The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the Readings for Remembrance Sunday

Our passage from Hebrew Scriptures comes to us today from the voice of the Prophet, Micah.  Scholars believe that Micah lived some 800 years before the birth of Jesus.  Let us listen as Micah speaks a word of truth for the people of Judah: 

Reading from the Book of Micah, Chapter 4, verses 1-4 Swords into Ploughshares

“In the days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say:  ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’  For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  Our God shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no on shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Here ends the reading from our ancient texts.

Our responsive reading from the Psalms this morning comes to us from Psalm 127, found at VU#851.  We begin with the refrain:

Refrain is Sung: “The hand of God feeds us and answers our needs”

Unless God builds the house, its builders have laboured in vain.

Unless God watches over the city, those who keep watch stay awake in vain.

In vain you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;

for those whom God loves are given sleep.

Refrain:  “The hand of God feeds us and answers our needs”

Truly children are a gift from God, and offspring a reward from God’s hand.

Like arrows in a warrior’s hand, so indeed are the children of one’s youth.

Happy are those who have their quiver full of them;

they shall not be put to shame when they meet their adversaries at the gate.

Refrain:  “The hand of God feeds us and answers our needs”

Our reading from the Christian texts today comes to us from the gospel of John. Today’s reading is also known as “Jesus’ Farewell Discourse to the Disciples”. 

As we begin, we are reminded that this morning’s reading begins with verse 23.  As such, its a response posed by Judas Iscariot in the verse immediately before.  Listen with care to what resonates for you as Jesus answers the question: ‘Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?’

Reading from the gospel according to John, Chapter 14, verses 23-27 Jesus promises to send an Advocate:

‘Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  Whoever does not love me does not keep my word; and the word that you hear is not mine, but from the Father who sent me. 

‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.’

Here ends the reading from our Christian texts.

The Word of God for the people of God.  Thanks be to God, amen.