Year B
Proper 16
Sunday 22 August 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 are the giver of honour and grace
and we are eager for your presence with us.

The heavens and the earth cannot contain you
for you have created them and hold them in your hand.
And yet you dwell among your people
and allow even the birds of the air
to nest in your courts and honour you with their song.

You have sent your Holy One, Jesus Christ,
to speak to us your word of Spirit and life.
Though the forces of evil and death consumed him,
he rose from the grave
proclaiming your gospel of peace.
Now he nourishes us with his body and blood
and arms us with truth, righteousness and salvation
that we might stand firm against the corrupt spiritual powers
that would tear down all who seek you with integrity.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your Holy One, Jesus,
who nourishes us with his body and blood
and arms us with truth, righteousness and salvation
that we might stand firm against the corrupt spiritual powers
that would tear down all who seek you with integrity.

©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 you are the giver of honour and grace
and we are eager for your presence with us.

The heavens and the earth cannot contain you
for you have created them and hold them in your hand.
And yet you dwell among your people
and allow even the birds of the air
to nest in your courts and honour you with their song.

You have sent your Holy One, Jesus Christ,
to speak to us your word of Spirit and life.
Though the forces of evil and death consumed him,
he rose from the grave
proclaiming your gospel of peace.
Now he nourishes us for eternal life
and arms us with truth, righteousness and salvation
that we might stand firm against the corrupt spiritual powers
that would tear down all who seek you with integrity.

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

The Lord is steadfast in love
and hears the prayers of all who come seeking mercy.
God reaches out to us in Jesus Christ
forgiving our sins
and nourishing us for life without limit.

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

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go out, and make known the mystery of the gospel.
Keep alert and pray at all times.
Draw strength from God’s power
and so stand firm against all that would corrupt you.

And may God arm you with truth and righteousness;
May Christ Jesus give you words of Spirit and life;
and may the Holy Spirit draw you near to God’s presence
   and bless you with honour and grace.

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

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Proper 16 - Year B - Sunday 22 August 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.



* 1 Kings 8: (1,6,10-11), 22-30, 41-43

    The sacred Ark of the Covenant had been kept on Mount Zion in the City of David. When King Solomon was ready to move it into the newly completed Temple, he called all the elders and tribal leaders of Israel to come to Jerusalem for the occasion. The priests carried the sacred Ark into the Temple and placed it in the most holy place, beneath the wings of the cherubim in the inner sanctuary. No sooner had they placed it there than a dazzling cloud filled the Temple. The awesome presence of God was so overpowering that no one could bear to stay inside. Even the priests had to make a hasty exit.
    Outside,
Solomon stood in front of the altar of the LORD and, with his hands raised high, he led the gathered people in prayer. He prayed:

    “O LORD, God of Israel, you are one of a kind! No other god in the universe is like you. Your love is rock-solid and you never forget the alliance you have made with those who follow you whole-heartedly. You made an alliance with my father David, and today you have proven true to your word. Everything you promised him you have now put in place.
    O LORD, God of Israel, you promised my father that his descendants would occupy the throne of Israel forever, so long as they stuck to your ways and kept nothing hidden from you. May this be true, O God, for my father David was your servant. May you always back up your promise to him.
    But, how could you possibly live on earth, O LORD my God? You could hold the entire universe in your hand, so how can we expect this little temple I’ve built to have enough room for you! But today I ask you to listen to my prayer, for I am your servant. Hear me and answer me, O God. This place bears your name because you have chosen it as the place for people to worship you. So keep your eye on it, O LORD, twenty four hours a day. Whenever I turn towards this place to pray, lend me your ear. I am your servant, and these people belong to you, so any time one of us faces this Temple and prays, hear us from your heavenly home and forgive any offence we have caused.
    And don’t stop with just us – foreigners will no doubt hear about you too. Attracted by your reputation and by news of the awesome things you do, they will come from all sorts of far flung places to live among your people and offer their prayers within sight of this Temple. When they do, listen to them from your heavenly home and answer their prayers. That way everyone on earth will hear of you and give you the same respect that your people Israel do. They will know that this Temple which I have built carries your authority.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 84

The place where you live is just exquisite,
........O LORD, ruler of all!
With everything inside me, I long to be there;
........I go all weak at the very thought of it.
I want to be there, body and soul,
........singing my heart out for you, O God of life.

Even the birds find a home in your house;
........there are nests in every nook and cranny
................where pigeons and sparrows raise their young.
Bird song and incense rise together
........to honour you, Sovereign God, ruler of all.
How privileged are those who live in your house;
........joyous songs of praise are forever on their lips.

Those who have tapped into your strength
........have got it made.
The highway to heaven begins within them;
........a direct route to your holy presence.

They are like people who can find water in the desert;
........they drink from life giving springs
................that no drought can ever dry up.
They go from strength to strength,
........and will see you face to face on your holy mountain.

O LORD, ruler of everything, hear my cry.
........Tune in to my prayer, O God of our ancestors.

Your presence is our protection, O God;
........smile upon us, your chosen ones.

A day spent in your presence
........beats a thousand nights in a five star resort.
I’d rather scrub floors in your house, O God,
........than rub shoulders with the rich and famous
................beneath the flashing lights of greed and corruption.

O LORD our God, you are the sun that shines on us
........and the shield that keeps us safe.
You shower us with generosity and honour,
........and deny nothing to people of integrity.

