Year B
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 1)
11 February 2018 (only in churches that do not observe the last Sunday before Lent as Transfiguration Sunday)


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 your anger passes quickly,
but your mercy lasts a lifetime.

From the depths of chaos you raised up the newborn earth,
and sent your prophets among your people.
Your servant Elisha spoke your word to Naaman,
and he emerged from the healing waters singing your glory.

To us you have sent your Son, Jesus the Christ,
and in compassion he has reached out and touched us,
cleansing us from all that defiled us.
Though he was killed by gloating enemies,
you changed our anguish into a joyful dance,
raising him up
and crowning him with a glory that will never fade.
Now he washes us in your everlasting mercy
and pulls us from the depths, cleansed and healed,
that we might run the race
and receive the victor’s wreath;
our lives forever singing your praise.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


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

We give thanks for the compassion of your Son, Jesus,
who reaches out to us
and pulls us from the depths, cleansed and healed,
that we might run the race
and receive the victor’s wreath;
our lives forever singing your praise.

©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 your anger passes quickly,
but your mercy lasts a lifetime.

From the depths of chaos you raised up the newborn earth,
and sent your prophets among your people.
Your servant Elisha spoke your word to Naaman,
and he emerged from the healing waters singing your glory.

To us you have sent your Son, Jesus the Christ,
and in compassion he has reached out and touched us,
cleansing us from all that defiled us.
Though he was killed by gloating enemies,
you changed our anguish into a joyful dance,
raising him up
and crowning him with a glory that will never fade.
Now he washes us in your everlasting mercy
and pulls us from the depths, cleansed and healed,
that we might run the race
and receive the victor’s wreath;
our lives forever singing your praise.

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

God, whose anger passes quickly,
but whose mercy lasts a lifetime,
has compassion on all who cry for forgiveness and healing.
Through Jesus Christ, God reaches out to us,
raises us up and says, “Be Clean!”

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Commission & Benediction

Go now, and live out our song of praise to God.
Discipline yourself in all things, however small,
so that you may attain the prize of salvation
that is yours in Christ Jesus.

And may God’s powerful blessing uphold you like a mountain.
May Christ Jesus touch you and make you whole.
And may the Holy Spirit dance with you in the joy of life.

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 Sixth Sunday after Epiphany (Proper 1) - Year B - 11 February 2018 (if not observed as Transfiguration Sunday)
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.


* 2 Kings 5: 1-14

     The commander of the Syrian army was a man named Naaman. Naaman was very popular with his king, because under his command, the LORD had given Syria a string of military victories. Although he was a great soldier and a highly decorated commander, Naaman suffered from leprosy. Naaman’s wife had a young Israelite girl among her servants who had come to Syria as a prisoner of war after a military raid. One day the girl said to her mistress, “If only your husband could meet the prophet who lives in Samaria. I’m sure he would cure him of his leprosy.”
    Naaman spoke to the king about what the girl had said, and the king gladly gave him leave to go. He also provided him with a letter of referral, addressed to the king of Israel.
    Naaman headed off, loaded up with money and expensive gifts of jewellery and fine clothing. Arriving in Israel, he delivered the letter to the king. It read, “The bearer of this letter is my trusted servant, Naaman. I have sent him to you to have his leprosy cured.”
    When the king of Israel read the letter, he was beside himself with fear; tearing his hair out over what to do. “What does the king of Syria think he’s doing?” he shouted. “Does he think I’m God or something, that I can cure lepers at his request? It looks like he’s trying to pick a fight with me.”
    News of this got to Elisha, the prophet of God in Samaria. He sent a message to the king saying, “Why are you tearing your hair out? Get a grip on yourself and send the man to me so that he can find out for himself that there is a real prophet in Israel.”
    So Naaman and his whole entourage pulled up in the street outside Elisha’s house. Elisha sent an errand boy out to Naaman with a message, saying, “Go down to the Jordan River and wash yourself in it seven times. That will cure you and your skin will be as clean and clear as a child’s.”
    Naaman felt deeply insulted and drove off in a huff, saying, “You’d think that for a man of my standing he could have come out and talked to me himself. I thought that he would at least stand and call on the LORD his God, and wave his hand over my skin to bring about the cure! What’s so special about their scummy Israelite river? Aren’t the two great rivers of Damascus much bigger and better? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?”
    So he stormed off, seething with rage. But his servants spoke up and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something really difficult, you would have done it, wouldn’t you? So surely you have got nothing to lose but your disease if you do what he said and wash yourself in the river.”
    So Naaman relented and, wading out into the Jordan River, he immersed himself seven times in the water, just as the prophet of God had instructed him. Sure enough, he was cured instantly, and his skin became as clear and healthy as a child’s.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Psalm 30

I’ll be singing your praises, every chance I get, LORD,
........because you got me out of deep trouble
................and spared me the gloating of my enemies.

I pleaded for help, LORD God,
........and you stepped in and healed me.

They were nearly ready to pronounce me dead
........but your brought me back, LORD;
you put me back on my feet
........when I was about to be carried to the morgue.

So I’m singing your praises,
........and I’m encouraging everyone to do the same;
................to name you with joyful thanks.

We manage to get you angry at times,
........but it blows over in a moment
................because your mercy keeps on keeping on.
........We may have an evening of bitter tears,
................but by morning your mercy has us smiling again.

I was guilty of taking your goodness for granted;
........I thought I had it made.
You had put me on top of the world
........but I got all too full of myself.
You stepped aside — made me stand alone —
........and I turned to jelly!

I realised how much I needed you, LORD,
........and in my panic I begged you for mercy.

“What good is my blood to you?” I cried.
........“How will it help if I’m in the grave?
Can a corpse sing your praises?
........Will a gravestone publicise your goodness?
Give me another chance, LORD.
........Please, LORD, bail me out one more time.”

And sure enough, you did, LORD.
........You turned my tears to laughter;
........you set my dragging feet dancing;
........you dusted me off and dressed me up for a party.
So now I’m singing your praises
........from the bottom of my heart,
................and no one can shut me up!

You are my God, LORD,
........and I’m eternally grateful.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27

You do understand, don’t you, that no matter how many runners there are in a race, there will only be one winner at the end. So if you are aiming to become the best, you are going to have to train long and hard. Elite athletes discipline themselves strictly in every area of their lives, and they do so in pursuit of nothing more than a medal hung around their necks or a record that could fall the next week. The prize we are working towards will be in place forever, so such single-minded discipline is even more essential for us. I can’t afford to be like a runner who doesn’t know where the finish line is, or a footballer who doesn’t know where the goals are. Instead I subject my body to a punishing regime of training and work it like a slave, so that I don’t end up, after coaching everyone else in the right way, being disqualified myself.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Mark 1: 40-45

    Jesus was approached by a man who was suffering from a hideous skin disease that made him a social outcast. The man got down on his knees and pleaded for help, saying, “You could make me clean if you wanted to.”
    Jesus was deeply moved by the man’s sorry state. He reached out his hand and touched the man, saying, “I do want to. Be made clean!”
    At that moment, the symptoms vanished and he was made healthy and clean. Then Jesus gave him his marching orders and a tough talking-to, saying, “Keep your mouth shut about this. Go straight to the priest and have yourself examined so that you can be certified fit to return to normal social contact. As a sign that you are well, give the offering that Moses said was to be given in thanks for your cleansing.”
    But despite his instructions, the man went straight out and began to tell everyone what Jesus had done for him. The word spread like wildfire, and before long Jesus couldn’t even show his face in the towns without being mobbed. He had to stick to the outback tracks, and people from everywhere came out to find him.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net