The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the readings for Remembrance Sunday, November 9, 2014 and the twenty second Sunday after Pentecost.

This morning, in keeping with the solemnness of the occasion of Remembrance Sunday, we have only two readings from the Revised Common Lectionary for your consideration.

The first comes to us from our Hebrews Scriptures and the twenty fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua. 

Last week, we were introduced to the strong and courageous leadership of Joshua, who had assumed the mantle of authority from Moses.  In that authority and guided by God, Joshua brings the people and the Ark of the Covenant safely across the river Jordan into the Promised Land. 

This morning, we jump ahead twenty one chapters to a story that comes to us after the conquest of Canaan. 

Here, at Shechem, Joshua gathers all the tribes of Israel for the important task of renewing their covenant with God as previously made with Abraham. 

Joshua asks all the gathered tribes to make decisions based on their awareness of all that God has done for them.  His question “Who shall we be in light of what God has done?” is one we, as faithful followers in the year 2014 might also consider.

A reading from Joshua, Chapter 24: verses 1-3A and verses 14-25.

Insert the reading here…

Our gospel reading for today comes to us from the author, Matthew, addressed to a fearful community of followers gathered some 85 years after the death of Jesus on the cross. 

It tells a simple story drawn from a common event in the village life of Galilee.

The story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids waiting for the return of the bridegroom presents the challenge that everyone must be prepared for the return of Christ.

Toward the end of the 1st century this would have been comforting to those who feared that the promised return of Christ had not occurred. 

Notice what attracts your attention as we hear another story about God’s vision of Shalom offered through the lens of the author, Matthew:

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 1-13. Insert the reading here…..