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CEL home >Resources > Econotes - July to November

Mountain pansyGREEN POINTERS FOR PREACHERS

Ecological Notes (July- November) to the Common Worship Lectionary -
by Keith Innes
Click for This coming Sunday

Click for Introduction and Index
econotes1.htm: Advent - 2nd Sun in Lent
econotes2.htm: 2nd Sun in Lent - June
econotes.htm: July -Nov


Click for special notes for four special sets of notes for "Season of Creation Sundays" in September



Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 3 July and 9 July inclusive - Proper 9  
Year A
(Sun 3 July 2011)


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.


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 10 July and 16 July inclusive - Proper 10  
Year A
(Sun 10 July 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 25:19-34 Psalm 119:105-112 Romans 8:1-11 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 Related Isaiah 55:10-13 Psalm 65:[1-8,] 9-14 Romans 8:1-11 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The story of Esau and Jacob illustrates the misuse of the earth's resources by greed and manipulation (Genesis 25:29-34. Encouragingly the continuing big story of the Bible also shows the weaving of this deceptive abuse into God's redeeming purposes).The renewal of our earthly, bodily life by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:11) is a foretaste of the renewal of all creation (Isaiah 55:12-13). God, the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sustains creation in its fruitfulness, and forgives and redeems penitent sinners (Psalm 65). Therefore the planting of seeds, and its outcome, is a parable of God's Kingdom (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).

Year B
(Sun 15 July 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Psalm 24
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

Related
Amos 7:7-15
Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29
The one God is Lord of creation, is worshipped by his people, and demands holiness and moral integrity (Psalm 24). Personal salvation should never be seen as opposed to cosmic redemption, as if Christians believed in either one or the other; both are within the full-orbed plan of God (Ephesians 1:3-14). Powerful vested interests are arrayed against God's word and God's truth (Amos 7:10-13; Mark 6:14-29). As so often in Scripture, prosperity for the land is linked in Psalm 85:8-13 to faithfulness by God's people to God's covenant.
Year C
(14 July 2013)


Continuous
Amos 7:7-17
Psalm 82
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Related
Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Psalm 25:1-9
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37
Living in harmony with God's will, brings harmony with the rest of creation and hence true prosperity and lasting fruitfulness (Deuteronomy 30:9-10). Such harmonious living requires attention to God's word (Deuteronomy 30:10-14) as well as to science and inherited wisdom.


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 17 July and 23 July inclusive - Proper 11  
Year A
(Sun 17 July 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm 139:1-11, [22-23]
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Related
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 or Isaiah 44:6-8
Psalm 86:11-17
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30,
36-43

Psalm 139: 1-11: God dwells in the whole of creation (compare Genesis 28:16), and this knowledge must affect our treatment of the earth.

Romans 8:12-25: The 'created universe' (REB) is longing eagerly for the completion of God's saving purposes (18-23). The fulfilment of the earth and the universe is mysteriously bound up with the destiny in Christ of God's human people. The suffering of all creation can be seen as the birth-pangs of the new world (22). As yet, however, God's good world is affected by the devil's damage (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).
Year B
(Sun 22 July 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Psalm 89:20-37
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Related
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
The potential of 'deserted places' (Mark 6:31-32) for providing rest, we may suppose, depends not only on the absence of people but on the physical space which is conducive to realising the presence of God.
Year C
(21 July 2013)


Continuous
Amos 8:1-12
Psalm 52
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

Related
Genesis 18:1-10a
Psalm 15
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42

Amos 8:1-12: We should be open to the possibility of 'seeing', through objects and activities in the physical world, truths that God is revealing by the Holy Spirit (1-3).

Psalm 52: The psalmist saw a healthy, vigorous tree as a picture of comprehensive prosperity (8).

Colossians 1:15-28: All reality, physical and spiritual, is created and sustained through Christ's will and energy. God's presence in Christ is unlimited, and the reconciliation made available through faith by his sacrifice knows no


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 24 July and 30 July inclusive - Proper 12  
Year A
(Sun 24 July 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, [45b] or Psalm 128
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Related
1 Kings 3:5-12
Psalm 119:129-136
Romans 8: 26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

We should not rush to over-spiritualise the Old Testament idea of the land as inheritance (Psalm 105:11) or prosperity as the fruit of faithfulness (Psalm 128). A valid path of interpretation leads us to see ancient Israel as a model for God's dealings with all people in Christ. Living on the earth as God asks, tends towards peace and well-being for all. (Nor should we forget that the wisdom given to King Solomon (1 Kings 3:12) included understanding of the ways of nature (Compare 1 Kings 4:33)).

