:11-14 all created beings - animal, human and angelic - give praise to God. The appearance of the risen Christ (John 21:1-19) shows him as personal, physical, and recognisable, although changed. It shows the possibility of different modes of physical existence. We cannot tell whether Jesus's post-resurrection body is like the post-resurrection bodies of believers, nor how the new heaven and earth will relate to our present universe. What we do know is that God's purpose for us is not a destiny as disembodied spirits.



Easter 4   
Year A
(Sun 11 May 2014)


Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23
1 Peter 2
:19-25
John 10:1-10
The use of the shepherd/sheep relationship as a model for the relationship of Christians to Christ has many implications. One is to give great dignity to animal experience. To cause suffering or indignity to animals in our care should be abhorrent to those whose Shepherd is the Lord (Psalm 23, 1 Peter 2:25, John 10:1-5).
Year B
(Sun 29 Apr 2012)


Acts 4:5-12
Psalm 23
1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18
Jesus, God the Son, is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18) who loves his flock to the extent of laying down his life for them. Humans are made in God's image and called to reflect his truth and life. Therefore we are to model the pastoral care of Jesus, not only in human pastoral relationships, but in our care for animals. Such care may include foregoing benefits for ourselves that would involve their suffering.

Year C
(21 April 2013)


Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30


The eternal relationship of shepherding between Christ and his true sheep (Psalm 23, Revelation 7:17, John 10:22-30) is to be mirrored by his people in their 'pastoral' care not only of people, but also of God's other creatures over whom we have so much power for good or ill.





Easter 5  
Year A
(Sun 18 May 2014)


Acts 7:55-60 Psalm 31:1-5, [15-16] 1 Peter 2:2-10 John 14:1-14
The experience of the 'open heaven' (Acts 7:56) is found also at the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:21), and at the time of Christ's birth when the worship of heaven was witnessed on earth (Luke 2:13-14). The implication is that we do not need to cut ourselves off from all earthly concerns to find God: through Jesus we can be in touch with heaven while still being on earth. God is compared to a rock (Psalm 31:2,3), Christ and Christians to stones for building (1 Peter 2:4-8), spiritual teaching to milk (1 Peter 2:2). So natural things can symbolise God and spiritual realities.

Year B
(Sun 6 May 2012)


Acts 8:26-40 Psalm 22:24-30 1 John 4:7-21 John 15:1-8
The serendipitous discovery of water for baptism reflects the character of the whole incident in Acts 8 which brings new life to the convert. The picture of the vine and its branches symbolising Christ and the Church (John 15:1-8) shows the affinity between nature and grace. The comparison of the Father to a gardener may be seen as endorsing horticulture and agriculture which works co-operatively with natural processes.

Year C
(28 Apr 2013)

Acts 11:1-18 Psalm 148:1-6, [7-14] Revelation 21:1-6 John 13:31-35

Psalm 148 influenced the 'Benedicite' or 'Song of the Three' and, later, Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun. The heavens and earth, and non-human living creatures, declare God's praises by their being; to angels and humans alone is given the power to articulate them. God's ultimate future for his creation is to be a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1-6), and a new human community with its origin in heaven. God will be immediately present. Sorrow and death, pain and distress will have no part in this renewed creation. Christians are called now to be part of the beginning and growth of this renewal, for the 'water of life' is given now. The distinctive love (John 13:31-35) which is to be a feature of the Christian community, is the essence and power of this 'newness of life'



Rogation Sunday 13 May 2012

Rogation Sunday There is lots of material for Rogation Sunday on the Arthur Rank Centre Site

Easter 6  
Year A
(Sun 25 May 2014)
(Rogation Sunday

Acts 17:22-31 Psalm 66:7-18 1 Peter 3:13-22 John 14:15-21
Acts 17:22-31: That God is creator of all, near to his creatures, loving yet judging, is basic to the Gospel. He wishes all peoples and cultures to have their time and place, to know him and repent. The offering of animal sacrifices (Psalm 66:13) may raise difficulties for us. The custom was universal in the ancient world, and God started with people where they were, regulated sacrifice and forbade the sacrifice of humans. The system also enshrined the great principle that forgiveness is only possible through the laying down of life in death. The death of Christ alone suffices, and has put a stop to all other sacrifices (1 Peter 3:18-22; see also Hebrews 9:22-28). The way is now open for us to enter into intimate fellowship with the Father through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21).

