Year C
3rd Sunday after the Epiphany
Sunday 27 January 2019


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 baptised us into one body,
and anointed us to proclaim your reign in all the earth.

The earth and sky, which you created,
proclaim your genius from one day to the next.
The Law you gave through Moses
stands forever to revive the soul and guide the simple.

You sent your Word among us
in the human body of your child, Jesus Christ.
Anointed with your Holy Spirit,
he came with good news for the poor,
and a message of release for the captives,
sight for the blinded,
and freedom for the oppressed.
He was killed by the proud and powerful,
but you raised him to new life
and made us all members of his body
so that with all our gifts working as one,
we might fulfil your mission in all the world.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


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

We give you thanks , O God,
for you have baptised us into one body in Christ,
so that with all our gifts working as one,
we might announce your good news of freedom and healing
and proclaim your reign in all the earth.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.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 baptised us into one body,
and anointed us to proclaim your reign in all the earth.

The earth and sky, which you created,
proclaim your genius from one day to the next.
The Law you gave through Moses
stands forever to revive the soul and guide the simple.

You sent your Word among us
in the human body of your child, Jesus Christ.
Anointed with your Holy Spirit,
he came with good news for the poor,
and a message of release for the captives,
sight for the blinded,
and freedom for the oppressed.
He was killed by the proud and powerful,
but you raised him to new life
and made us all members of his body
so that with all our gifts working as one,
we might fulfil your mission in all the world.

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.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


Declaration of Grace / Absolution

Though faults hide within us, God is merciful.
Through Jesus Christ, our saviour, the grip of pride is broken
and we are forgiven and freed from the guilt of sin.
Godís good grace will save you and keep you.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


Commission & Benediction

Go now, and live as one body in Christ.
Be at peace, and care for one another;
Suffer with one another and rejoice with one another.
Give your attention to the Word of God
and proclaim the good news of freedom to all.

And may God delight your heart and sharpen your vision;
May Christ Jesus keep you, thought and word, in his grace;
And may the Holy Spirit be the fountain that sustains you all
    and binds you together as one.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net





Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Epiphany 3 - Year C - Sunday 27 January 2019
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.



* Nehemiah 8: 1-3,5-6,8-10

(The people of Jerusalem had returned home from exile and rebuilt the walls of the city.) On the first day of the seventh month they all gathered in the park near the Water Gate. Ezra, the Bible teacher, was there. At the peopleís request, Ezra brought out a copy of the book of the law of Moses. The people wanted him to read out the teachings that the LORD had given to Israel. They set up a stage for Ezra to stand on and all the people gathered around Ė men, women and all the children who were old enough to make sense of it. Early in the morning Ezra took his place on the stage, opened the book of the law and began reading it to the crowd. When he opened the book, everybody stood up in honour of what they were about to hear. Ezra read non-stop until lunch time, and all the people paid close attention to everything they heard from the law. When Ezra had finished reading, he stood up and led the people in a prayer, giving thanks to the LORD, the great God. The people raised their hands in prayer and responded saying, ďYes, LORD! Amen!Ē Then they all dropped to their knees and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
    So in this way the people were brought up to speed with all that was contained in the book of Godís law. A number of other Bible teachers were on hand to move among the crowd and explain things to people so that everyone could understand what was being read. As the teachings began to sink in, many people began sobbing as they realised how far Israel had strayed from the law of the LORD. Seeing their distress, Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest, and the other Bible teachers addressed the crowd, saying:

ďThis is a special day, dedicated to the LORD your God. This is not a day for mourning and crying but for celebration. Go home and party! Indulge yourselves with good food and fine wine, and share some with those who donít have enough. This is how we should celebrate a day dedicated to the LORD. So cheer up! Celebrate the LORD who makes us strong!Ē

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* Psalm 19

Your glory is written in the sky, God;
........your artistry is carved on the face of the earth.
From one day to another, the message passes on,
........and each night puts the next one in the know.

Not a word is spoken,
........not a sound do they make;
yet their silence reverberates around the earth
........and their unspoken message echoes from pole to pole.

You made the sun at home flying across the sky.
........It takes to its task with the eagerness of a bridegroom;
................as exultant as an athlete breasting the tape.
As your messenger, God, it does its rounds,
........from one end of the sky to the other,
................warming everything in its path.

Your revealed will is right on the mark, LORD;
........it gives our souls their second wind.
What you says goes,
........and any fool can wise up by taking note.

Your instructions are spot on, LORD;
........anyone who follows them will be glad they did.
What you direct us to do is easy to see,
........and once seen, everything become clear.

Respect for you keeps us true, LORD,
........nothing can corrupt it, now or ever.
What you decide is always accurate;
........a fair ruling, beyond dispute.

Your Word is worth far more
........than even diamond encrusted gold!
It is sweeter by far
........than any mouth watering delicacy,
................even chocolate dipped strawberries with cream!

