These links are to Year A, Year B and Year C will take you to the PowerPoint lesson for the Bible readings for each Sunday in the three-year lectionary cycle. Lick on the link Year A B or C, then locate the lesson. The PowerPoint decks are numbered and titled with Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and the Proper also known as Ordinary time. These are linked to a OneDrive Cloud location and may be viewed online or downloaded.
These may be used to facilitate an adult education group discussion for an Episcopal Church. On the other hand, you may use these as a personal study about the readings for each Sunday. Each power point deck deals with the designated scripture readings for that Sunday, the collect from the BCP for that Sunday, and related artwork chosen for readings or the Collect.
Why these were Created
These were developed for a Sunday morning discussion group that meets for about one hour. The slides can be projected on a screen or shown on a television set placed so that the entire group can easily see the slides. The leader should have a general knowledge of theology and scriptures. The leader may be a member of the clergy or a layman who is qualified by for example completion of the four-year EFM (Education for Ministry) program or an equivalent.
The scripture commentary is taken largely from the introductions, footnotes, and reference materials in the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books, from the New Revised Standard Version, Edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Roland E. Murphy, 1989 Edition, Oxford University Press. The collects are drawn from the Book of Common Prayer 1979 using the modern language. There are other sources used which are indicated in the materials. The Notes page feature of the PowerPoint decks will often have more information than the slide. The group leader will need minimal skills with PowerPoint as each deck is complete with maps and animations.
Scope and Time Available
A presenter can download and edit the decks as needed for the circumstances. The decks are long as they cover the readings and alternative readings and the collect. If there is limited time, then a class might cover only some of the readings. A facilitator may wish to cover only the Collect and one of the reading selections such as the day’s Gospel.
The class works best as a group discussion using the PowerPoint for the basic information about the reading. Some members may want to participate by reading the scripture aloud to the others and exchanging comments. Others may not want to speak at all but may wish only to listen or read the PowerPoint slides. Very often one of the readings on a given Sunday may spark a spirited discussion that uses up class time. When this happens let the discussion go and if needed skip to the end. When this happens that’s a good day. Even when there is ample time for formation a lively discussion will make the time seem short.
If you have questions about the use of these PowerPoint decks or glitches you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stained Glass Christ Episcopal Church, Paul preaching in Rome. Bible scripture lectionary revised common lectionary adult Sunday school class adult formation Sunday morning program free resource EFM education for ministry Episcopal history Genesis revelation teacher Sunday school Classroom technology how to Book of common prayer BCP collect
The Collect Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. The Image in the Collect The Collect for today unlike others that start with an observation or introduction launches immediately to the petition for help in over coming sin. The image is one of great poetic impact. The image from the collect is from Psalm 80, a prayer for Israel’s Restoration 1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might and come to save us! The Image in the Collect Curiously, this Psalm is often used in the lectionary and for Advent 4A, 1B, and 4C as well as Proper 15C and 22A. So the collect seems to have become separated from its reading by one Sunday in RCL A and C and by two for Advent B. However, the image of John the Baptist in RCL A B and C and his voice in the wilderness shows that God weas stirring his power for the events to come the Advent of Jesus. Zephaniah 3:14-20 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; Zephaniah 3:14-20 he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the LORD. Introduction to Zephaniah Zephaniah’ s book is thought to have been written in the reign of Josiah (640 - 609 BC. and the author is thought to be of royal descend from Hezekiah because of his intimate knowledge of Jerusalem and his absence of any concern with the poor. The condemnation of corrupt practices and religious perversions suggests that Zephaniah prophesied before Josiah's reforms of 621 B.C. The book is divided into three sections: 1. Proclamation of doom on Judah for its religious syncretism 2. Extends the divine judgment to other nations 3. After condemning Jerusalem [and where the reading is located] promises comfort and consolation. Context Zephaniah is the ninth book of the Minor Prophets and proclaims the coming ‘day of the Lord’ in a series of dialogues between God and the prophet. It is thought to be a bridge from the prophets before the exile to those after the exile. Zephaniah fought against foreign influences and against the worship of other gods. He taught that pride was the major sin of humankind, and that it leads to rebellion against divine authority. He understood God's judgment to be universal. Hope for him lay beyond the great day of judgment the day of the Lord. A Song of Joy The reading itself is entitled “A Song of Joy.” The reading describes the joy of the restoration of Jerusalem. This passage is generally held to be a later addition to the text. All of the major elements of post-exilic eschatology are found here: destruction of the enemy; ingathering of the exiles and return to the Holy Land When the LORD fulfills the covenant with the patriarchs. Canticle 9 Page 86, BCP
The First Song of Isaiah Ecce Deus Isaiah 12:2-6 Surely, it is God who saves me; * I will trust in him and not be afraid. For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, * and he will be my Savior. Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing * from the springs of salvation. And on that day you shall say, * Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; Canticle 9 Page 86, BCP
The First Song of Isaiah Ecce Deus Isaiah 12:2-6 Make his deeds known among the peoples; * see that they remember that his Name is exalted. Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, * and this is known in all the world. Canticle 9 Page 86, BCP