Year B

(Sun 13 May 2012)

Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17

The worship of the Lord's people is to complement and articulate the worship of all creation (Psalm 98:4-9). The terminology of fruit-bearing (John 15:16) to express the life that Christians are called to live, is an example of the application of natural, ecological language to the spiritual life.

(5 May 2013)
This Sunday (The Sunday before Ascension Day) is Rogation Sunday) Year C

Acts 16:16-34 Psalm 97 Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 John 17:20-26

Psalm 67:6: The fruitfulness of the earth is a sign of God's blessing. Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5: For a fuller understanding, we should read from 21:1. In the perfection of God's will for his creation, the perfect community (21:10) and the healed world (22:2) are different aspects of the new heaven and earth (21:1). Membership is open to all who have accepted Christ's new life and been included in his 'book of life' (20:11-15).

   




Ascension Day  


(Thu 29 May 2014)

(Thu 17 May 2012)

(Thu 9 May 2013)



Acts 1:1-11 or Daniel 7:9-14 Psalm 47 or Psalm 93 Ephesians 1:15-23 or Acts 1:1-11 Luke 24:44-53

This season teaches us that Christ, having united earthly things to himself in his incarnation, also transcends them. He is King of creation, and is not limited or confined by it.



Easter 7  
Year A
(Sun 1 June 2014)


Acts 1:6-14
Psalm 68:1-10, [33-36]
1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11
John 17:1-11
The ascension to heaven of Jesus, human and divine, assures us that in him heaven and earth are reconciled. The needs of earth are represented, so to speak, in heaven.






Year B
(Sun 20 May 2012)


Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19
In a sense the world is enemy-occupied territory, because it has been invaded by the forces of sin and rebellion. Christ has sent his people, belonging to him, sustained by his prayer and by the grace of his Father, to brave the opposition and carry out his mission (John 17). The fulfilment of God's purposes for the care of creation is one aspect of that mission, alongside worship, evangelism and social responsibility.

Year C
(12 May 2013)


Acts 16:16-34
Psalm 97
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26


God's judgment is described in terms of lightning, earthquake, and volcano(?) (Psalm 97:3-5). We should never forget that God is a holy as well as a loving God; God's light means exposure as well as joy (11). Nature in its fearsome destructiveness as well as its mellow beauty can reveal God's nature. The vigorous shoot growing from an old stock is a picture of Christ's humanity, and the morning star, whose presence promises the new day, symbolises his coming (Revelation 22:16).



Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday)   
Year A
(Sun 8 June 2014)


Acts 2:1-21 or
Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:25-35, [36,] 37
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or
Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or
John 7:37-39
The theme of the Holy Spirit as Creator Spirit is not prominent in Scripture. But it is implicit in such passages as Psalm 104:31 (literally 'you send forth your Spirit, they are created' - cf. Genesis 1:2 where rah elohm is sometimes translated 'the Spirit of God' rather than 'a wind from God'; see Year A, 2 before Lent). The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to make us what God the Creator has always intended us to be. In Acts 2:2-3 the Spirit's coming is described in natural language: it is like wind and fire. In John 20:22 Christ's gift of the Spirit is symbolised by his breathing on them. In John 7:37-39 flowing water stands for the divine Spirit's living presence at work in the believer (John 7:37-39). The gift of the Holy Spirit is the 'firstfruits' or first instalment, the promise of the full redemption not only of believing people, but of all creation (Romans 8:22-23).

Year B
(Sun 27 May 2012)


Acts 2:1-21 or
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:25-35, [36,] 37
Romans 8:22-27 or
Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

As above


Year C
(19 May 2013)


Acts 2:1-21 or
Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:25-35, [36,] 37
Romans 8:14-17 or
Acts 2:1-21
John 14:8-17, [25-27]


As above



Trinity Sunday  
Year A
(Sun 15 June 2014)


Isaiah 40:12-17, 27-31
(Genesis 1:1-2:4a in Methodist book)
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20
Today's readings are full of paradox. Worship of God as Creator causes human concerns to shrink, for God is great and all-knowing (Isaiah 40:12-17); yet the message of God's greatness also brings hope to his people, because he gives strength to all who work for him (Isaiah 40:27-31). According to Psalm 8 God is infintely glorious, yet even the voices of babies acknowledge his glory; although his majestic creation dwarfs humanity, he has chosen to entrust us with responsibility in his world. In the light of the New Testament the Church discerns that the Creator God, majestic in holy love, is in himself a perfect Community of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our power in the creation is only safe when we also tremble and bow low before his glory.