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52: Our Lord's use of parables shows the congruence between earthly life and the truth of the Gospel. Nature lends itself to conveying spiritual truth.
Year B
(Sun 29 July 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21


Related
2 Kings 4:42-44
Psalm 145:10-19
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

God's abundant provision (2 Kings 4:43-44; Psalm 145:16-17) is not to be wasted (John 6:12-13).

The powers of the universe need not be feared if we live wisely among them in the presence of Jesus. We and they are subject to him as Lord (John 6:18-21).
Year C
(28 July 2013)


Continuous
Hosea 1:2-10
Psalm 85: 1-7, [8-13]
Colossians 2:6-15, [16-19]
Luke 11:1-13

Related
Genesis 18:20-32
Psalm 138
Luke 11:1-13

Colossians 2:6-15, [16-19]

Psalm 85: Once again land and people are identified in experiencing judgment and salvation.

Colossians 2:6-15, [16-19]: 'Green religion' is only wholesome when it is rooted and built up in Christ (6-7, 19), and not in lesser spiritual beings and powers (8).


Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 31 July and 6 Aug inclusive - Proper 13  
Year A
(Sun 31-Jul 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 17:1-7, [16]
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

Related
Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145:[8-9,] 15-22
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

Genesis 32:22-31: Surprisingly, Genesis 32:32 says that the point of the story of Jacob's experience of struggle at Penuel was to explain the custom of not eating 'the sinew that is on the hollow of the thigh.' This animal sinew was not to be eaten because Jacob's human hip was dislocated. In the background is the assumption of a close relation between humans and animals.
Psalm 145: [8-9], 15-22: God's grace is present with all that he has made, and he is the saviour of all who call upon him.
Matthew 14:13-21: The loaves and fish, gifts of God in creation, only suffice for human needs when consecrated by being put in Christ's hands. So creation is only safe when we acknowledge all things to be his and obey him in our use of created gifts.

Year B
(Sun 5 Aug 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Psalm 51:1-13
Ephesians 4:1-16
John 6:24-35

Related
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
Psalm 78:23-29
Ephesians 4:1-16
John 6:24-35

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15: All food, not just the manna in the wilderness, is ‘the bread which the Lord has given you to eat' (15), and must be used with reverence and gratitude.

Ephesians 4:1-16: Christ the Lord is present not only to the Church, or even humanity, but to the whole universe (9).
John 6:24-35: Materialism, working just for 'perishable food' (27), leads not only to spiritual starvation but, in the end, also to a failure to satisfy our mortal, physical needs.

Year C
(4 Aug 2013)


Continuous
Hosea 11:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9, [43]
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:13-21
Related
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
Psalm 49:1-8, [9-11]
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:13-21

Colossians 3:1-11: The thought is not that our life on earth is unimportant, or that we should live abstracted, ethereal lives divorced from our earthiness. Rather, our conduct on earth is to be ruled by our spirits centred on God, and not by ungoverned physical desires and instincts. Equally, unbridled greed is revealed in Luke 12:13-21 to be the ultimate folly (compare Ecclesiastes 2:18-23 and Psalm 49:10-12) - and in our day the dire social and ecological results of such folly, as well as its spiritual consequences, are manifest.


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 7 Aug and 13 Aug inclusive - Proper 14  
Year A
(Sun 7 Aug 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b (or 1-10)
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33

Related
1 Kings 19:9-18
Psalm 85:8-13
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b: The story of Joseph's sufferings (Genesis 37) read in the light of Psalm 105:16-22, shows God at work, through and in spite of flawed creation and flawed people, bringing about God's redeeming purposes.
1 Kings 19:9-18: The experience of Elijah reveals God not identified with nature, but accompanying it as sovereign Lord.
Psalm 85 conveys 'the Kingdom of right relationships', an ordered world of which people can be part by God's grace.
Matthew 14:22-33 shows Jesus perfectly at home and in control, ordering life aright, and making possible for believers an existence in harmony with creation and its God.