O LORD, ruler of all,
........everyone who trusts in you has got it made!

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net



* Ephesians 6: 10-20

........If I could say one last thing to you, it would be this: toughen yourselves up by drawing strength from God. Equip yourself with everything God offers, because you’ll need it to detect and survive the guerrilla tactics the Devil will use against you. What we’re up against here is not simply human opposition. This is a life-and-death struggle against the corrupt spiritual forces and cosmic powers of evil that are responsible for the destructive chaos which is presently threatening to engulf the world. So arm yourselves with everything God gives you so that you’ll be ready and able to hold your ground when all hell breaks loose.
........It’s time to stand up and be counted. Kit yourselves out in truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, and you’ll be ready for anything. Truth is like a belt on which everything else hangs. Justice and righteousness protect your heart like a bullet-proof vest. Your passion for spreading peace will get you through the hard miles like a sturdy pair of boots. Faith is like a riot shield that protects you from the fire bombs and anything else the evil one throws at you. God’s salvation is like a good helmet — even if you do get knocked down, it will keep your head in one piece! And finally, when it is time to go on the attack, there is one indispensable weapon — the word of God — the same weapon the Spirit used to bring us to our knees.
........And speaking of being on your knees, none of this armoury will be any use at all unless you are putting some serious time into prayer. Pray long and hard with the Spirit as your partner and mentor. Keep your eyes and ears open and keep plugging away in prayer for all your comrades in this holy quest. Remember me in your prayers too. I might be an ambassador bearing God’s message, but my opportunities are rather limited here in the detention centre! So for the opportunities I do get to speak, pray that I’ll know exactly what to say and that I’ll have the guts to come out with the whole thing, the whole wondrous mystery of the good news in Christ.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net



* John 6: 56-69

While teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus said:
“Whatever you eat and drink becomes a part of you, but when you consume my flesh and blood, not only will I become a part of you, but you’ll find yourself in me, becoming a part of me. The God who conceived me is the source of my life and has sent me, serving me up to you. In much the same way, I will be the source of life for whoever digests me. Do you see then? This is the real bread which has come from heaven. It’s not like what your ancestors ate in the desert. They still died. This is different. Those who eat this bread will live life without end and without limit.”
When the people who had been following Jesus heard him say these things, many of them began to say, “Who can stomach what this man teaches? It is too tough by far.”
Jesus got wind of their complaints and said to them:
“Are you ready to throw in the towel over this? How would you react if you saw the New Human entering heaven? After all, that’s where he came from. Real life comes only from the Spirit. Without it you’re nothing. Everything I’ve said to you is life-giving and backed up by the Spirit. But for some of you, that will make no difference — you’ve already put the shutters up.”
Jesus could tell, right from the start, that some wouldn’t have a bar of him once they knew what he was on about. He also knew who would betray him. He spelt it out to them, saying, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: like a Father taking his children where they could not go alone, God is drawing people to me. Otherwise, no one would come.”
........This was the last straw for many of those who had followed him. They cleared off and wouldn’t have anything further to do with him. That prompted Jesus to put the question to the twelve: “What about you? You’re free to join them if you want to give up on me too.”
........Simon Peter answered for them: “Lord, who else could we turn to? Your words have opened our eyes to life without limit. You have won our trust and we are convinced that you are God’s Holy One.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net


Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Joshua 24: 1-2a, 14-18

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called a meeting of their leaders — the tribal elders, the clan chiefs, the judges, and the civil officials — and they gathered under the authority of God. Joshua addressed them, saying:
“The LORD, the God of Israel, wants you to hear this. Treat the LORD with due respect, and be absolutely fair dinkum and rock-solid in your commitment to doing all that the LORD asks of you. Have nothing more to do with any of the other objects of devotion that your ancestors worked for back in those days, or when they were in Egypt. Put yourselves wholly at the service of the LORD. But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then you can make up your own minds what you are going to devote yourselves to: the ignorant ways of your ancestors back there in the dark ages; or the trivialities of the culture around you here. But I have made up my mind for myself and for my family; we will devote ourselves to the LORD.”
When Joshua finished his speech, the leaders replied, saying:
“There is no way we would turn our backs on the LORD and devote ourselves to other gods. It was the LORD who broke us free from slavery and did such spectacular things before our very eyes in the land where we had been oppressed. As we travelled, the LORD looked after us every step of the way and kept us safe from hostile nations. It was the LORD who made room for us by driving out the nations who were occupying this land. Therefore we will serve the LORD, for the LORD is our God.”
©2002 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 34: 15-22

O LORD, you keep a protective eye on those who play a straight bat;
........you’re never out of earshot if they need you.

You grit your teeth and stand against evil though,
........and you erase from history those who spread it.

When good honest people need help, you’re there for them, LORD;
........you get them out of whatever trouble they’re in.

You are especially close to the broken-hearted;
........when hope is crushed, you come to the rescue.

Your people endure as much suffering as anyone else, LORD,
........but you ensure that they make it through.

Like a vigilant bodyguard,
........you see that not a bone is broken.

Evil is lethal to those who drink their fill of it;
........those who despise the straight and narrow will stumble to destruction.

But you, LORD, are always ready to bail out those who serve your cause;
........no one who runs to you for safety will be handed over to death.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton  LaughingBird.net