Year B
Second Sunday in Lent
25th February 2018


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, in an everlasting covenant, you have promised
to be our God through all generations.

You called into existence things that did not exist:
the universe and all that inhabits it.
From Abraham and Sarah you brought forth nations,
calling them to walk before you in the righteousness
that comes from faith.

In your Son, Jesus,
you showed your compassion for the afflicted
and taught us that real life is found by those
who lose their life for your sake and for your gospel.
He was rejected by the religious leaders, and killed,
but three days later,
you raised him from the dead as Lord.
Now you justify all
who put their faith in you, through him,
counting it to us as righteousness,
and promising us the full riches of your grace
when Christ comes in glory.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your everlasting covenant,
through which you justify us when we put our faith in you,
counting it to us as righteousness,
and calling us to take up our cross and follow Christ
in the way that leads to life.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for, in an everlasting covenant, you have promised
to be our God through all generations.

You called into existence things that did not exist:
the universe and all that inhabits it.
From Abraham and Sarah you brought forth nations,
calling them to walk before you in the righteousness
that comes from faith.

In your Son, Jesus,
you showed your compassion for the afflicted
and taught us that real life is found by those
who lose their life for your sake and for your gospel.
He was rejected by the religious leaders, and killed,
but three days later,
you raised him from the dead as Lord.
Now you justify all
who put their faith in you, through him,
counting it to us as righteousness,
and promising us the full riches of your grace
when Christ comes in glory.

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 LaughingBird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

Jesus Christ was handed over to death for us
and raised to life for our justification.
Therefore, in an everlasting covenant,
God has promised that all who put their trust in Christ
will, by grace, be considered righteous.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and live before God in openness and integrity.
Set your minds on the ways of God,
not clinging to your own life,
but taking up your cross and following Jesus.

And may God give you a share in the eternal covenant;
May Christ Jesus be proud of you when he comes in glory;
And may the Holy Spirit make you grow strong in faith
   and lead you in the ways of righteousness.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 2nd Sunday in Lent - Year B - 25th February 2018
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.


* Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16

    One day, when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD turned up and spoke to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. You are to live your life openly before me, with absolute integrity. I will put in place an alliance between me and you, and under its terms, I will make sure you have a huge number of descendants.”
    Abram dropped in his tracks with his face to the ground as God continued to speak to him, saying:

“I, myself, am forging this alliance with you: I am promising that you will be the ancestor of a whole bunch of nations. You are not to be known by the name Abram anymore. From now on, your name will be Abraham, because it means ‘the father of many’, and that is what you will be. I will make everything go well for you, and your family will multiply rapidly. From among your offspring, whole nations and kings will emerge. I will put this alliance in place between me and you and all who are to come in your family line through all generations. This alliance will last forever, committing me to being God to you and to your descendants after you for all time.
    Your wife Sarai is in on this alliance too. However her name is to change too. From now on her name will be Sarah. I will see to it that things go well for her, and what’s more, she and you will conceive a child together and she will give birth to a son. I will make things go well for Sarah, and in time, nations and great rulers will trace their family line back to her.”
©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 22: 23-31

LORD, I’ll call on all who honour you to stand up and say so!
........All who trace their roots to Jacob will give you the glory!
........All who share the heritage of Israel will stand in awe of you!

LORD, you did not rubbish anyone
........or blame the victims for their suffering.
You did not turn away or slip off quietly;
........when I cried for help, you responded.

Whenever people gather to worship,
........my heart overflows and I sing your praises.
Out in the open for all to see
........I’ll do all that I promised.

At your table, God, the needy will feast;
........those who hunger for you will be fed till they burst with praise!
........They will be able to live it up, now and forever!

In every corner of the earth people will wake up to themselves
........and turn back to you, LORD.
Every race, nation, tribe and family
........will offer themselves to you in worship,
for you have the last word on everything;
........what you say goes.

Even the dead will bow down to you, LORD;
........those who are trampled in the dust will look to you in hope,
................and I will live for you and you alone.