Year B
(Sun 12 Aug 2012)


Continuous
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Psalm 130
Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2
John 6:35, 41-51
Related
1 Kings19:4-8
Psalm 34:1-8
Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2
John 6:35, 41-51

Untamed nature was often experienced in the times of the Bible as inhospitable, even hostile (2 Samuel 18:8). Bread, 'which earth has given and human hands have made', used by Jesus to symbolise his gift of eternal life (John 6: 35, 41, 48-51; compare 1 Kings 19:8) is in part the product of cultivation. We live in different times, when even wild nature is under threat because of our way of life. We must take steps to care for it, as well as giving thanks for much that human industry and skill make available to us.
Year C
(11 Aug 2013)


Continuous
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Psalm 50:1-7, [8, 23-24]
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40
Related
Genesis 15:1-6
Psalm 33:12-21, [22]
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20: The full enjoyment of the fruits of the earth depends on obedience to God (19; compare Psalm 33:18-19). We may see the connections differently today, but the principle remains unchanged from the days of the Bible.
Psalm 50:1-7, [8, 23-24]: The powers of nature are associated with God (3), and heaven and earth are called as witnesses against human sin (4, 6).
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16: The Letter to the Hebrews sees faith as an intuition by which we can discern the world's relation to God and set a true direction for our lives.
Luke 12:32-40: The Gospel rebukes our consumerism and acquisitiveness (33-34).


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 14 Aug and 20 Aug inclusive - Proper 15  
Year A
(Sun 14 Aug 2011)


Continuous
Genesis 45:1-15
Psalm 133
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15: [10-20,] 21-28

Related
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
Psalm 67
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15: [10-20,] 21-28

Genesis 45:1-15: The Joseph story reminds us that the effects of unavoidable natural misfortunes can be alleviated by wise and caring administration. The contrary implication is that their effects can be aggravated, and become truly disastrous, through callous, greedy or inept actions. The fruitfulness of the earth should lead us to seek God's blessing and to make God known (Psalm 67:6-7).
Year B
(Sun 19 Aug 2012)


Continuous
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
Psalm 111
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58

Related
Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58

The physical process of eating and drinking symbolises the receiving by faith of Jesus' life-giving, saving power made available by his death (John 6:51-58). This is one of many examples of the affinity between nature and grace. Similar language is used of the imbibing of wisdom (Proverbs 9:5).

Year C
(18 Aug 2013)


Continuous
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:[1-2], 8-19
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56
Related
Jeremiah 23:23-29
Psalm 82
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56

Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80: [1-2], 8-18: The patient, caring agriculture (viticulture) of Isaiah 5:1-2 (compare Psalm 80:8-11) is a parable of God's patience and care for God's people. Such a parallel is easier to find in holistic, organic cultivation than in the aggressive, greedy ways of intensive agribusiness, so destructive of the long-term well being of the soil and the earth community.

Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2: As consistently in the Bible, the gateway to the ultimate future of God's people is the resurrection of the body (Hebrews 11:35) – not the immortality of the soul.

Luke 12:49-56: Those who are attuned to God's purposes can discern the unfolding signs of God's kingdom, as people attuned to nature can discern the signs of the weather (54-56).


Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 21 Aug and 27 Aug inclusive - Proper 16  
Year A
(Sun 21 Aug 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 1:8-2:10
Psalm 124
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

Related
Isaiah 51:1-6
Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20


Psalm 124: The natural world provides images of human threats and of God's deliverance (4-6).

Romans 12:1-8: The presentation to God of our bodies as a sacrifice involves the consecration of our whole earthly life. Therefore it includes our relations with animals and the natural world as a whole (verse 1).

Isaiah 51:1-6: Here nature is to be transformed (3), and all nations will see justice (4), yet heaven and earth will pass away (6). This combination of continuity and discontinuity for creation is very frequently found in Scripture.
Year B
(Sun 26 Aug 2012)


Continuous
1 Kings 8:[1,6,10-11,] 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

Related
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
Psalm 34:15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

1 Kings 8: [1, 6, 10-11], 22-30, 41-43: God's presence and power transcend not only earthly places of worship, or even the Earth itself, but even the highest heaven (27).

Psalm 84: God did hallow the Temple at Jerusalem as a place where God revealed himself, but renewed strength and refreshment were also found on pilgrimage. God sustains and provides for other creatures, as well as humans (2-3)
Year C
(25 Aug 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
Hebrews 12:18-29
Luke 13:10-17

Related
Isaiah 58:9b-14
Psalm 103:1-8
Hebrews 12:18-29
Luke 13:10-17

Isaiah 58:9b-14; Psalm 103:1-8: T rue earthly prosperity is conditional upon providing for the deprived and afflicted (Isaiah 58:9b-12). Such actions are in accordance with God's own character (Psalm 103:3-5) and are required of all who are included in God's covenant people. They imply a careful, reverent and generous use of all God's earthly gifts.

Hebrews 12:18-29: Redeemed by Christ from the terrors of the Law, Christians can live their earthly lives as 'citizens of heaven' (18-24). That ‘citizenship' enables us rightly to live on the earth.


Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 28 Aug and 3 Sept inclusive - Proper 17  
Year A
(Sun 28 Aug 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b (or 115)
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Related
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
Exodus 3:1-15: Creation combined with the revelation of God's glory and saving power is transfigured but not destroyed. (On the contrary sin, and its consequent judgment, destroy God's handiwork).

Year B
(Sun 2 Sept 2012


Continuous
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 (or 1-8)
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Related
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
Psalm 15
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Song 2:8-13: We need to hear Scripture's positive valuing of creation and of human love and sensuality.
James 1:17-27: Natural light and planting enable us to visualise God and the things of God (17, 21).




Year C
(1 Sept 13)


Continuous
Jeremiah 2:4-13
Psalm 81:1, 10-16 (or 1-11
) Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Related
Ecclesiasticus 10:12-18 or Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14
God's love for the Israelites gave them an abundant and plentiful land (Jeremiah 2:6-7). An interpretative key to the Old Testament is that ancient Israel was a pattern for God's dealing with all nations in Christ. We may infer that God wishes everyone now to live in enjoyment of the fruits of the earth. Such enjoyment requires loyalty and justice in response to God's word. These qualities involve a simple, generous and contented lifestyle (Hebrews 13:5-6, 16; Luke 14:7-14).


Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday  between 4 Sept and 10 Sept inclusive - Proper 18  
Year A
(Sun 4 Sep 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm 149
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

Related
Ezekiel 33:7-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

 

The notes below are for the Lectionary Readings. But Special notes have also been prepared on a set of four environment themes for the four SUndays in September.
Click here for special notes for four special sets of notes for "Season of Creation Sundays" in September

----------------------------------------------------------

Ezekiel 33:7-11: Does the Church have a prophetic word from God for this time when people, animals and the earth are being abused?

Psalm 119:33-40: The path of God's commandments (35) has ecological, social and spiritual dimensions.

Romans 13:8-14: The works of darkness (12) and of the flesh (14) include the greed and recklessness which ransack and devastate the earth.


Year B
(Sun 9 Sep 2012)


Continuous
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Psalm 125
James 2:1-10, [11-13,] 14-17
Mark 7:24-37

Related
Isaiah 35:4-7a
Psalm 146
James 2:1-10, [11-13,] 14-17
Mark 7:24-37
Jesus's miracles of deliverance and healing (Mark 7:24-37, compare Psalm 146:7-9, Isaiah 35:5-6) may be seen as foretastes of the new heaven and earth, to be ushered in by his coming in glory, towards which all the work of the Kingdom of God is directed. Also prominent in this work is furthering a just distribution of earthly goods (Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; James 2:5-7, 14-17).

Year C
(Su 8 Sep 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 18:1-11
Psalm 139:1-12, 12-17 (or 1-7)
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33

Related
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33
Both the blessings that follow obedience to God's commandments, and also the judgments on disobedience (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 1) include an ecological aspect. Discipleship demands the renunciation of possessiveness (Luke 14:33), of the material greed which causes so much human deprivation and environmental destruction.


Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 11 Sept and 17 Sept inclusive - Proper 19  
Year A
(Sun 11 Sep 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 14:19-31
Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-35

Related
Genesis 50:15-21
Psalm 103:[1-7,] 8-13
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-35

The notes below are for the Lectionary Readings. But Special notes have also been prepared on a set of four environment themes for the four SUndays in September.
Click here for special notes for four special sets of notes for "Season of Creation Sundays" in September

----------------------------------------------------------

Exodus 14:19-31; 15:1b-11, 20-21: A fully biblical theology must insist that God rules the world in judgment and in mercy. Though God's purposes are often hidden from us, God orders nature and the ways it impinges on us.

Romans 14:1-12: Whatever the reasons of those who abstained from meat here (2-4), the principle of respecting the conscientious decisions of others in this matter remains valid for us.
Year B
(Sun 16 Sep 2012)


Continuous
Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19:1-6, [7-14] or Wisdom 7:26-8:1
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

Related
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 116:1-8
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

Psalm 19: The universe reveals God's glory, giving intuitions of God; the Bible reveals in detail the true ways of life.
Year C
(15 Sep 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

Related
Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 51:1-10
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28: Read against the background of actual and threatened environmental catastrophe, the ecological aspect of this apocalyptic vision is highlighted. In our day the environmental effects of sin are clearer than before, and can be seen as God's judgment.

Luke 15:1-10: The use of human stories of husbandry and housekeeping to convey the message of God's redeeming love shows that congruence exists between creation and redemption, nature and grace .


Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 18 Sept and 24 Sept inclusive - Proper 20  
Year A
(Sun 18 Sep 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105:[1-6,] 37-45
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

Related
Jonah 3:10-4:11
Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

The notes below are for the Lectionary Readings. But Special notes have also been prepared on a set of four environment themes for the four Sundays in September.
Click here for special notes for four special sets of notes for "Season of Creation Sundays" in September

----------------------------------------------------------

Exodus 16:2-15: In providing the manna , God decides what the people shall have, and gives them enough (4). The greed for excess and endless variety abuses God's grace, destroys God's world, and impoverishes much of humanity.

Jonah 3:10 – 4:11We should note that God is concerned about the animals as well as the persons living in Nineveh (4:11).

Year B
(Sun 23 Sep 2012)


Year B Continuous
Proverbs 31:10-31
Psalm 1
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

Related
Wisdom 1:16-2:1, 12-22 or Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 54
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37
James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a: Covetousness and greed cause conflict (4:1-3); we now know that they also devastate the earth. Frugality and consideration mark the good person's life.
Year C
(22 Sep 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

Related
Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

Luke 16:1-13: Human responsibility in creation is not far away when we consider stewardship: for we too have squandered our Master's property (verse 1); and the love of gain is at the heart of much mismanagement of earth's riches (verse 13), as it is at the root of many economic and social abuses (Amos 8:4-7).


Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 25 Sept and 1 Oct inclusive - Proper 21  
Year A
(Sun 25 Sep 2011)


Continuous
Related
Exodus 17:1-7
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 (or 1-7)
Psalm 25:1-8
Philippians 2:1-13
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
Matthew 21:23-32

The notes below are for the Lectionary Readings. But Special notes have also been prepared on a set of four environment themes for the four SUndays in September.
Click here for special notes for four special sets of notes for "Season of Creation Sundays" in September

----------------------------------------------------------

Exodus 17:1-7: I n creation a ll water is a gift of God, (Exodus 17:6, Psalm 78:15-16).

Philippians 2:1-13: A truly Christian lifestyle, doing 'nothing from selfish ambition or conceit' (3) according to the mind of Christ (5), benefits not only other people but creation as a whole - for much ecological damage is caused by selfishness and greed.



Year B
(Sun 30 Sep 2012)


Continuous
Related
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Psalm 124
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50
Mark 9:38-50
The prayer of faith is effective both in the realm of human affairs, and in that of nature (James 5:15-18).

Ecological concern should never be allowed to eclipse the eternal dimensions of judgment and salvation (Mark 9:38-50).

However, like the Israelites (Numbers 11:4-6) we may have to content ourselves with more simple and less varied fare than in the past - 'to live more simply, that we all may simply live.'

The key to being ready for that is to find our chief delight in the Lord, and in his Word (Psalm 19:7-14).
Year C
(29 Sept 2013)


Continuous
Related
Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16 (or 11-16)
Psalm 146
1 Timothy 6:6-19
1 Timothy 6:6-19
Luke 16:19-31
Luke 16:19-31
The control and care of land is a part of human life, an aspect of the stability and fullness of life that God purposes for us (Jeremiah 32:15). But we have no licence for unbridled consumption and acquisition. Rather, we should be content with the supply of our basic needs (1 Timothy 6:8), regarding anything more as a bonus and a responsibility (1 Timothy 6:17 -19). Our real security lies not in possessions, but in God's love and care (Psalm 91; compare Psalm 146).

The spiritual perils of the love of money are graphically illustrated in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19 -31).


Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 2 Oct and 8 Oct inclusive - Proper 22  
Year A
(Sun 2 Oct 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19:[1-6,] 7-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46

Related
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:7-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46

Exodus 20:14, 7-9, 12-20: God requires a God-ward orientation of life. God also specifically forbids covetousness. These two principles strike at the root of the consumerism that exacts such a high price from people and the environment. The God-ward orientation is made possible by Christ, a relationship with whom transforms all our values (Philippians 3:4b-14).

The glory of the true God is declared by the creation (Psalm 19:1-6) as well as by God's word (Psalm 19:7-11).
The 'stewardship' required of God's tenants (Matthew 21:33 -46) has many aspects, but surely one of them is right conduct in relation to God's earth. The judgment on those who refuse God's way must not be forgotten (Matthew 21:43 ). From another point of view God's people are themselves the vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7) or the vine that needs God's protection and mercy (Psalm 80:7-14).
Year B
(Sun 7 Oct 2012)


Continuous
Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Psalm 26
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16
Related
Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 8
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

Genesis 2:18-24: The naming of the animals (19) implies that human beings are given insight into the essential nature of creatures.

