Year B
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
7 February 2021



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 strengthen the powerless
and renew those who wait for you in trust.

You are the Creator of the earth
who stretched out the sky like a curtain
and sent down rain, clothing the mountains in green.
You gathered your people from exile,
healing the broken hearted and binding their wounds.

You came among us, as one of us,
in your child Jesus the Christ,
sharing our weakness in order to save us.
Healing the sick and casting out demonic powers,
he proclaimed your mercy and peace.
Turning his back on the acclaim of the crowds,
he faithfully followed your call
all the way to death on a cross.
You raised him up
and promised that all who trust in him
will rise up with wings like eagles
and run the race without ever growing weary.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




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

We give you thanks for gathering us from exile,
healing our broken hearts and binding our wounds,
and raising us up on wings like eagles
that we might go where you send us
and be what you need us to be
without ever growing weary or faint.

©2003 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 strengthen the powerless
and renew those who wait for you in trust.

You are the Creator of the earth
who stretched out the sky like a curtain
and sent down rain, clothing the mountains in green.
You gathered your people from exile,
healing the broken hearted and binding their wounds.

You came among us, as one of us,
in your child Jesus the Christ,
sharing our weakness in order to save us.
Healing the sick and casting out demonic powers,
he proclaimed your mercy and peace.
Turning his back on the acclaim of the crowds,
he faithfully followed your call
all the way to death on a cross.
You raised him up
and promised that all who trust in him
will rise up with wings like eagles
and run the race without ever growing weary.

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.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

God hears the cries of the brokenhearted
and renews the strength of those who trust in his mercy.
In Jesus Christ, God has taken us by the hand,
forgiving our sins and lifting us up to new life.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, and trust in Godís mercy for your strength.
Proclaim the good news wherever God calls you,
and do not set yourselves apart from others,
but be all things to all people for the sake of the gospel.

And may God give you the strength and freedom of an eagle.
May Christ be the bread that nourishes and renews you.
And may the Holy Spirit be the rising wind beneath your wings.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net







Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany - Year B - 7 February 2021
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 40: 21-31

Donít you understand?
    Have you somehow missed hearing about this?
        Wasnít this explained to you from day one?
Isnít it obvious to you who was responsible
    for the creation of the earth?

It is God who is in charge:
    God who sees the planet like a ball;
        its population like tiny insects.
It is God who spread out the sky like a tarp,
    who set up the galaxy like a tent to live in.

It is God who makes governments look powerless;
    who reduces kings and presidents to nothing.
They rise up on the earth as confident as mighty trees,
    but to God they are like newly sprouted weeds.
No sooner have they popped their heads up
    than God turns on them with a puff of breath
        and they wither and blow away like dry leaves.

The Holy One puts the challenge to you, saying,
    ďWho are you going to replace me with?
        Who can you find who can hold a candle to me?Ē

Look up and see the night sky.
    Who do you think created all that?
It is God who spreads out the milky way,
    numbering the stars and calling them each by name.
So great are Godís strength and power
    that not one star goes missing.

So what are you talking about, people of God,
    when you raise your voices and say,
ďThe LORDís got no idea what is happening to us;
    God is paying no attention to our basic rights.Ē

Donít you understand?
    Have you somehow missed hearing about this?
The LORD is the God who outlasts everyone and everything,
    the Creator of the whole earth, from one end to the other.
The LORD never runs out of puff,
    and never feels like giving up.
The LORD knows the fine detail
    of things we can only guess at.

When your energies are drained,
    and you are too weak to stand,
        the LORD gives new strength and energy.

Even the youngest and fittest have their limits;
    they too eventually drop in their tracks.

But nothing can stop those who hang in there for the LORD.
    Their strength will be constantly renewed;
        they will soar with the effortless grace of an eagle.
    They will run and never grow weary;
        they will walk ever onward
            and never grow faint.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Psalm 147: 1-11, 20c

LORD, we sing your praises!

We love to sing your praises,
........for you are incredibly generous
................and you deserve all the credit we can give.

You, LORD, are the one who rebuilds the ruined city
........and brings home those who have been kicked out.

You bandage the wounds of the brokenhearted,
........and nurse them back to health.

It was you who counted out the stars,
........and called them all by name.

You are the greatest, LORD,
........your strength is off the scale,
................and your grasp of whatís going on is mind boggling.

You put those who have been ground into the dirt back on their feet,
........and you knock those who are callous and corrupt off their perches.

Our songs are full of thanks to you, LORD,
........as we strike up the band in your honour.

It is you who spread the clouds across the sky,
........ready to rain on the earth,
................ready to bring the grass springing up green.

It is you who feeds the animals;
........you who responds to the hungry cry of a currawong chick.

You are not impressed by massive horsepower;
........you donít get your kicks watching tests of speed.

You would much rather that people were awestruck by your love, LORD,
........and that they built their future on the solid rock of your faithfulness.
................LORD, we sing your praises!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23

........Preaching Godís message is not some great accomplishment for which I can expect to be applauded and rewarded. I am just doing what I was created to do, so Iíd be up the creek without a paddle if I failed to preach Godís message! If it was just a job I had applied for, then I could expect to be paid an award wage. But since I am not doing this because I want to, but because it is what I was made for, I am simply being true to the call that God has wired into my brain. So is there anything in it for me? Sure! The privilege of being the mouth-piece that brings people into contact with the good news of Godís love is worth more than wages to me. And even better if it doesnít cost them a cent, so I refrain from calling in the favours I could, by right, claim for my role in bringing that message to you.
........Certainly I am free. No one has the right to tell me what I can and canít do. But despite that, I have voluntarily made myself a slave to everyone elseís customs in order to win over more people. Among Jewish people, I stuck religiously to the Jewish customs in order to avoid offending them, and to maximise the odds of winning them over. Among those who carefully observe the religious law, I too lived as one governed by the law. I did this even though I am free from the law, in order to maximise the odds of winning over those who are bound by the law. Among those who have never lived under the religious law, I didnít make a display of law-keeping, but lived according to the local customs. I did this in order to maximise the odds of winning them over, even though I am by no means lawless, because Christ calls the shots in my life. Among those who are timid and uncertain, I played it safe, just as they do, in order to win over as many timid and uncertain people as possible. I have become anything and everything to others ó whatever it takes to find common ground with people and win their trust ó so that by whatever means I can employ I might help people take hold of the lifeline God is throwing them. I do everything I can to promote the message of Godís love, and I look for nothing more in return than to share in the benefits that it brings.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Mark 1: 29-39

    Jesus finished teaching in the Capernaum Synagogue and left with his followers. Taking James and John with him, he went to the family home of Simon and Andrew. On arrival he was told that Simonís mother-in-law was crook in bed, burning up with fever. He went to her bedside, took her by the hand and lifted her to her feet. The fever cleared, then and there, and she set about making them welcome in her home.
    By sunset that day, the word was out and a crowd was gathering at the door. It seemed that the whole city was there, bringing everyone who was sick or tormented by demons. Jesus cured many people from various kinds of disease, and freed many from the grip of demons. He would not allow the demons to say a word, because they had him figured out.
    Before sunrise the next morning, Jesus got up and left the house on the quiet. He went bush in a remote area and spent the time alone in prayer. When he was missed, Simon and his mates began the search. They tracked him down, and said to him, ďCome on, youíve got everyone looking for you.Ē
    Jesus answered, ďLetís hit the road, so that I can broadcast the message in the other towns in this neck of the woods. Thatís what I came to do.Ē
    And so he hiked the length and breadth of Galilee. In every town he preached the message in the places where the people gathered, and drove out the demonic powers.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net