Our kids and their kids will serve you, LORD;
........as we pass the message down from one generation to the next.
People not even born yet will hear the story;
........they will be told of what you have done to set us free.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Romans 4: 13-25

........When God promised Abraham that he and his descendants would inherit the earth, it was not because Abraham had earned it by following God’s instructions to the letter. Instead it was a gift given when God put things right for Abraham in response to the trust he had shown. If it were possible to earn the rights to the earth by rigid compliance with the law, then basic values like trust and promise would be irrelevant. It would all become just another legal contract to be negotiated. Tie it all up in fine print and it will only end up serving as evidence against you; but where the relationship is conducted on the basis of trust, no one goes on the lookout for very possible breach.
........So instead of being a legal matter, the fulfilment of the promise is conditional only on people’s willingness to put their trust in God. It is simply an expression of God’s generosity, and that’s why it is guaranteed to always be available to everyone. Whether you were raised in a culture where observing the religious law was the norm, or whether you have simply stepped out and put your trust in God like Abraham did, the promise is open to you. After all, both groups can rightly trace their line back to Abraham, and the scriptures say that God promised to make him the father of many nations.
........When it looked like Abraham wouldn’t ever become the father of anyone, he trusted his future into the hands of God, believing that the God who can bring life out of death could create something out of nothing. He hung onto his hope even when it seemed utterly hopeless. He kept on believing that he would have many descendants because he was sure that God had promised him that. Even the cold hard biological facts didn’t cause him to throw in the towel. He knew that his hundred year old body was past it, and that Sarah was an old woman who hadn’t even been fertile when she was young. Yet he didn’t allow even such obvious obstacles to break down his trust and make him cynical about God’s promise. Instead his faith actually grew stronger as he went right on crowing about the greatness of God. He remained dead-set certain that God was more than capable of making good on the promise. That is why God counted his trust as the equivalent of a perfect life. Now when the scriptures say “it was counted as the equivalent of a perfect life”, it is not speaking of a special arrangement for Abraham alone. No, it refers to all of us. We will all be accepted on that same basis if we too put our trust in the One who raised Jesus our Lord to new life from the dead. Jesus was put to death even though it was us who had done the wrong thing; but he was raised to new life so that we could be put right with God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Mark 8: 31-38

    Once his followers had identified him as the Messiah, Jesus began to fill them in on what was going to happen to him. “The New Human is going to be put through the wringer. He’ll be done over by the politicians, the priests and the religious lawyers. They’ll have him executed, but after three days he’ll rise to life.”
    He didn’t beat about the bush on this – he spelt it out as clear as you like. But Peter would have none of it. He pulled Jesus aside and gave him a piece of his mind. Recognising that his followers were losing the plot, Jesus made an example of Peter, saying, “Get out of my face, you satan! You’ve got no idea what God is on about. You’re just pursuing the same things as everyone else.”
    Then he called everyone to gather round – his followers and the whole crowd – and he said to them, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to hand over the keys, sign their own death warrant, and then do as I do. If you try to hold on to control of your life you’ll end up losing the lot. But if you let go, even if you pay the ultimate price for your commitment to me and to our message, you’ll gain real life. What’s the point of getting control of the whole world if getting it kills you. There’s no trade-in on a burned out soul. There are some who find it embarrassing to be associated with me and with what I’m on about, when they’re hanging around with their deceitful and easily distracted peers. If they don’t sort themselves out, they’ll find that when the New Human arrives, full of the glory of God and surrounded by the angels, he’ll be too embarrassed to associate with them.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Mark 9: 2-9 (for those churches who did not observe the last Sunday before Lent as Transfiguration Sunday)

    Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain away from everyone else. Before their very eyes, the way Jesus looked was suddenly changed from the inside out. His clothing became so white that it was dazzling – an effect beyond anything soap powder could ever achieve. Suddenly they saw Moses and Elijah there too, in deep conversation with Jesus.
    Peter said, “Boss, this is fantastic! What a moment! How about we knock up three huts, so that you, Moses and Elijah can all stay here longer.” He was just shooting his mouth off without thinking because they were quaking in their boots.
    An awesome cloud engulfed them, and from deep within the cloud, a voice boomed forth: “This is my Son, the love of my life. Listen to him!”
    Peter, James and John looked around and suddenly everything looked normal again and they saw no one there but Jesus.
    As they were coming back down the mountain, Jesus gave them strict instructions not to breathe a word to anyone about about what they had seen, until after the New Human had risen from the dead.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net