Year B
Proper 17
Sunday 2 September 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 there is nothing deceitful or shadowy in you
and every good and perfect gift comes from your hand.

Your throne endures forever and ever,
and in your passion and desire
you conceived the entire universe.
You gave birth to us through the word of truth,
and gave us first place among your creatures.

Through your servant Moses your holy law was given,
and through your Son, Jesus,
it was cleansed of all that obscured its truth.
Though he was opposed and killed
by those who honoured you in word but denied you in deed,
you raised him from the grave,
bringing all the world back to life.
Now he seeks us out like an ardent lover
to restore in us a passion for righteousness
that brings forth purity and truth
in both word and in action.

Therefore with .....

2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for every good and perfect gift
that comes from your hand,
and especially for your Son, Jesus,
who seeks us out like an ardent lover
to restore in us a passion for righteousness
that brings forth purity and truth
in both word and in action.

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 there is nothing deceitful or shadowy in you
and every good and perfect gift comes from your hand.

Your throne endures forever and ever,
and in your passion and desire
you conceived the entire universe.
You gave birth to us through the word of truth,
and gave us first place among your creatures.

Through your servant Moses your holy law was given,
and through your Son, Jesus,
it was cleansed of all that obscured its truth.
Though he was opposed and killed
by those who honoured you in word but denied you in deed,
you raised him from the grave,
bringing all the world back to life.
Now he seeks us out like an ardent lover
to restore in us a passion for righteousness
that brings forth purity and truth
in both word and in action.

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 has delivered us by the Word of Truth,
setting us free from the judgment of the law
and planting his word within us,
to save us from all that would pollute us.

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

2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go out, and be doers of the Word.
Cleanse your hearts of all pollution,
be quick to listen and learn,
welcome the Word that God implants in you,
and bring it to birth in acts of righteousness and compassion.

And may God pour grace upon you and bless you forever;
May Christ Jesus reveal to you the truth of God’s ways;
and may the Holy Spirit fill your life with passion and love.

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 17 - Year B - Sunday 2 September 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.


* Song of Solomon 2: 8-13

I await the voice of my lover!
    I see him coming, running through the alpine bush,
    leaping rocks and logs,
        as surefooted as a wallaby,
        muscles rippling like a mountain thoroughbred.

Look, now he arrives, there by the garden wall,
    his eyes scanning the windows,
    searching the balcony,
        eager to catch a sight of me.

My lover calls out for me alone, saying:

    “Come now, my darling, my lovely one,
        come away with me.

    The outdoors will welcome us,
        for the cold wet winter has released its grip.
    Wildflowers explode with colour
        and the air is filled with song;
    Bellbird calls ring through the bush
        like the summons to a wedding.
    Berries and grapes ripen with promise
        and every flower adds it fragrance
        to the wafting breeze.

    So come, my darling, my lovely one,
        come away with me.”

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 45: 1-2, 6-9

My heart overflows with words of delight;
    a song of love bursts forth for the king;
    my voice as charmed as the poet’s pen.

You, my king, are a man of unsurpassed beauty.
    Every word that passes your lips is generous and inspiring.
    God’s richest blessings are yours forever.

Your throne is God-given, and will never be shaken.
    Your royal power is wielded for justice.
You have a passion for integrity
    and a loathing for corruption.
Therefore God has chosen you above all others,
    crowned you with joy like no other has known.

Rich and exotic fragrances cascade from your royal robes,
    and your palace is alive with music and dancing.
The daughters of kings wait on you, hand and foot;
    and on your arm is your chosen bride in a gown of liquid gold.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* James 1: 17-27