Psalm 8: Human understanding and dominion are only safe when combined with true humility before the sovereignty of God.

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12: Christ is the agent of creation and holds all things in being. He will one day be seen to possess the universe (Hebrews 1:2). Through him we can share the glory of God (2:5-12).

.

 

Year C
(6 Oct 2013)


Continuous
Lamentations 1:1-6
Lamentations 3:19-26 or Psalm 137:1-6, [7-9]
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10
Related
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Psalm 37:1-10
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10
Living by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Luke 17:5-6) and waiting patiently for God (Lamentations 3:26 ; Habakkuk 2:3, Psalm 37:7) tend towards enjoyment of the land (Psalm 37:10).


Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 9 Oct and 15 Oct inclusive - Proper 23  
Year A
(Sun 9 Oct 2011)


Continuous
Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, [19-23]
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

Related
Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14
In arriving at a true evaluation of nature, we must not slide from valuing it, into identifying it with God or worshipping it (Exodus 32:1-6; Psalm 106:19-23). God is distinct from nature, and gives human beings special responsibilities within it.
As so often in Scripture, the life of nature and of human beings - shelter from rain and heat, feasting and shepherding - are used as symbols, parables and sacraments of the ways of God (Isaiah 25:4-6; Psalm 23; Matthew 22:1-14).
Year B
(Sun 14 Oct 2012)


Continuous
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Psalm 22:1-15
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31

Related
Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
Psalm 90:12-17
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31
Hebrews 4:12-16: The heart of salvation is in the depths of our being and in the reality of Christ; care for creation, and other aspects of Christian mission, lie in the realm of the responsive obedience of faith.
Mark 10:17-31: Although some disciples may be allowed to be and remain relatively rich, the Gospel tends towards simplicity and so undermines the consumerism that fuels so much environmental degradation, as well as social injustice (Amos 5:10-15).

Year C

(13 Oct 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-11
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

Related
2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c
Psalm 111
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7: Jeremiah's instruction to the exiles to cultivate the local soil (Jeremiah 29:5) can be seen as a pattern for us. As citizens of heaven we are to live lives of 'earthed' discipleship, being part of the local ecology and economy, and taking our share of responsibility for the care of the earth where we are.


Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 16 Oct and 22 Oct inclusive - Proper 24  
Year A
(Sun 16 Oct 2011)


Proper 24 Continuous
Exodus 33:12-23
Psalm 99
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

Related
Isaiah 45:1-7
Psalm 96:1-9, [10-13]
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

These readings call us to turn from idols to the living and true God (Isaiah 45:5-7; Psalm 96:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and to give God due honour (Psalm 96:1-9; Matthew 22:21 ). For us, turning away from the idols of 'growth' and greed will mean being set free to care for the earth our God has created

Year B
(Sun 21 Oct 2012)


Continuous
Job 38:1-7, [34-41]
Psalm 104:1-9, [25,37b]
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

Related
Isaiah 53:4-12
Psalm 91:9-16
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45
God is present to the whole of creation, calling it into being and sustaining it (Job 38:1-7, 34-41; Psalm 104:1-9, 25).
The identification of greatness with service (Mark 10:43 ; compare Isaiah 53:12) is relevant to all who in any way hold power within the earth community

Year C
(20 Oct 2013)


Continuous
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

Related
Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 121
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8
The Gospel promises inward transformation and renewal to all who turn to God (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Genesis 32:27-31). Does God not intend this transformation to extend to our treatment of the Earth and of the animals?


Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 23 Oct and 29 Oct inclusive - Proper 25  
Year A
(Sun 23 Oct 2011)


Continuous
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, [13-17]
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

Related
Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18
Psalm 1
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46
Psalm 90:1-6, [13-17]: God is not identical with nature, but prior to it (verse 2), distinct from it and sovereign over it, and we live under the scrutiny of his holy love.
Love of the neighbour (Leviticus 19:18 ; Matthew 22:39 ) is one reason for caring for the earth and husbanding and cherishing its resources. It implies that the needs of all the people of the earth are equally important, and we all depend on the ecosystem of which we are part. We also can hardly love God (Matthew 22:37 -38), and at the same time willingly destroy and harm his handiwork.
Year B
(Sun 28 Oct 2012)


Continuous
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, [19-22]
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Related
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Mark 10:46 -52: The healing miracles of Jesus may be seen as a foretaste of the new heaven and earth, where all creation will be made perfect and the joy of the redeemed will be complete (compare Psalm 126).

