Year B
Fourth Sunday in Lent
14 March 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 in lasting love you gave your only Son,
so that all who trust in him may have eternal life.

In the beginning you spoke the word of life
and brought the world into being.
You rescued a people from oppression,
and even when they rebelled against you
you heard their cries and snatched them from danger.

In great love and mercy,
you sent your Son, Jesus, into the world,
and though he was lifted up on the cross to die,
you gave the gift of life to all who turned to him in faith.
Raising him from the dead,
you have given us life in him,
not because of any works of our own,
but as a gift from the immeasurable riches of your grace
given us in Christ,
now and for the ages to come.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




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

We give thanks for the immeasurable riches of your grace
through which you sent your Son, Jesus, into the world,
and allowed him to be lifted up on the cross,
so that all who turn to him in faith may have eternal life.

©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 in lasting love you gave your only Son,
so that all who trust in him may have eternal life.

In the beginning you spoke the word of life
and brought the world into being.
You rescued a people from oppression,
and even when they rebelled against you
you heard their cries and snatched them from danger.

In great love and mercy,
you sent your Son, Jesus, into the world,
and though he was lifted up on the cross to die,
you gave the gift of life to all who turned to him in faith.
Raising him from the dead,
you have given us life in him,
not because of any works of our own,
but as a gift from the immeasurable riches of your grace
given us in Christ,
now and for the ages to come.

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 did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that through him the world might be saved.
Though we were dead through our sins,
in great mercy, God has spoken a word of healing
and made us alive together with Christ.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, and live as people made by God for good works.
Live your life in God openly in the light so all may see.
Celebrate God’s love with a sacrifice of praise,
and tell your story of salvation with joy.

And may God show you the immeasurable riches of his grace.
May Christ lead you into the life prepared for you.
And may the Spirit gift you with faith for salvation.

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 4th Sunday in Lent - Year B - 14 March 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.



* Numbers 21: 4-9

    The people of Israel wanted to skirt around the land of Edom, so when they set out from Mount Hor they took the Red Sea track. As they travelled, the people began losing the plot and mouthing off against God and Moses. They were whinging, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt if we are just going to die out here in the desert? There is no food. There is no water. And we can’t stand this lousy stuff we’ve got to eat.”
    At that, the LORD let loose some dangerous snakes among the people. The snakes had a fiery venom and many people were bitten and died. The people came to Moses and pleaded with him, saying, “We were wrong to mouth off against the LORD and against you. Please ask the LORD to get rid of the poisonous snakes that are plaguing us.”
    So Moses prayed for the the people, and the LORD spoke to him, saying, “Make a statue of a poisonous snake, and set it up on a pole where the people can see it. Whenever anyone is bitten, they are to look at the statue of the snake, and they will survive.”
    So Moses made a snake out of bronze, and set it up on a pole. Whenever anyone was bitten by one of the snakes with the fiery venom, they would fix their gaze on the bronze snake, and they would live.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22

Thank you, LORD! Thank you for being so good.
........Your rock-solid love will never end.

LORD, we freely and openly acknowledge
........that it was you who got us out of trouble;
................you who put us back on the right track.
You gathered us from the four corners of the globe,
........from wherever we had been lost or exiled.

Some of us had wrecked our health in destructive living;
........involvement in evil left us sick and injured.
We were off our food, weak and broken;
........a painful death was knocking at the door.

In sheer despair, we cried out to you, LORD,
........and in a flash, you came to our rescue.
Your words healed us; got us back on our feet;
........pulled us free of the jaws of death.

So let us tell you how grateful we are, LORD.
........Thank you for your rock-solid love
................and for the great things you do for everyone;
........Let us bring gifts to say thank you,
................and sing and dance to celebrate what you’ve done.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* Ephesians 2: 1-10

You were as good as dead as a result of the corrupt and loveless ways you were living. You were following the script written for these dark days we live in, and taking your cues from the spirit who rules over the murky and polluted atmosphere that surrounds us; the one who is busy pulling the strings of those who have refused to do things God’s way. There was a time when all of us were numbered among that lot, and we were living as slaves to our basic bodily appetites. The desire for selfish pleasures and sensual stimulation dictated everything we did, and we were like screwed up kids who seem destined for trouble; just as bad as everyone else. But because God is so rich in mercy, that was not the end of the story. God’s love for us was undiminished even when our twisted behaviour had completely destroyed our lives, and so God gave us another shot at life, a new life, united to Christ. This was motivated by God’s overwhelming love for us, and it was clearly an act of sheer generosity that saw us rescued into the life of God. Indeed, God did not merely snatch us from the grave, but raised us up with Jesus the Messiah and united us to him so fully that, in him, we are now seated with God in the heavenly places. This act of kindness, shown to us in and through Jesus the Messiah, will stand forever as proof that God’s extravagant love and generosity are far richer than we could ever fathom. In fact it is only because God’s generous mercy is so over-the-top that God responded to your trust and saved you. You did nothing to deserve it or bring it about. It is a gift, given by God. It is not something you earned by doing the right thing, so there is absolutely nothing for anyone to go patting themselves on the back for. You see, we are simply what God has made us. We have been created in union with Jesus the Messiah to work for good — a task that provides the focus for the way of life which God prepared for us from the word ‘go’.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




* John 3: 14-21

Jesus said:

“You know the old story from the desert: the one about Moses lifting up the hand-made snake so that the people could look at something that would help them to focus their trust in God. Well, the New Human is going to be lifted up for much the same reason. Everyone who looks up to him in trust and hope will receive life without limit.
....“God’s love for the world is so overwhelming that even giving up his own son was not too great a cost to ensure that no one need succumb to death. All those who put their trust in him can have boundless life instead.
....“God didn’t put his son’s life on the line merely to bring down the hammer and pass sentence on us. Rather, God saw the world in desperate trouble and sent the Son on a cosmic rescue mission. Those who put their trust in him are no longer facing sentence; but those who turn their backs on him are already condemned, because they have rejected the only Son of God and all he stands for. This is, in fact, the way the judgment is happening: the light has come into the world, and the truth about everyone is being found out by the way they react to it. Many people beat a fast retreat back into the shadows, because the things they are doing are so corrupt that they need the cover of darkness. People can’t stand the light if they are doing the wrong thing. They avoid it like the plague because they don’t want the things they do exposed. But those who live by the truth and act with integrity have nothing to hide. They are more than happy to step into the light where it will be plain for all to see that they have been acting in close cooperation with God.”

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net