    Genuine no-strings-attached generosity is found only in God, and everything that is really worth having comes as a gift from the God who lights up our darkness. There is nothing two-faced about God — nothing fickle or shifty, nothing hidden in the shadows. We were conceived by God’s own love and desire and, with the Word of Truth as midwife, God gave birth to us and held us up for all to see, just as besotted parents always show off their precious newborn children.
    My beloved friends, let me spell out some crucial wisdom: listening is your number one priority when you interact with others. Listen long and hard before you do anything else. There will be time to speak later, and if there is to be anger, see that it comes last of all when you’re sure you’ve got everything perfectly clear. Anger, by itself, never gives birth to the sort of active integrity God desires.
    Think of yourselves as a garden in need of attention. Clear away the putrid garbage and all those noxious weeds that choke off any desirable thing that tries to get established. Pull them out roots and all. Then, like well prepared soil, welcome what God plants in you. Let the seed of God’s Word send down roots deep inside you, saving you from ruin and restoring you to rich fruitfulness.
    When the Word is sown in you, don’t let anything stop it bearing fruit in your actions. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other while kidding yourself that you’ve heard it. Hearing the word and then failing to act on it is about as ridiculous as taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and then still walking out the front door with gravy on your chin! If, on the other hand, you carefully look into the ways of God — the laws of freedom — and consistently put them into practice instead of just filing them away for later reference, then you will find God backing you up at every turn, making everything you do fruitful and satisfying.
    There are those who think of themselves as being the epitome of true religion, and yet they can’t even control their own tongues. They are deluding themselves and their religion is not worth a zack. The religion that really shows us to be God’s children — the religion that is free of any fault or hypocrisy — is this: care for those who no one else cares for, and don’t allow yourself to be corrupted by the callous ways of the world.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

    A group of religious lawyers and members of the devoutly religious Pharisee party had come from Jerusalem and were keeping a close eye on Jesus and his followers. They noticed that some of them were eating their meals without first washing their hands in the customary way. The Pharisees, like most Jewish people, observed strict purification rituals before eating. There were numerous rules spelling out the required ways of washing, not only for people’s hands, but for the food and the cooking utensils as well. Careful observance of these traditions was believed to protect people from defilement, and the religious types wouldn’t have dreamed of taking any shortcuts. So, when they saw what was going on, they spoke to Jesus and demanded an explanation. “Why do your followers spit in the face of our ancestors by flouting the rules they passed down to us? Look they are eating with defiled hands!”
    Jesus said to them, “Isaiah hit the nail on the head when he spoke about you. He saw right through your hypocrisy when he wrote this:

    ‘These people mouth all the right words,
        but their hearts aren’t in it.
     Their worship is just one big sham.
        They invent rules to suit themselves
            and then teach them as the word of God.’

“At the end of the day, you lot are more concerned about your own rules and traditions than you are about what God really wants of people.”
    Having said that, Jesus turned and spoke to the crowd again, saying, “Listen up, and try to get this clear in your own minds. The things that really pollute people are not the things that they put into their mouths, but the muck that spews out from within them.
    “If you are looking for the cause of evil, look inside yourselves. Evil intentions are conceived in the human heart, every one of them: lechery, disregard for people’s rights, murder, sexual betrayal, unbridled greed, callousness, deceit, promiscuity, jealousy, vilification, conceit, senselessness. All these things bubble up from inside people. They don’t get in from the outside. And these are the things that really pollute your lives.”

2003
Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-9

Moses addressed the people, saying:
Listen up, people of Israel. I am laying down the law on how you are to live. Get these things clear in your heads and put them into practice. That way you will have life and be able to make yourselves at home in the land that is being given to you by the LORD, the God of your ancestors. The directions I am spelling out to you are from God, and you must not go adding new rules of your own, or cutting out bits that don’t suit you. Follow everything the LORD your God is asking of you, just as I have told you. Follow these instructions consistently and you will become known for your wisdom and good judgement. Other nations will hear of the standards you live by and say, “What a great nation: you can back their judgement every time.” Our God is always there for us when we cry out for help. Can any other nation boast of that? And these directions that God has given us today cover everything we could possibly need to know. Does any other nation have anything as good as that?
But take care and keep a close eye on yourselves. Don’t forget the things you have seen God do. Don’t forget them as long as you live. Pass on the stories to your children and to your children’s children.
2012 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 15

LORD, who is welcome at your table?
    Who can stay in the place you call your own?

You have given us the answer, LORD.
    It is those who walk with integrity
        and do the right thing;
    those who speak the honest truth
        and do not use their words to wound;
    those who do not exploit their friends
        or put down their neighbours.
    It is those who hate corruption
        and look up to those who honour you, LORD;
    those who give their word
        and stand by it even if it costs them;
    those who lend freely, without seeking a profit,
        and cannot be bribed into shafting the innocent.

You honour such people, LORD,
    and anchor them on unshakable ground.

2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net