But thatís not all!
........Your Word, O LORD, keeps me out of danger,
................and following it pays off richly.
Can anyone put their finger on all their own faults?
........LORD, eradicate the bugs I havenít even identified yet.

Remind me not to entertain sour contemptuous thoughts,
........and donít let them start pulling my strings.
Without them, I can stay on course,
........and keep my record clean.

Thatís what I want, O LORD.
........I want all the things I say,
................and all the things I mull over in my heart,
........to be things Iíd be proud to offer to you,
................for you are the bedrock of my life;
........................the one who puts me back where I belong.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a

........The Church is a single body - the body of Christ. In some ways it is just like your own body; it is made up of many different parts, each with their own jobs to do, but it is still one body. When we were baptised, we became part of Christís body. The Holy Spirit integrated us all into this one body and so now we are first and foremost identified with the body, rather than with our individual characteristics. Whatever your nationality, and whatever your occupation or background, you all tap into the one Spirit for your life, just as all the cells in the body are nourished in the same way through their relationship to the whole.
........When you think about this you can see how it means that all of you are important. In a body, every member matters. A foot doesnít say, ďI canít grip like a hand, so this body doesnít really need me.Ē The body still doesnít want to be without its foot. An ear doesnít say, ďI canít see like an eye, so I donít really matter to this body.Ē The ear is still valued for its own contribution. A body made up only of eyes or of ears wouldnít be able to do anything. God has carefully designed the body so that every member has its place. Each one has its own job which God has given it for the sake of the whole body and without it the body would be disabled.
........This guarantees that each of you have a valued place, but it should also remind you not to get too full of yourselves. No one member can go it alone and if one group tried to limit membership of the body to their own kind, the body would fall apart in no time. It takes all different kinds to make a healthy and whole body. The eye is not going to say to the hand, ďDrop off, we can do without you!Ē Nor is the head going to say to the feet, ďI can get around perfectly well without you!Ē The more you think about it, the more you realise that the opposite is true. The parts of the body that we hardly ever notice often turn out to be the ones we can least do without. How often do you think about your liver? Not often, unless itís packing up. You can lose both legs and survive, but not your liver.
........Just because different parts of the body have a different public profile doesnít mean they matter more or less. When you get dressed you are careful to cover some parts of your body, while other parts are left uncovered for anyone to see. Just because you are more modest about some parts of your body doesnít mean that you wouldnít care if you lost them, does it?! Some parts of the body need to be treated with more care than others; thatís just the way it is. When itís your own body you hardly have to think about it. You just naturally give a bit more attention to the body parts that need it but it doesnít mean that donít care about the rest.
........The way God has arranged the human body, then, is a good model for how the Church is to function. Those members who might never do anything that catches anyoneís attention should be valued and honoured, for they are as much a part of the body as anyone else and youíd probably only notice how important their contribution was if they quit. In your body the parts donít turn on each other. So too in Christís body all the members are to work cooperatively and to look after each otherís interests. If you break your leg, your whole body suffers. So too, if one member is hurting the whole body needs healing. If one member is honoured, the whole body basks in the glory.
........Together then, you are the body of Christ, and individually you are members of it. God has given you each your own job and the whole body depends on you to do it. It might look like some parts matter more than others - you know how it is, apostles get the most attention, and then coming down a rung at a time you find the preachers, the teachers, the wonder workers, the healers, the helpers, the administrators, and those who can pray in strange languages - but the popularity ladder actually tells you no more about the reality of the body than looking at someoneís make-up and clothing can tell you about the functioning of their internal organs. What sort of body would we be if everyone was an apostle? Or a preacher? Or a teacher? If everyone had exactly the same gifts and abilities, the body couldnít function at all. So, by all means seek to develop your gifts and acquire new ones, but donít make the mistake of thinking youíre a nobody if you donít have the big ticket ones.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* Luke 4: 14-21

    Jesus began his public ministry in Galilee. He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and the news about him spread from town to town like wildfire. Wherever he went, he began by teaching in the local synagogue. Soon everyone was talking about him, and in glowing terms.
    Before long he came to Nazareth, the town where he had grown up. He turned up at the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was his wont. He was invited to read from the scriptures, and when he stood up, the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He flicked through the pages until he found the relevant section, and then began to read:

    ďThe Spirit of the Lord is working through me,
        having picked me out
        to deliver good news to the poor.
    I have been sent to preach a message;
        a message that means freedom for the locked-away,
        a message that will open the eyes of those who canít see.
    I have been sent to set free the used and abused,
        and to announce that now is Godís chosen time!Ē

With that he closed the book, handed it back to the attendant, and took his seat. You could have heard a pin drop. Every eye was on him. Then he began to speak again: ďAll that the prophet meant in this scripture has just been fulfilled, right here, as you heard it read.Ē

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net