Year B
(Sun 3 June 2012)


Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

Creation, holiness, redemption and mission are all embraced in the vision of Isaiah 6:1-8. God glory is expressed by all creation (Isaiah 6:3). God is revealed to the prophets and also in the thunder which is God's voice and proclaims God's glory; God also gives strength and well-being to people (Psalm 29). Spiritual rebirth (John 3:3) fulfils natural birth; God loves human beings in and with the rest of creation (John 3:16-17).

Note the first Sunday in June is also Environment Sunday -

Year C
(26 May 2013)


Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15


The wisdom , given by God, that enables the healthy ordering of human lives and communities, is also the guiding force in creation (Proverbs 8). We are only fit to exercise our God-given power on earth when we acknowledge God's transcendent power and authority, ruling in holy love (Psalm 8). In the light of the New Testament we see that God's wisdom is summed up in Christ, and released in our lives by the Holy Spirit.



Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time- Sunday between 24 and 28 May inclusive  
Year A
(Sun 25 May 2008)




Year B


 

Year C

 

 



Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Proper 4 - Sunday between 29 May and 4 June inclusive  
Year A
(Sun 1 June 2008)


Continuous
Genesis 6:9-22, 7:24, 8:14-19
Psalm 46
Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-28, [29-31]
Matthew 7:21-29
Salvation is indivisible. The earth and all its inhabitants were involved in the consequences of human sin; the animals were also included in the rescue of Noah and his family. Natural imagery is used to express God's majesty and saving power (Psalm 46), and the safety or downfall of those who act, or fail to act, on the Word of God (Matthew 7:24-27). As members of the earth community we are offered salvation; is our conduct as members of that community not taken into account by our Judge, the holy, loving God- When we are saved and put right with God through faith in the atoning death of Christ, we can begin to live as God's children in relation to other members of the earth community.

Related
Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28
Psalm 31:[1-5,] 19-24
Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-28 [29-31]
Matthew 7:21-29


Obedience to God's law, referred to in the Deuteronomy passage, is many-layered, as is God's blessing. Ecological conduct is clearly not the whole of discipleship, but it should equally clearly be included. When we are saved and put right with God through faith in the atoning death of Christ, we can begin to live as God's children in relation to other members of the earth community.

Year B

Continuous
1 Samuel 1-10, [11-20]
Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Mark 2:23-3:6


Related
Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Psalm 81:1-10
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Mark 2:23-3:6
The observance of one day in seven on which, as far as possible, we 'let creation be' and refrain from making demands on it, is an abiding gift of the Creator. The healing carried out by Jesus on the Sabbath, like his other healing miracles, is a sign of the coming day when the whole natural order will be restored to health (compare Matthew 11:2-6) and Christ's peace will rule universally.

Year C

2 June 2013

Continuous
1 Kings 18:20-21, [22-29], 30-39
Psalm 96
Galatians 1:1-12
Luke 7:1-10

Related
1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
Psalm 96:1-9
Galatians 1:1-12
Luke 7:1-10


Baal (1 Kings 18) was a personification of natural vitality and fertility. The conflict between Baal and Yahweh, the God of Israel, was between worship of nature, and worship of the true God, who has created and who sustains nature, but is also personal and is distinct from nature. The fact that Yahweh could be seen to order natural forces settled the contest. The God of history is also the God of creation; God requires our worship, and creation itself honours him (Psalm 96).



Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 5 and 11 June inclusive - Proper 5  
June 5th is World Environment Day . Each year A Rocha prepares material for Environment Sunday: http://en.arocha.org/ukconsunday/index.html You can use material from previous years. The material for 2005 is scheduled to come out in April
Year A


Continuous
Genesis 12:1-9
Psalm 33:1-12
Romans 4:13-25
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26

Related
Hosea 5:15-6:6
Psalm 50:7-15
Romans 4:13-25
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26

