Year B
Proper 23
Sunday 14 October 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 you have suffered with us
and tasted despair that we might taste mercy and grace.

Your living and active word created all things;
and everything lies exposed before your eyes.
When our forebears put their trust in you
you rescued them, for all things are possible for you.

You sent your Son, Jesus, into the world,
preaching your message and calling everyone to follow.
His word cuts to the core of all things,
exposing the addictions that bind us and blind us
and hold us back from investing all we have in serving you.
When Jesus was brought down to the dust of death,
dying in the horror of abandonment,
you raised him to life again,
and through him we have the confidence
to come into your presence
and look to your grace for our life.

Therefore with .....

2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your Son, Jesus,
whose word cuts to the core of all things,
exposing all that holds us back from serving you,
and through whom we have the confidence
to come into your presence,
looking to your grace for our life.

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 have suffered with us
and tasted despair that we might taste mercy and grace.

Your living and active word created all things;
and everything lies exposed before your eyes.
When our forebears put their trust in you
you rescued them, for all things are possible for you.

You sent your Son, Jesus, into the world,
preaching your message and calling everyone to follow.
His word cuts to the core of all things,
exposing the addictions that bind us and blind us
and hold us back from investing all we have in serving you.
When Jesus was brought down to the dust of death,
dying in the horror of abandonment,
you raised him to life again,
and through him we have the confidence
to come into your presence
and look to your grace for our life.

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, the Son of God, was tempted in every way that we are,
and is now at the throne of grace
presenting to God our case for mercy.
Therefore, we can approach God's throne in confidence.

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

2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now in the confidence of people who have found mercy.
Follow Jesus,
keeping the commandments,
letting go of all that binds you to the ways of this world,
and investing everything in God’s realm.

And may God come close to you and keep you safe;
May Christ Jesus reward your faithfulness a hundredfold;
and may the Holy Spirit be your help in time of need.

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 23 - Year B - Sunday 14 October 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.


* Job 23: 1-9, 16-17

After hearing the attempts of his friends to explain his suffering, Job said:

“I continue to complain bitterly;
    God is still kicking me while I’m down.

If only I knew where I could find God,
    I’d pound on the door and demand a hearing.
God would have to listen to me state my case
    and argue my innocence.
Let’s see what God would have to say to that!
    Then I could get God’s answer clear in my head.

Would God simply pull rank and rule me out of order?
    I don’t think so. Surely God would listen.
Surely if an honest bloke like me gets a fair hearing,
    God would judge in my favour
        and clear my name once and for all.

But I can’t find God anywhere.
    I look up, down, forwards, backwards – nothing.
I think I catch a glimpse to the left, but no;
    I rush to the right, but God vanishes like a mirage.

My hope and courage are almost gone;
    God has left me a frightened wreck.
God has let a dark cloud close around me,
    but my protest will not be silenced!

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 22: 1-15

God, my God, why the hell have you turned your back on me?
    How come in my most desperate hour,
        you are nowhere to be found?

I called you all day, God, over and over;
    I tossed and turned all night,
        .but I still didn’t hear back from you.

Aren’t you supposed to be our one and only?
    Aren’t you the one we’ve always voted for?
Our ancestors put their trust in you
    and you never let them down.
They cried out for help and you stepped in;
    you saved them from disaster and shame.

So what about me?
    Shouldn’t I still be treated as a human being,
        even if I feel like a worm —
            looked down on, loathed, stomped on?

Everyone who sees me sticks the boots in;
    they turn up their noses and dismiss me with a sneering joke;
“Why don’t you see if God’s on your side?
    Surely if you’re a mate of God’s then God will help you out!”

What’s the story God?
    Your hands eased me from my mother’s womb;
        You kept me from harm as I suckled at her breast.
    As a baby, I rested trustingly in your arms;
        You’ve been my God since the day I was born.

Don’t quit on me now.
    All hell is about to break loose
    and there is no one else I can turn to.

I’m surrounded by enemies
    like a mob of wild bulls.
Angry, snorting, stampeding beasts;
    they charge at me, all horns and pounding hoofs.

I’m chucked out like a bucket of dirty water,
    and I’m so smashed up I can barely move a muscle.
My heart has gone to jelly,
    a quivering useless blob.
My throat is as dry as a salt pan,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
And you? You have left me for dead
    covered in dust and flies.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Hebrews 4: 12-16