The First Song of Isaiah Ecce Deus Isaiah 12:2-6 Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, * for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: * as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Thanksgiving and Praise The Isaiah section quoted presents two short liturgical songs with directions. Verse 1a for the first song and Verse 4a before the second song are stage directions: 1a -“You will say in that day:” and 4a -“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” The words and tune are familiar as Hymn 679 in Hymnal 1982. CANTICLE The word in Latin means “Song” derived from the Bible, excluding the Psalms, used in the liturgical worship of the Church. The BCP gives a citation of Isaiah 12:2-6. The BCP lists the Verses, but the text as presented leaves out two verses – Verse 1 and Verse 4. Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Introduction to the Letter of Paul to the Philippians The immediate occasion of Paul's writing was the return to Philippi of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), who had been sent by the Philippian church with gifts for Paul (Philippians 4.18), and who had been seriously ill while staying with Paul. The letter follows the usual pattern of Paul's letters in a general way. But some abrupt changes of topic in addition to the fact that early Christian writers spoke of "letters" of Paul to the Philippians, have led some scholars to conclude that our present Philippians is composed of parts of two or three letters that Paul wrote to Philippi. Many others, however, find that Philippians is a coherent whole as it stands. The Advent Connection The warning or promise that Christ is near! The early Church looked to the immediate coming of Christ a second time in glory to rule. Its been two thousand years. But, if the second visit had come then Rome would not have been conquered. Jacopo del Sellaio,
St John the Baptist, c. 1485
Tempera on canvas, 157 x 79,5 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest John the Baptist was the patron saint of Florence Domenico Ghirlandaio, Preaching of St John the Baptist, 1486-90
Fresco, Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence Giovanni Francesco Rustici, Preaching of St John the Baptist
Bronze, height: 265 cm (with base), Baptistry, Florence This group is located over the north entrance of the Florentine Baptistry. It replaced an earlier work. Rustici, of noble birth, was considered by his contemporaries as one of the major sculptors in Tuscany. During the commission Rustici and Leonardo shared a house so it is natural that the older man's influence should be felt, although his exact role in the work is unknown. St John, the patron saint of the city and building, is emphasized by his central placement and the poses and gazes of the flanking figures. They are a Pharisee (bearded) and a Levite (bald). Rustici has them looking down to engage with the viewers below. Luke 3:7-18 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Luke 3:7-18 And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.” Luke 3:7-18 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. Luke 3:7-18 He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. Luke Recap Although the Gospel is anonymous and the evidence pertaining to its author is inconclusive, many considerations support the early Christian tradition that the author was the physician Luke, a Gentile convert and friend of the apostle Paul. The Gospel appears to have been written, perhaps at Antioch, during the last third of the first century, though the precise date is unknown. Luke a Gentile It is obvious from a number of features that this Gospel is addressed to a Gentile rather than a Jewish reading public as was discussed with the reading last week. Luke uses comparatively few quotations from the Old Testament which would not have been familiar to most non-Jews. Luke seldom appeals to argument from prophecy. Luke is the only New Testament author who employs the classical Greek equivalent, a word meaning “master” rather than Rabbi. Brood of Vipers The “brood of vipers” figure of speech in the reading is used as a characterization of an unfaithful Israel is a literary figure from Isaiah 59.5. John the Baptist - 'Fore-runner of Christ John was the son of Zachariah, a priest and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of the BVM. His birth had been foretold by an angel, who had instructed Zachariah that he should be called John. John appeared A.D. 27 as a mission preacher on the banks of the Jordan demanding repentance and baptism. John’s dress and diet -locusts and wild honey -were reminiscent of the OT prophets. John denounced Herod Antipas for his marriage to his brother’s former wife which led to John’s imprisonment and subsequent beheading. John’s Significance John’s message was that lineal descent from Abraham would not guarantee salvation as Abraham's merits would not suffice without repentance. For John the God that had called Israel out of Egypt and ultimately across the Jordan River was now creating a new people by passing them through the waters of baptism in that same river. This message of radical repentance was enacted in a rite of immersion in which the sin of presumption and the whole of one's old life were washed away. John’s Significance More John’s rite of baptism was similar to Temple lustrations of the time. The meaning was without precedent - Nowhere in any Jewish source is rebirth made a metaphor for redemption. This simple act of immersion, unlike circumcision, made salvation accessible even to women. Baptism The rite was regularly administered at least by the end of the first century. In some ancient formulations it included a triple immersion for each of the Father Son and Holy Ghost. The other parts of the rite included a preparatory fast and vigil and a symbolic meal of milk and honey. In the early Church Baptism was normally conferred by the Bishop. Initially administered only at Easter and Pentecost . Advent Lesson Tie in The OT, Psalm, Epistle and Gospel today are all about the Day of the Lord. In somewhat of a contrast the OT readings are very joyous and look forward to the Day of the Lord. Philippians is somewhat neutral with either a warning or a promise that that day of will come soon. Luke and his thundering John the Baptist warns of a coming fruitless tree cutting and “winnowing” in which the bunch of fruitless trees and chafe will be burned while the fruit and grain will be gathered in.