Abram's journey and the Lord's revelations to him took place in different places in the promised land. Thus his faith was automatically 'earthed'. Again, the fulfilment of the promise took place through the restoration of his potency and Sarah's ability to bear children (Romans 4:19). Our faith differs in that, in Christ, all believers are heirs of the whole earth (Romans 4:13, compare Matthew 5:5). But it too has to be lived out in the context of nature. The physical is not the enemy of the spiritual but its vehicle. The healing miracles of Jesus, spiritual and physical (Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26) can be seen as a foretaste of the age to come, when all creation will be saved, forgiven and healed. The faith of ancient Israel was faith in the Creator (Psalm 33:6-7). Creation was not a 'bolted-on' extra to their faith, as it often is with us. The system of animal sacrifices had a temporary place in the Old Testament, but even then some recognised that its meaning was symbolic (Psalm 50:7-15). In the background was the recognition that all animals already belong to God, who values and cares for them.

Year B
(Sun 10 June 2012)


Continuous
1 Samuel 8:4-11, [12-15,] 16-20; [11:14-15] Psalm 138
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

Related
Genesis 3:8-15
Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

In the fable of the serpent, condemned to crawl and eat dust (Genesis 3:14-15), one layer of meaning is the dislocation by sin of relationships between humanity and the beasts.

The destiny of the people of God is not to be disembodied spirits but to be covered with a new 'house' or body (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our present bodies are temporary accommodation, imperfect as yet, hindering and hurting us sometimes, but one day to be fulfilled by new bodies. A devaluation of the body and its environment is no part of Christianity.

Year C


(9 June 2013)
Continuous
1 Kings 17:8-16, [17-24]
Psalm 146
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 7:11-17

Related
1 Kings 17:17-24
Psalm 30
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 7:11-17
God wished to sustain the lives of the widow and her son (1 Kings 17:8-16), but used the presence and words of the prophet to do so. The supply of the needs of all the world's inhabitants today likewise depends on attending to God's words and wisdom, and loyal obedience to him. By living lives of praise, we too can live in harmony with the Lord who cares especially for the needy and disadvantaged. In biblical faith, the Lord is the God of creation, salvation and providence.


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 12 and 18 June inclusive - Proper 6  
Year A


Continuous
Genesis 18:1-15; [21:1-7]
Psalm 116:1, 10-17 (or 9b-16)
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8, [9-23]

Related
Exodus 19:2-8a
Psalm 100
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8, [9-23]
The simplicity of lifestyle that Jesus enjoined on his apostles (Matthew 10:9-10) has proved, with some shining exceptions, elusive for the church ever since. For the church in the West today a new reason exists for a basic simplicity, since on a purely economic basis, we must 'live more simply, so that all may simply live.'

Year B
(Sun 17 June 2012)


Continuous
1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
Psalm 20
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, [11-13,] 14-17
Mark 4:26-34

Related
Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:1-4, 11-14 (or 1-7)
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, [11-13,] 14-17
Mark 4:26-34
The new world that has dawned in those united to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) is not just a subjective experience, but a foretaste of the future fulfilment of heaven and earth. It should lead us to seek God's will for the natural world as well as human societies.

Year C
(16 June 2013)


Continuous
1 Kings 21:1-10, [11-14,] 15-21a
Psalm 5:1-8
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36-8:3


Related
2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15
Psalm 32
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36-8:3
The ownership and use of land lie at the heart of ecological concern (1 Kings 21). Its seizure by the greedy and powerful, with the dispossession of the humble and poor, is a potent source of pollution, poverty and suffering. It is an affront to God's Kingdom (Psalm 5:5-6, cf. Matthew 5:5).





Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 19 and 25 June inclusive - Proper 7  
Year A
(Sun 22 June 2014)


Continuous
Genesis 21:8-21
Psalm 86:1-10, [16-17]
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39

Related
Jeremiah 20:7-13
Psalm 69:8-11, [12-17,] 18-20 (or 14-20)
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39
The background to God's love for God's people is the divine presence, love and sustaining power to all creatures (Matthew 10:29-31).

Year B
(Sun 24 June 2012)


Continuous
1 Samuel 17:[1a, 4-11, 19-23,] 32-49
Psalm 9:9-20
or: 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16
Psalm 133
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

Related
Job 38:1-11
Psalm 107:[1-3,] 23-32
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41
The whole of nature is symbolic. In Psalm 133 dew as well as oil is compared to brotherly love. Whatever difficulties the idea of God's being in control of nature may cause us, we dare not abandon it if we are true to God's Word. To God the Son, Jesus the Messiah, even the wind and sea are obedient (Mark 4:35-41, cf. Psalm 107:23-32). Job discovered (38:1-11) that, far from challenging God, he was challenged by the mystery and majesty of God revealed in creation.

