Year C
4th Sunday after the Epiphany
Sunday 3 February 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 are a safe haven and a tower of strength
and your love will never end.

From the womb of creation you brought forth the earth
and before any of us were born,
you chose us and loved us into life.
You put words in the mouths of your prophets
that we might glimpse your truth, if only in part.

Fulfilling the words of the prophets,
your child Jesus came,
and in him we have seen you face to face.
When his passion would not be tamed,
his own people were filled with rage
and handed him over to be killed,
but you raised him back to life.
Now and forever, his love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,
and in his love the wholeness of all things is coming.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



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

We give you our thanks, O God, for your Son Jesus
in whom we have seen you face to face
Now and forever, his love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,
and in his love the wholeness of all things is coming.

©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 are a safe haven and a tower of strength
and your love will never end.

From the womb of creation you brought forth the earth
and before any of us were born,
you chose us and loved us into life.
You put words in the mouths of your prophets
that we might glimpse your truth, if only in part.

Fulfilling the words of the prophets,
your child Jesus came,
and in him we have seen you face to face.
When his passion would not be tamed,
his own people were filled with rage
and handed him over to be killed,
but you raised him back to life.
Now and forever, his love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,
and in his love the wholeness of all things is coming.

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

God’s love is patient and kind, and will not fail you.
The Lord is with you to deliver you.
Through the mercy of Jesus Christ
the Lord has heard you
and is reaching out to save you.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



Commission & Benediction

Go now to all to whom God sends you,
and speak whatever words God gives you.
Rejoice in the truth and do not be afraid.
Let all that you do and all that you say
be filled with love, for love never ends.

And may God be with you always to deliver you;
May Christ Jesus put his gracious words in your mouth;
And may the Holy Spirit bring you to completeness in faith, hope and love.

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 4 - Year C - Sunday 3 February 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.



* Jeremiah 1: 4-10

The LORD spoke to me saying:

    “Jeremiah, I am the God who created you;
        I knew you before your parents thought of you.
    Before you were born I chose you for myself,
        I picked you out to speak to the nations on my behalf.”

I replied, “LORD God, you’re making a big mistake! I am a lousy public speaker and I’m too young for anybody to take me seriously.”

But the LORD said to me,

    “Don’t put yourself down because of your age.
    Just go to whoever I send you to,
    and say whatever I tell you to say.

    Don’t let yourself feel intimidated by anyone,
    because I’ll be there to back you up.
    You’ll be okay; take my word for it.”

Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth, saying to me,

    “With my own hand I am putting my words into your mouth.
    Here and now I am appointing you to the job.
    I give you the authority to speak to the nations for me;
        to speak words that will wreak havoc,
        words that will crush and demolish and devastate,
        and words that will heal and rebuild and give life.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* Psalm 71: 1-6

I run to you for protection, LORD,
........please don’t ever let me down.
You always do the right thing,
........so please be there for me when I need you.

Hear me when I call for help
........and step in quickly to bail me out.
Keep me safe when I need somewhere to hide.
........You are like a mountain hideaway to me;
................like a bunker than nothing can blast open.

If I fall into hostile hands,
........be my God and rescue me;
Don’t let the callous and cruel
........get their claws into me.

You are my only hope,
........the only one I can depend on, LORD;
................I’ve trusted you since I was a kid.

I’ve leaned on you for support
........since the day I was born.
You were the midwife who delivered me from my mother’s womb,
........the safe hands who pulled me gasping into life.
................I’ll never stop thanking you for that!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

Our spiritual gifts are not the most important thing.

I could have the gift of the gab;
........I could speak like a news reader
................or pray in the language of angels;
but if I don’t love
........it would be a waste of breath;
................as meaningless as a blast of static.

I could have the gift of prophecy,
........the ability to speak God’s word into any situation;
I could have the gift of knowledge and insight;
........the ability to get my head around God’s mysteries
................and make them clear to everyone else;
I could have the gift of earth-shattering faith,
........faith that reduces mountains to molehills;
I could have all this and more,
........but if I was devoid of love,
................I’d still be a waste of space.

I could give away everything I owned
........and burn myself out in the fight for justice;
I could throw my body in front of an oncoming tank
........to prove my passion for peace;
but if I do it all without love,
........I’ll have achieved precisely nothing.

Love is willing to hang in there for the long haul;
........Love is always ready to do something for someone else;
Love does not begrudge others their success;
........nor flaunt its own.
Love is not arrogant or rude,
........it doesn’t force its own agendas
................and trample others down in the process.
Love does not spit the dummy over every little thing
........or hold grudges and dream of revenge.
Love takes no pleasure in dishonesty, however daring;
........but it is the first to celebrate truth and integrity.
Love holds firm under pressure,
........keeps believing the best of others,
................maintains its hope when all seems lost,
........................and toughs it out, no matter what.

Love is forever!

The gift of prophecy will reach its use-by date,
........speaking in strange tongues will have had its day;
................all our knowledge will be useless and forgotten.
What we know now is a mere drop in the ocean,
........and even prophets can tell us only a little of God.
But the time is coming when everything will be made whole,
........and these things that are less than whole
................will all be over and done with.

When we were children, it was okay to speak like children,
........to think and behave in immature ways;
but sooner or later we’ve got to grow up,
........we’ve got to grow beyond those childish limits.

All our present attempts to make out God’s truth
........are like trying to see under water with the naked eye.
But the time is coming when it will snap into focus,
........when we’ll stand face to face with the fullness of truth.
Now we know only a fraction - then we’ll know it all;
........God will be known to us as well as we are known to God.

There are only three things we have now that will last forever -
........faith, hope, and love -
................and the one that matters most is love.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


* Luke 4:21-30

After reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue of his hometown, Nazareth, Jesus addressed the people, saying, “All that the prophet meant in this scripture has just been fulfilled, right here, as you heard it read.”
    Everybody was most surprised and impressed by how well Jesus spoke and by the generous spirit of all that he had to say. They began to talk favourably of him among themselves, saying, “Who’d have thought that he was Joseph and Mary’s boy!”
    Jesus wasn’t finished though. He spoke up again, saying, “No doubt you’ll soon be using the old saying of me: ‘Let the doctor heal himself first.’ And you’ll start demanding that I do here in my own hometown the things that you’ve heard I have done elsewhere. I’ll tell you this, without a word of a lie: the things prophets have to say never make them popular in their hometowns. That’s the way it has always been. Remember the story of Elijah during the crippling drought that lasted three and a half years. There would have been many widows in Israel at the time, but was Elijah sent to help any of them? No. He was sent instead to a widow at Zarephath, across the border in Sidon. It was the same with his successor. There was no shortage of lepers among the Israelites, but the only leper who was cleansed by Elisha was Naaman, and he was Syrian.”
    When the crowd in the synagogue heard this, they went berserk! There was nearly a riot. Jesus was run out of town and he was pretty lucky not to get himself killed. A mob set on him and was going to throw him off the edge of a cliff just outside the town, but he managed to give them the slip and take to the road unharmed.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net