Year B
Proper 4
Sunday 3 June 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 it was you who knit together the newborn earth
and said, “Let light shine out of darkness.”
Wonderful are all your works.

In ancient times,
you spoke through trustworthy prophets like Samuel,
revealing to us your Word and your thoughts.
How weighty they are, O God!
How vast is the sum of them.

Now you have revealed yourself in your child, Jesus.
He made known your grief at our brokenness
and your desire to feed us
with the bread of compassion and mercy.
When the powerful and hard-hearted conspired against him,
persecuting him and striking him down,
you raised him to new life.
Now, even when we are afflicted in every way,
you shine in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

Therefore with .....

©2016 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your child, Jesus,
who made known your desire to feed us
with the bread of compassion and mercy.
Now, even when we are afflicted,
you shine in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

©2016 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 it was you who knit together the newborn earth
and said, “Let light shine out of darkness.”
Wonderful are all your works.

In ancient times,
you spoke through trustworthy prophets like Samuel,
revealing to us your Word and your thoughts.
How weighty they are, O God!
How vast is the sum of them.

Now you have revealed yourself in your child, Jesus.
He made known your grief at our brokenness
and your desire to feed us
with the bread of compassion and mercy.
When the powerful and hard-hearted conspired against him,
persecuting him and striking him down,
you raised him to new life.
Now, even when we are afflicted in every way,
you shine in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

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.

©2016 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

The Lord has searched us and known us
and grieved over our hardness of heart.
But the Lord’s mercies are as uncountable as the sand
and we are forgiven, not through sacrifices or offerings,
but through the love and grace made known in Jesus.

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

©2016 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and listen always for the Word of the Lord.
At all times, do good and not harm,
save life and do not destroy it.
Carry always in your bodies
the life and death of Jesus.

And may God be with you to the end.
May Christ Jesus make his life visible in you.
and may the Holy Spirit give you the light of the knowledge
    of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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

©2016 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Proper 4 - Year B - 3 June 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.



* 1 Samuel 3: 1-10, (11-20)

    Samuel grew up in the Temple at Shiloh, working as an apprentice to Eli the priest, in the service of the LORD. In those days, the people had completely lost touch with God, and messages or visions from the LORD were rare. The light of God had not gone out, but Eli’s failing eyesight had left him unable to see.
    One night, Eli had gone to bed in his room, and Samuel was lying down in the Temple of the LORD near the sacred Ark of God. The LORD called out, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    “At your service,” said Samuel, jumping up and running into Eli’s room. “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    But Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.”
    So Samuel went and lay down again, and the LORD called out again, “Samuel!”
    Samuel got up and went to Eli, saying “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    But Eli said, “I didn’t call you, my son. Go back to bed.”
    Now it was no surprise that Samuel didn’t understand what was going on, because he did not yet know the LORD, and his mind had not yet been opened to what the LORD had to say. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and again he got up and went to Eli, saying “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    Finally the lights went on for Eli and he realised that it was the LORD who was calling the boy, so he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if you hear the call again, say, ‘Speak to me, LORD. I’m at your service, and I’m all ears.’ ”
    So Samuel went and lay down again in the same place. The LORD came and stood alongside him, calling out as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    And Samuel replied, “Speak to me. I’m at your service, and I’m all ears.”
    The LORD said to Samuel, “Look, I am about to do something that  will make the hair stand up on the back of everyone’s necks when they hear about it. On that day I will follow through on everything I have ever said I would do to Eli and his offspring. I have told him that I am about to bring down a permanent punishment on his family, because his sons have been dragging my name through the mud and even though he knew about their corruption, he didn’t crack down on them. So now I swear to Eli’s family that the charge of corruption will stand against them forever, no matter how many apologies, sacrifices or gifts they offer.”
    Samuel had a restless night after that! When he got up in the morning to open the doors of the house of the
LORD, he was afraid to say anything about the vision to Eli. But Eli wanted to know, and called him, saying, “Samuel, my son.”
    “At your service,” Samuel answered.
    “What did the
LORD have to say to you?” Eli asked. “Don’t keep me in the dark. May God punish you big time, if you don’t tell me every detail of what was said to you.”
    So Samuel told him the whole lot, every last detail, and when he had finished, Eli said, “The
LORD has spoken. I will have to cop whatever the LORD sees fit to do.”
    As Samuel grew to be a man, the
LORD kept a guiding hand on his shoulder, and saw to it that when he spoke, not a word was wasted. Before long, the whole land, from one end to the other, knew that Samuel was the real deal – a messenger of the LORD who could be trusted.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

You have taken a good hard look at me, LORD,
    and you know exactly what makes me tick.

You know when I’ve got my feet up and when I’m on the job;
    you can read my mind like an open book.

You see where I am going and where I stop,
    and you know all about what I do and why.

You know exactly what I am going to say, LORD,
    even before I open my mouth.

You are in front of me, behind me, beside me;
    your hand on my shoulder at every turn.

All this is more than I can get my head around;
    I pinch myself, and struggle to take it in.