Year C
(23 June 2013)


Continuous
1 Kings 19:1-4, [5-7,] 8-15a
Psalms 42, 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

Related
Isaiah 65:1-9
Psalm 22:19-28
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39
Elijah discovered God, not identical with creation, but accompanying it, ordering and forming it (1 Kings 19:1-15). The psalmist's depression (Psalm 42:6-7), overwhelming like Elijah's (1 Kings 19:4), felt like submersion beneath chaotic waters. The earth is troubled by destructive spiritual forces (Luke 8:26-39) - destructive of human personality and community, and of other creatures. The deliverance of creation from evil is one aspect of God's kingdom, inaugurated by Jesus, whose completion is not yet. And not all worship associated with nature is good; true worship is a response to the self-revelation of the true God (Isaiah 65:1-7, cf. Galatians 3:23-29, Psalm 22:19-28).



Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 26 June and 2 July inclusive - Proper 8  
Year A
(Sun 29 June 2014)


Continuous
Genesis 22:1-14
Psalm 13
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

Related
Jeremiah 28:5-9
Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18 (or 8-18)
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42
The sin from which Christ sets us free (Romans 6:18) includes the abuse and destruction of creation; the right conduct to which he has delivered us includes the cherishing and service of God's handiwork.

Year B
(Sun 1 July 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43

Related
Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24
Lamentations 3:22-33 or Psalm 30
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43
The principle behind Paul's collection for the famine-stricken church in Jerusalem is the equal sharing of natural resources. Also implied is the idea of sufficiency: 'enough is enough'. The Gospel always tends towards equality and simplicity (2 Corinthians 8:7-15). These qualities are essential for the healing of the earth as well as humanity.

Year C
(30 June 2013)


Year C Continuous
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:[1-2,] 11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

Related
1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Psalm 16
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62


From the Old Testament onward people who were exceptionally close to God and controlled by his Spirit often exhibited rapport with nature and authority in the natural realm (2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14). We can only rule rightly in God's creation if we obey his word and his Spirit. God, who rules his people like a Shepherd, is present with the world he has created (Psalm 77:16-20). In an integrated Christian lifestyle, the character of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will be seen in our relationship with non-human as well as human fellow-creatures.



Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 3 July and 9 July inclusive - Proper 9  
Year A
(Sun 6 July 2014)


Continuous
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Psalm 45:11-18 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Related
Zechariah 9:9-12
Psalm 145:8-15
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew
11:16-19, 25-30
All God's works render God service and declare God's praise (Psalm 145:10). The biodiversity celebrated in Song 2:12-13 is now under threat from human activities. Only Christ can redeem us from our innate sinfulness which is at the root of the earth's degradation (Romans 7:15-25a). In his gentle yoke lie the inner comfort and rest from which life-giving service to creation can flow (Matthew 11:28-30).

Year B
(Sun 8 July 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
Psalm 48
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13

Related
Ezekiel 2:1-5
Psalm 123
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13
The language of shepherding, applied to the King (2 Samuel 5:2), reminds us that the power over creation given to humans is to be used pastorally, for the benefit of all, and not selfishly in our own interests alone.

The Church could well ponder the basic simplicity of the first Christian missionaries (Mark 6:8-9) as it engages in Christ's mission now. The dangers of unbridled exploitation give an added reason for the quest for simplicity and moderated demands.

The beauty of the city of God (Psalm 48) does not come from human extravagance but from God's glory.

Year C
(7 July 2013)


Continuous
2 Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30
Galatians 6:[1-6,] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Related
Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-8
Galatians 6:[1-6,] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
These readings are full of natural symbolism: washing in water is 'sacramental' of the removal of disease (2 Kings 5:10); a river is a simile of prosperity (Isaiah 66:12); life-choices and God's judgment are a spiritual sowing and harvest (Galatians 6:7-9); the fruits of evangelism are another kind of harvest (Luke 10:2).

The Church could well ponder the basic simplicity of the first Christian missionaries (Luke 10:4) as it engages in Christ's mission now. The dangers of unbridled exploitation give an added reason for the quest for simplicity and moderated demands.

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