Year B
Proper 20
Sunday 23 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 your wisdom and humility
are the source of true greatness
and you draw near to all who draw near to you.

Like a woman planting a garden,
you set out and tended the newborn earth,
and like one who sets food before her family,
you nourished us with the fruits of the earth
and the wise teachings of your Word.

In every age you have revealed your wisdom
to the humble and insignificant ones
and hidden it from the arrogant and violent.
In your Son, Jesus, you showed us
that true greatness is known in servanthood,
and that the way of wisdom is found in childlike simplicity.
Betrayed into hostile hands and killed,
he rose again and called us to follow him,
putting aside selfish ambitions
and walking in the ways of peace, mercy and humility.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your Son, Jesus,
through whom you showed us
that true greatness is known in servanthood,
and that the way of wisdom is found in childlike simplicity,
putting aside selfish ambitions
and walking in the ways of peace, mercy and humility.

©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 wisdom and humility
are the source of true greatness
and you draw near to all who draw near to you.

Like a woman planting a garden,
you set out and tended the newborn earth,
and like one who sets food before her family,
you nourished us with the fruits of the earth
and the wise teachings of your Word.

In every age you have revealed your wisdom
to the humble and insignificant ones
and hidden it from the arrogant and violent.
In your Son, Jesus, you showed us
that true greatness is known in servanthood,
and that the way of wisdom is found in childlike simplicity.
Betrayed into hostile hands and killed,
he rose again and called us to follow him,
putting aside selfish ambitions
and walking in the ways of peace, mercy and humility.

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

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God
and submit yourselves to God’s ways
and God will draw near to you in mercy.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go out, clothed in strength and dignity.
Submit yourselves to God and resist the devil.
Delight in the Lord’s teaching,
open your hands to the poor,
and let your actions arise from the wisdom of God.

And may God draw near to you and strengthen you;
May Christ Jesus teach you the ways of simplicity;
and may the Holy Spirit fill you with wisdom
    and make your fruitful in peace and righteousness.

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 Proper 20 - Year B - Sunday 23 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.


* Proverbs 31: 10-31

How fortunate is the man who marries a gifted woman;
    Her love is as precious as life itself.

He entrusts himself to her
    and she doesn’t let him down.

Generous of spirit and never vindictive,
    she will be good to him all her life.

She is creative and diligent;
    not afraid to get her hands dirty.

With the taste a seasoned traveller,
    she shares her love of varied cuisine.

She is up early each morning,
    seeing that everyone in her household
    gets their day off to a good start.

She conducts her business with confidence;
    buying and selling, and overseeing production.

She dresses appropriately for her work,
     ready to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in.

She knows what her labour is worth,
    and will work late to get the job done.

She puts her shoulder to the wheel
    and makes the most of her many skills.

The goods she produces are widely sought;
    they fetch top dollar in the shops.

She’s quick to help anyone facing hard times;
    a generous friend to those in need.

She doesn’t panic when storms hit;
    all her household are well prepared.

She doesn’t waste money on appearances,
    but presents herself with colour and flair.

Her strength and dignity are what people notice first,
    and she approaches the future with joy and enthusiasm.

She and her husband are respected about town,
    and admired for their leadership in the community.

People seek out her opinions and value her wisdom;
    her advice is caring and considerate.

She keeps an eye on the interests of all her household,
    and doesn’t indulge in laziness.

Her children have nothing but good to say about her,
    and her husband is always singing her praise:
“There are some wonderful women in the world,” he says,
    “but you are the cream of the crop!”

Charm can mask the truth,
    and beauty may be only skin deep.
The woman who is worthy of admiration and acclaim
    is the one who knows who she is before God.

She deserves full credit for all she has achieved;
    her accomplishments speak for themselves.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 1

LORD, how good it will be for those
    who turn a deaf ear to the advocates of greed;
    who steer clear of corrupt short-cuts;
    and avoid those who sneer at goodness.

Instead they relish your word, LORD.
    Calming their minds,
        they savour the scriptures day and night.

You make them strong and healthy,
    like a Redgum tree with its roots deep in a river bank,
        flowering abundantly every season,
    and always laden with healthy leaves.
        All that they do is vibrant with life.

But what a different story it is for the wicked;
    they are about as secure as dry leaves in a cyclone.

They will have no defence
    when they are brought to justice,
        and no friends among people of integrity.

