The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, November 17, 2019 - 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 33, Proper 28]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
A New Heaven and a New Earth
Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
A new heaven and a new earth . . .wars and persecutions. . . they don’t seem to go together. What were the lectionary folks thinking? These seemingly contradictory passages speak of endings and beginnings—the vision of what can and will be—times of trial, times of peace. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It is the contradiction we live in every day. We are caught between despair and hope; caught between people who tell us to be realistic and our vision of a better life. We are caught between those who believe the world is going to hell, and those who see a different life—a better life, a life that can come to be, will come to be, if we only believe the promises of God and live into them.
Come, let us sing to the LORD!Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.He holds in His hands the depths of the earthand the mightiest mountains.The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.His hands formed the dry land, too.Come, let us worship & bow down.Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,for He is our God.We are the people He watches over,the flock under His care.
The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 65, Luke 21)
O God, we are more like the vision in Luke than the vision of Isaiah. We see wars, hatred, and violence everywhere, yet despair of ever stopping them. We see oppression and injustice and persecution, but fail to raise our voices in prophetic protest. We have become a pessimistic people. Help us believe—really believe—in Isaiah’s vision of the peaceable kingdom, in your promise of a new heaven and new earth. Let your cry be our cry: “They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.” Amen.
Words of Assurance (Isaiah 12)
God is our strength and our salvation. God’s anger is turned away, and in its place we find comfort, steadfast love, and forgiveness. With this hope, we can draw water from the wells of salvation with joy and thanksgiving.
(A new heaven and new earth)
The Glorious New Creation
17 For I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
20 No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
and their descendants as well.
24 Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
(The Holy One in your midst)
Thanksgiving and Praise
1 You will say in that day:
I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
and you comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
(Do what is right)
Warning against Idleness
3:6 Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9 This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.
(Suffering for Jesus’ sake)
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
21:5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
Signs and Persecutions
7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8 And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.
9 “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Here ends the Lessons
Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
In the name of the Father and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.God of love and mercy,You call us to be your people,You gift us with Your abundant grace.Make us a holy people,radiating the fullness of your love.Form us into a community of people who care,expressing Your compassion.Remind us day after day of our baptismal callto serve with joy and courage.Teach us how to grow in wisdom and graceand joy in Your presence.Through Jesus and Your Spirit,we make this prayer. Amen.
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, November 17, 2019
Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
A new heaven and a new earth . . .wars and persecutions. . . they don’t seem to go together. What were the lectionary folks thinking?