Year C
(27 Oct 2013)


Continuous
Joel 2:23-32
Psalm 65:1-8, [9-14]
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Luke 18:9-14

Related
Ecclesiasticus 35:12-17 or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22
Psalm 84:1-7
2 Timothy 4:6-8,
16-18
Luke 18:9-14

Joel 2:23-32: The environment shares in God's salvation (23-26). Renewal is inseparable from the outpouring of God's Spirit (28-29) and the faith of God's people (32) (see also Psalm 65).

Luke 18:9-14: Those who try to include earth-care in their discipleship must beware of spiritual arrogance and self-righteousness. Rather, the degree of compromise and failure in all our lives should lead to penitence (compare Jeremiah 14:20 ).


All Saints Day  
Year A
(1 Nov 2011)


Revelation 7:9-17
Isaiah 56:3-8 or 2 Esdras 2:42-48
Psalm 34:1-10
Psalm 33:1-5
1 John 3:1-3
Hebrews 12:18-24
Matthew 5:1-12
Matthew 5:1-12

Revelation 7:9-17: T he worship of the Church is combined with that of the non-human creation (verse 11; see also Revelation 4:6b-8). The whole created universe has a future, in some form, in the presence of God.

Matthew 5:1-12: The promise that the meek will inherit the earth (verse 5) is not completely fulfilled in the present age. It points forward to a future for a transformed earth after the 'universal restoration' (see Acts 3:21 ).

Year B
(1 Nov 2012)


Wisdom 3:1-9 or Isaiah 25:6-9
Isaiah 56:3-8 or 2 Esdras 2:42-48
Psalm 24:1-6
Psalm 33:1-5
Revelation 21:1-6a
Hebrews 12:18-24
John 11:32-44
Matthew 5:1-12
This is All Saints Day -


Psalm 24: The ownership of the earth is vested in the Lord, not in humanity. Holiness is required in those who serve God on earth.

Revelation 21:1-6a: The renewed, holy community of God's people in the end time is set in the new heaven and earth. All things are to be made new (5).

John 11:32-44: The restoration to life of Lazarus can be seen as a pointer to the future complete redemption of people and all creation, no longer bound by death.
Year C
(1 Nov 2013)


Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
Isaiah 56:3-8 or 2 Esdras 2:42-48
Psalm 149
Psalm 33:1-5
Ephesians 1:11-23
Hebrews 12:18-24
Luke 6:20-31
Matthew 5:1-12
Ephesians 1:11-23: The 'all things' subjected to Christ (22) are not only spiritual things relating to the Church, but the whole universe in which the Church lives (compare also verse 10).

Luke 6:20-31: The blessing on the needy (20-25) certainly does not condone keeping others in abject poverty, but it does give every encouragement to a modest lifestyle, and is a rebuke to ambitions of conspicuous consumption .


Thirty first Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 30 Oct and 5 Nov inclusive - Proper 26

Fourth Sunday before Advent
  
Year A
(Sun 30 Oct 2011)


Micah 3:5-12
Psalm 43 (or Psalm 107:1-8)
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Matthew 24:1-14

Micah 3:5-12: The relation between nature and the work of God is not simple. Sometimes nature shares in the devastation of judgment. But here in a sense nature comes into its own as a result of the loss of human constructions (12).

Matthew 24:1-14: In the time of troubles before Christ's return, humanity is seen to be embedded in nature and bound up in its tumult (7).

Year B
(Sun 4 Nov 2012)


Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Psalm 119:1-8
Hebrews 9:11-14
Mark 12:28-34

Deuteronomy 6:1-9: The truth that we can only prosper on our land when we obey God's loving directions (1-3) applies to all peoples and not only to ancient Israel .

Hebrews 9:11-14: In the sacrifice of Christ Old Testament animal sacrifice was fulfilled and superseded.

Mark 12:28 -34: Loving God should lead us to love, for God's sake, all that God has made, as well as our human ‘neighbours'

Year C
(2 Nov 2013)


Isaiah 1:10-18
Psalm 32:1-8
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Luke 19:1-10
Isaiah 1:10-18: Although animal sacrifices were required by the Old Testament Law, the prophets saw that what God chiefly looked for was right and just living. Thus they pointed forward to the time when all sacrifices would be fulfilled and superseded by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross (see Hebrews 9:11 -14, Year B). Through him God graciously forgives all who turn to him in faith (Psalm 32:1-6).

Psalm 32:1-8: God graciously forgives all who turn to God in faith (1-6). Natural hiding-places from natural dangers are, as so often in the Bible, symbolic of God's protection (7-8). .