It was you who put me together, every part of me;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I sing your praises, LORD,
    for the the way you have made me fills me with awe.
Your creative works blow my mind;
    too wonderful for words.

You could see me clearly before I was born;
    you watched me taking shape in the secret depths
        and laid out the intricacies of nerve and muscle.

You kept your eye on me
    from conception to birth.
My life lay before you like an open book
    before I had even lived a day.

Your thoughts are way beyond my grasp, God,
    and they add up to more than I can count.
Deeper than the oceans,
    outnumbering the grains of sand;
I give up trying
    but you are with me just the same.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* 2 Corinthians 4: 5-12

    We are not preaching about ourselves. The message we preach is that Jesus the messiah is Lord of all. We ourselves are slaves, at your service, for Jesus’s sake. The very God who kicked off creation by calling for light to shine from darkness has now filled our hearts with the light that comes from seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus the messiah and knowing it for what it is.
    You might not notice how beautiful that light is if you just look at us though. It is in us, for sure, but like a diamond necklace in a plain paper bag. That way nobody can make the mistake of thinking too highly of us. It is clear that the power is all God’s.
    We cop the worst of everything, but it hasn’t finished us off. It drives us nuts at times, but it hasn’t driven us over the edge. We are picked on unfairly, but we know we are not alone. We keep getting knocked down, but we get right back up again. When you look for Jesus in us, what you are most likely to see is his battered corpse, but that now means that it is also possible to see his risen life taking shape in our bodies. Our lives are on the line all the time. We are always being thrown into the jaws of death because of Jesus, but again that just means that the risen life of Jesus can be seen taking shape in our fragile flesh. No doubt death will finish us off soon, but in you, life is getting a good strong hold!

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Mark 2: 23 - 3:6

    It was a Sabbath, the day of rest, and Jesus was leading the way through some wheat fields. As they walked, his followers were casually plucking off a few heads of grain. The next thing you know, some members of the devoutly religious Pharisee party popped up and challenged Jesus, saying, “Look at that! What do they think they are doing? Haven’t you taught them that it is against the law to harvest grain on the Sabbath?”
    But Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read in your Bibles what our national hero David did when he and his followers were hungry and had nothing to eat? He went into the house of God and took the sacred bread off the altar and ate that, right under the nose of Abiathar the high priest. The law clearly says that only the priests are allowed to eat that, but not only did he eat it himself, he gave it to his followers to eat too. Don’t you lot get that the Sabbath was made for the benefit of the people, not the other way around. The New Human is in charge now, and even the Sabbath falls into line.”
    Arriving back at the synagogue, Jesus went on in. There was a man there who had one hand that was wasted away and useless. Some people there were keeping a close eye on Jesus to see if they could catch him doing a work of healing on the Sabbath and then dob him in to the authorities. Jesus saw the man with the crippled hand, and said to him, “Come out here, up the front.”
    Then he looked around at the people and asked, “What do you all think the law would want from us on the Sabbath, to do good or to let things go bad, to save a life or to destroy one?”
    But they bit their tongues and said nothing. Jesus was outraged; gutted by their lack of compassion. Turning back to the man, he said, “Stretch out your hand.”
    The man stretched out his hand, and that was all it took: it was back to full strength. That was too much for the Pharisees. They went straight out and began conspiring with Herod’s mob to destroy Jesus.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Deuteronomy 5: 12-15

Keep up the practice of making Saturday a dedicated rest day, as the LORD your God has told you to do. You are to work on your business, your projects, and your chores on the other six days, and keep the seventh day as a rest day, dedicated to the LORD your God. You are not to do any work that day, and you are not to ask anyone else to work either — not your family, not your employees, not the migrant workers who live down the street, and not even your bullocks, horses, dogs, or any other animal you own. All who work for you need rest, just as you do. Always keep in mind that you were forced to work as slaves in a foreign land, and the LORD your God bared his arm and reached out and rescued you from there. That is why the LORD your God told you to keep the dedicated rest day.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* Psalm 81: 1-10

We sing our lungs out to you, God,
    for you make us strong;
we shout for joy, celebrating you,
    the God of our ancestors.

Our songs ring out in your honour,
    and on our instruments we make the sweetest music we can.

A trumpet blast opens the festival;
    every month we celebrate your new creation.

We are your people, God, and this is our tradition;
    a sacred law for every generation to follow.
You gave it to us through Joseph
    when our ancestors took refuge in Egypt.

You have spoken to us in an unfamiliar voice,
    reminding us that it was you who freed us from slavery
        and you who lifted the burden from our backs.

When we cried out in panic, you rescued us;
    from the thunder clouds you answered our plea,
        and at a desert spring you called us to account.

You begged us to pay attention,
    to let you set us straight;
        you longed for your people to listen to you.

You warned us to steer clear of alternative gods;
    to avoid offering our devotion to every new fad.

You are the LORD our God;
    the God who rescued us from the land of slavery.
When we come to you with our hungers,
    you fill us with all that we need.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net