Year B
First Sunday of Christmas
Sunday 27 December 2020



Eucharistic Preface

Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you have fulfilled your promises
and clothed us in the garments of salvation
and the robes of righteousness.

Your Word called forth the earth, sky and glittering stars
and your splendour is expressed in all creation.
Through your prophets,
you called your people to be a fertile garden,
bringing forth a harvest of righteousness and praise.

And now in the fullness of time,
our eyes have seen your salvation come.
Born of a woman
and growing in strength and wisdom,
he fulfilled the life-long yearnings
of those awaiting your redemption.
Rising up as a sign of your grace
and exposing the truth in our hearts,
he was opposed by many, and crucified,
but you raised him to life
and opened the way of salvation
so that we might be adopted as your children and heirs.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

We give you thanks for your child, Jesus,
who was born of a woman
and grew in strength and wisdom
to fulfil the yearnings of all
who long to be adopted as your children and heirs.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for you have fulfilled your promises
and clothed us in the garments of salvation
and the robes of righteousness.

Your Word called forth the earth, sky and glittering stars
and your splendour is expressed in all creation.
Through your prophets,
you called your people to be a fertile garden,
bringing forth a harvest of righteousness and praise.

And now in the fullness of time,
our eyes have seen your salvation come.
Born of a woman
and growing in strength and wisdom,
he fulfilled the life-long yearnings
of those awaiting your redemption.
Rising up as a sign of your grace
and exposing the truth in our hearts,
he was opposed by many, and crucified,
but you raised him to life
and opened the way of salvation
so that we might be adopted as your children and heirs.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

When the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law,
in order to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as Godís children.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Commission & Benediction

Depart now in peace, for your eyes have seen the salvation
which God has prepared for all people.
Grow in strength and wisdom
and bring forth a harvest of righteousness and praise.

And may God smile upon you and make you strong and wise;
May Christ Jesus share his inheritance with you freely;
And may the Holy Spirit open your eyes to the presence of Godís Messiah.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net







Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 1st Sunday of Christmas - Year B - Sunday 27 December 2020
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.



* Isaiah 61:10 - 62:3

Because of the LORD, I will sing and dance in celebration;
    everything inside me is bursting with joy over my God.
The LORD has decked me out in the splendour
    of faithfulness and integrity,
        clothes fit to celebrate a dream come true.
I am like a bride and groom dressed for a wedding;
    with flowers and jewels and everything done just right.

Indeed, just as the earth brings forth its vegetation,
    and just as rich soil causes seeds to sprout and grow,
so too the Lord GOD will produce a bumper crop
    of honesty and integrity,
and all the world will see it
    and give due credit to God.

Jerusalem, I will speak out on you behalf;
    I will stick to my guns and not shut up
until your name has been cleared in public
    and you shine like the blazing sun at dawn,
        safe and secure and radiant.

Jerusalem, the nations and governments around you
    will all see that the LORD is on your side.
You will stand tall before them,
    and take pride in the new name that God will give you.

You will be like a badge of honour to your God,
    a gold medal hung around the LORDís neck.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Psalm 148

We sing your praises, LORD!
From every corner of the universe,
........from high and low, near and far,
................we join the chorus of praise!

With the angels and all who serve you in heaven,
........we sing your praises!
With the sun and moon, stars and planets,
........we sing your praises!
With far flung galaxies and the milky way,
........we sing your praises!

All of them speak of you in glowing terms, LORD,
........for they owe their very existence to you.
You ordered their creation
........and fixed them in place for all time.

We sing your praises, LORD!
Every creature on earth joins the choir,
........singing your praises for all theyíre worth:
................dolphins and whales
........................and the ocean itself;
................bushfire and hail storm,
........................snow and ice,
................................cyclones dancing to your tune;
................mountain ranges and rolling hills,
........................orchards and rainforests,
................animals from both bush and farm,
........................reptiles and birds;
................people of every race and class,
........................people of power and influence;
................men and women, old and young,
........................every voice on earth joins as one!

One and all, we sing your praises, LORD,
........yours is the only name on our lips!
........You alone outshine the glory of the universe!

You have given strength to your people,
........and honour to your faithful ones,
to those you have chosen
........and hold close to your heart.

You, LORD, are the greatest!

©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Galatians 4:4-7

When the clock had run down and the time was right,
........God sent a rescuer,
................Godís own Son;
........born to a woman in the usual way,
................growing up under the thumb of the law,
........................just like the rest of Godís people.

God sent him into such circumstances
........so that he could get everyone else out of them;
paying the price of our freedom
........and giving us the opportunity
................to be adopted into Godís family.

Because you are now Godís children,
........the Spirit of Godís child, Jesus,
................has been sent into your hearts;
........the Spirit who makes us as eager for God
................as children running into their parentsí arms
........................crying, ďDaddy! Mummy!Ē

So you are no longer at the beck and call
........of those things which once dictated your every move;
now you are Godís own children,
........and as Godís children, you will receive from God
................all that has been kept in trust for Godís children.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Luke 2: 22-40

    Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary went up to the Jerusalem temple to undergo the purification ritual required by the religious law. They took Jesus with them, and offered the sacrifice which the religious law required of new parents. In their case, because they could not afford much, the required sacrifice was ďa pair of young pigeons or doves.Ē While they were at the Temple, they took the opportunity to make the ritual presentation of the baby to the Lord. This too was in line with Godís law, for it specified that ďevery firstborn son will be marked out as being dedicated to the Lord.Ē
    A man named Simeon came into the temple that day at the prompting of the Spirit. Simeon was a man of deep integrity and prayer; a man clearly under the influence of the Holy Spirit. He was living in eager anticipation of the day when the sorrows of Godís people would be brought to an end, and the Holy Spirit had let him know that he would see the Lordís chosen Messiah in person before he died. So when Joseph and Mary brought the child into the temple to do all the customary things that the law required, Simeon was there. He took Jesus in his arms, and began to praise God in prayer, saying:

ďAt last you are letting your servant go in peace, Lord,
    just as you promised you would.
For now, with my own eyes,
    I have seen your rescue operation underway.
I have seen the launch of the life you have been preparing
    in the midst of the world and its peoples.
I have seen the light which will make you known to the nations,
    the light which will have your people basking in glory.Ē

    The parents couldnít believe their ears when they heard what was being said about their child. Simeon gave them both a blessing, and spoke to the childís mother, Mary, saying, ďThis child is destined to be the making or breaking of many people in Israel. He will be a sign of what God is now up to, and many people will turn against him, and thus expose what they are really made of. And as for you, his mother, it will tear your heart out.Ē
    There was also an elderly prophet in the temple that day. Her name was Anna, and she was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was eighty four years old, and had lived as a widow ever since her husband had died after only seven years of marriage. She spent all her time in the temple, worshipping God there, day and night, with prayer and great discipline. As Mary and Joseph presented the child in the temple, Anna came up and began to speak of how wonderful God is. She spoke about the child to all those who were looking forward to the day when everything would be put right again for Jerusalem.
    When the family had completed everything that the law of the Lord required of them, they headed back north to Galilee, to their home town of Nazareth. The child grew up strong and healthy, with a wise head on his shoulders, and showing every indication that God was pleased with him.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net