LORD, you keep a protective eye
    on all who walk a straight path of peace and justice,
        but nothing will save those who leave that road.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a

    Do any of you rate yourselves highly for wisdom and understanding? Well, let’s see you live it then. It is the quality of your life that will prove that your actions are the offspring of a wise and gentle spirit. If the things you do reveal that inside you’re always comparing yourself to others and scheming to get one up on them, then the more you boast about your wisdom, the more apparent it will be that you are deluded. Any wisdom you might have would clearly not be from God. It would be nothing more than rat-cunning, deviousness. The devil himself specialises in that sort of wisdom. Whenever people are set on being number one without regard for anyone else, mayhem and inhuman behaviour follow, as sure as night follows day. The wisdom that God gives is a very different matter. For starters it is not contaminated by any ulterior motives. It cultivates peace among people, being gentle and willing to let others get their way. It is so full of the fruits of generosity, forgiveness and love that it could never find room for even a shred of prejudice or hypocrisy. Those who invest in peace — not just hoping for it but really working for it — will reap rich dividends in a life of wholehearted integrity.
    Why do you think these vicious conflicts keep erupting among you? Can’t you see that they are detonated by the greedy desires simmering within your hearts. You want something you don’t have and you fuel the hunger until you’re ready to kill for it. You covet something that you know can never be yours, but you let your craving blaze out of control, igniting spot fires all over the place. If you really want something, ask God for it. But you could never do that could you, because there’d be no way to word the request without exposing the naked selfishness that’s driving you.
    What can you do? Let God’s desires have their way with you. Dig in against the devil, and he’ll be sent packing. Get alongside God, and God will get alongside you.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Mark 9: 30-37

    Jesus and his group moved on and travelled through Galilee. He was keeping their location secret because the things he was teaching his closest followers were for their ears only. “Soon the New Human will be betrayed,” he told them, “and handed over to a hostile mob. They will kill him, but three days after his murder, he will rise up, alive again.”
    His followers, however, could not get their heads around any of this, but they couldn’t bring themselves to ask him to go over it again.
    They arrived home in Capernaum and after settling back into the house, Jesus hit them with a question: “You blokes sounded like you were having a bit of a barney back there on the road. What was it all about?”
    The silence was deafening! None of them were willing to own up, because they had been arguing over status – which of them was number one. Jesus sat down and called the twelve to gather round. He said to them, “Whoever wants to be number one must take a place at the bottom as the servant of everyone else.”
    He called over a small child, and right there in the midst of them, gathered the little one up into his arms and said, “Anyone who welcomes little tackers like this as though they were gold-medalists is welcoming me. And those who welcome me are not just welcoming me – they are welcoming the One who sent me.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Wisdom of Solomom 1:16 - 2:1, 12-22

Those who shun God are getting in to bed with death.
    You can see it in everything they say and do.
    They yearn for death like an absent lover.
    They have signed up to a partnership with death
    because they seemed to be made for one another.

Listen to their thinking, and see how screwed up it is.
They say,
    “Life’s a bitch and then you die.
    Here today and gone tomorrow, and there is no cure for death.
    Down you go, and no one ever comes back.

And then they say,
    “These holier-than-thou do-gooders are such a pain.
    Let’s knock off the next one we see.
    They are always in our way,
    stopping us from getting what we want,
    calling us sinners and law-breakers,
    and lecturing us about being a disgrace to our upbringing.

    “They claim to know God
    and they make themselves out to be the Lord’s children.

    “They make everything we think look bad.
    We’re sick to death of the sight of them
    because they are so different from everyone else
    and their way of life gets up our nose.

    “They look down on us
    and avoid our ways like the plague.
    They reckon that do-gooders will die happy
    and that God will call them his children.

    “Let’s grab the next one we see
    and make an example of him.
    Let’s see if his puffed up words about dying happy
    hold up when put to the test.

    “If this do-gooder is such a child of God,
    he can expect God to help him, can’t he?
    Let’s see if God can rescue him
    when we get our hands on him.

    “Let’s see what happens to his patience and gentleness
    when we humiliate him, torture him,
    and make him fear for his life.

    “Let’s kill him slowly and humiliate him as he dies.
    Then we’ll see whether his ‘divine protection’
    is half as good as he says it is.

So that’s how corrupt people think.
You can see how how screwed up it is.
The lures of evil have sucked them in,
and blinded them to everything else.

They have never know what God is on about.
They have never tasted the fruits of living right.
They have never glimpsed the prize in store
for those with a clean record.

©2012 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


OR

* Jeremiah 11: 18-20

The first I knew of the plot against me
    was when the LORD tipped me off about it.

Until then I was like a lamb trotting to its fate,
    knowing neither shearer nor slaughterer.
In my blissful ignorance I never guessed
    that they were plotting my downfall, saying,

    “Let’s cut him down in his prime
        and make sure he never breeds.
    Let’s rid the world of him
        and erase all memory that he ever lived!”

But you are the LORD who rules over everything.
    Your investigations uncover our motives
        and your judgements get it right every time.
    I have put my case in your hands.
        Hit them with everything they deserve!

©2012 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 54

Pull rank to save me, God;
    use your influence to clear my name.
Hear my prayer, God;
    lend an ear to what I have to say.

Arrogant mongrels have got me in their sights;
    they spit in the face of everything decent
        and now they are plotting to kill me.

Look at them! They couldn’t care less about you, God!

But you are there for me, God; for sure you are.
    You, Lord, are my bodyguard.
When enemies come, you’ll turn their evil back on them.
    I know you can be relied on. Finish them off!

I will offer you my worship and bring my gifts to say thank you.
    I will put your name up in lights, LORD, for you are the best.
You have bailed me out of every crisis
    and with my own eyes I’ve seen my enemies fail.

©2012 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net