Thirty second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 6 Nov and 12 Nov inclusive - Proper 27

Third Sunday before Advent
  
Year A
(Sun 6 Nov 2011)


3 before Advent Wisdom 6:12-16 or Amos 5:18-24
Canticle: Wisdom 6:17-20 or Psalm 70
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13
The prospect of the end of the age, when Christ will be present as Judge and Saviour (1 Thessalonians 4:13 -18; Matthew 25:1-13), confronts us with issues of readiness and responsibility - including our answerability for the earth as far as we have power to care for it. And issues of justice (Amos 5:24 ) are inseparable from ecologically responsible behaviour on our shared planet.

Year B
(Sun 11 Nov 2012)


Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:6-14
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 1:14-20

Mark 1:14-20: James's and John's leaving of their nets (20) should lead us all to consider what we may keep, and what we must renounce in following Jesus. The answer will be personal for each disciple. But the principle of simplicity, always a Christian ideal, takes on an added dimension because of the ecological imperative to tread lightly on the earth. Christ's call leads us to repentance (compare Jonah 3:5).

God's grace alone can sustain us in a life of holiness (Psalm 62:6-14). Christ who died for our sins now represents us in the presence of God (Hebrews 9:24 -28).

Year C
(10 Nov 2013)


Job 19:23-27a
Psalm 17:1-8, [9]
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38
The New Testament confirms the Old Testament understanding that the resurrection will be physical, although the body will also undergo transformation (Job 19:25-27; Luke 20:27-38). This future tense of Christian belief lends an importance to our conduct in our present bodies on earth, because it shows that God's concern is with the body as well as the spirit.
Thirty third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 13 Nov and 19 Nov inclusive - Proper 28 -   2nd before Advent  
Year A
(Sun 13 Nov 2011)


Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Psalm 90:1-8, [9-11,] 12 (or 1-8)
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18: Judgment affects not only people, but also the Earth that their sin defiles ( 18).

Psalm 90:1-8, [9-11], 12: The Earth 'speaks' of spiritual realities – e.g. humans are evanescent as the grass (Psalm 90: 5-6).

Matthew 25:14-30: The principle of ‘stewardship' applies to earthcare, not in the sense that God is absent from the world - for God is everywhere at work and therefore present - but God has given us responsibility to care for and cherish the creation in humility and reverence.
Year B
(Sun 18 Nov 2012)


Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14, [15-18,] 19-25
Mark 13:1-8
In foretelling times of anguish and trouble to come, the Scriptures warn us to remain focused on Christ and faithful to him, our Priest and Saviour (Daniel 12:1; Psalm 16:8; Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25; Mark 13:5-8). In no area of life is this warning more important than in relation to ecological disaster and responsibility.

Year C
(17 Nov 2013)

Malachi 4:1-2a
Psalm 98
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Luke 21:5-19
Psalm 98: God's human people offer him praise as a part of the worship that the whole earth offers by its very being (5-9).

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13: Our contribution to human work on earth helps to bring fulfilment to us and the earth: but work should be interpreted widely, and not limited just to 'jobs' as part of the material economy.

Luke 21:5-19: The great drama of God's judgments and saving purposes is played out on this earth: earthquakes and 'natural disasters' should be seen in this context, even though the ways of God's providence are often unknown to us.


Thirty fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday between 20 Nov and 26 Nov inclusive - Proper 29 - Christ the King  
Year A
(Sun 20 Nov 2011)


Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 95:1-7a, [7b]
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-14: The coming of God's Kingdom means that God rules in perfect love and justice.

Psalm 95:1-7a, [7b]: God is King of all spiritual powers (3), of God's people (7a), and of the whole earth.

Ephesians 1:15-23: The risen Christ is King of all and Lord of the Church (20-23).

Matthew 25:31-46: In the end the values of Jesus will be the standard of judgment. The direction of our lives will show on whose side we are.
Year B
(Sun 25 Nov 2012)


Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 93
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

The universal sovereignty of God is basic to the Judeo-Christian tradition (Daniel 7:14 ). God is sovereign over all other powers (Psalm 93:5). Jesus shares in this sovereignty with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:4-5) and his cross shows that it is a sovereignty of love (5) and truth (John 18:37). An essential task for a biblical ecotheology is to apply this doctrine to the whole creation.



Mountain Ash fruit
divinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/lectionary/
Year C
(24 Nov 2013)

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 46
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

Colossians 1:11-20: Christ is supreme (‘firstborn') over the universe (15), the agent and co-ordinator of all creation (16-17), fully God (19). Nothing in creation is outside the scope of God's reconciling work (20).


More Readings for Advent and the Coming Weeks

Index

More Readings for Advent and the Coming Weeks

 

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