    The word of God is no dead letter — it is full of life and constantly at work. It is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, and anyone who pushes against it will be cut to the bone. With great precision it opens us up, layer by layer, uncovering what really makes us tick and diagnosing the state of our hearts. You can’t hide your true self from God’s word any more than you hide your body from a surgeon while lying naked and unconscious on the table. No matter who you are, your life is an open book to God.
    As exposed as this makes us feel, it is all the more reason to stand firm in the faith we’ve already put our hands up to. After all, the one who will present us to God and speak on our behalf — our great high priest — is Jesus, and as God’s own Son we can be sure he has God’s ear. We can also be sure that he can relate to the realities we have to live with, because he has already been through everything we have to go through — weakness, doubts and torments — and all without selling out to sin. What more could we want in a high priest?! So let’s not be timid. Whenever we’re in need of help, let’s walk right up to the throne of God and ask, for our God is extravagantly welcoming and generous — only too happy to wipe our debts and help us out.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Mark 10: 17-31

    Jesus was just about to hit the road when a man ran up with his hat in his hand and asked, “Good Teacher, what do I have to do to receive the limitless life that God gives?”
    Jesus said to him, “What are you calling me good for? Only God is really good, not any of us. What must you do? You know the commandments: ‘Don’t murder. Be faithful in marriage. Don’t steal. Don’t tell lies about anyone. Don’t cheat anyone. Treat your parents with respect.’”
    The man replied, “Teacher, I’ve kept all these rules ever since I was a youngster.”
    Jesus looked him straight in the eye and, filled with love for him, said, “You still haven’t found what you’re looking for though, have you? Come and follow me and you’ll find it. First though, go and flog off everything you own, give the proceeds to charity, and then, with all your investments in heaven, you’ll be free to find what you are looking for.”
    You could have knocked the bloke over with a feather. The colour drained out of his face and he turned and walked off feeling sick at the very thought of giving up all the trappings of his success.
    Jesus looked around at his followers and said, “Some people seem to have everything, but for them it is nearly impossible to get into the culture of God.”
    His followers thought they must have been hearing wrong, but Jesus pressed the point: “Embracing the culture of God is not the easiest thing in the world anyway, but for the rich, it is about the most difficult thing you can imagine. You’d have more chance of getting a container ship through the eye of a needle than getting a person who’s loaded into the culture of God.”
     His followers were totally flabbergasted. “Can anyone at all be saved then?” they asked.
    Jesus looked them in the eye and said, “If people had to do it themselves, then no, it would be beyond us. But it’s not beyond God. God can do anything.”
    Peter was trying to sort this out in his head. “Look,” he said. “We turned our backs on everything we had and followed you.”
    Jesus cut in and said, “Look, I wouldn’t kid you about this. Everyone who has had to give up house or land, brothers, sisters, mother, father or children in order to cast their lot in with me and with my message will be more than compensated. Hundreds of homes will be open to them, and they’ll have more brothers and sisters and mothers and children than they can poke a stick at! Of course they’ll need them, because they’ll be persecuted a hundred times more too! Then in the coming new age they’ll get the biggest bonus of all – life without limit! Once again you can see that God is turning the world on its head – many of those on top now will be at the bottom, and those at the bottom now will then come out on top.”

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Amos 5: 6-7, 10-15

Find your way back to the LORD if you want to save your lives.
    Otherwise all hell will break loose like a raging bushfire.
    Everything you hold sacred will go up in smoke.
    There will be nothing anyone can do to control it.

Why? Because you have poisoned justice,
    and trampled goodness and integrity into the dirt.
Your hatred burns out of control against honest judges.
    You can’t stand those who speak the whole truth.

You have made yourselves rich by riding roughshod over the poor,
    ripping them off blind with stacked odds and crooked charges.
You have built yourselves grandiose mansions with the proceeds,
    but you’ll never get to live in them.
You have established exclusive vineyards for yourselves,
    but you’ll be history before the first glass is poured.

I have kept count of your many crimes.
    I know the full extent of your atrocities.
You are a nightmare to anyone who tries to do what is right.
    You bulldoze your interests through the courts
    with bribes and threats,
    crushing the needy in your path.

But those who’ve made a killing will be silenced,
    for such evil times sow the seeds of disaster.

Set your sights on doing right, and not evil.
    It is your only chance to save your lives.
You have always made out that God is on your side.
    See if you can turn things around and make it come true.

Reject evil and embrace what is good and right.
    Clean up the courts so that justice can prevail.
Maybe even now the LORD, the God who rules over everything,
    will be generous enough to spare a few of you.

2012 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 90: 12-17

Teach us to value each and every day, LORD,
    so that we will be wise enough to make the most of them.

It’s time for a change, LORD.
    Hasn’t this gone on long enough?
        For pity’s sake, it’s time to give us a break.

Let a new day dawn
    and give us our fill of your love and loyalty,
so that our lives may be full of smiles and laughter
    till the end of our days.

Give us more days of happiness
    than the days of suffering you sent.
May the years where evil reigned
    be cancelled out by years of joy.

Make your actions clear to those of us in your service;
    let your children see your strength in all its glory.

Put us in your good books, O Lord our God,
    and give us a rich return for all our labour —
        may the work of our hands turn to gold!

2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net