Year C
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
7 April 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 there is nothing else in life that can compare
with the surpassing value of knowing you.

The newborn earth sprang forth at your touch
and life burst free as you lavished your love upon it.
You formed a people to declare your glory
and led them to freedom on a road through the sea.

Your child, Jesus Christ, honoured our outpoured devotion,
but was betrayed and killed by those
who profit from corruption.
You raised him to life
and called us leave the past
and look to the new wonders you are doing:
opening pathways through inhospitable places
and pouring forth springs where all was dry and lifeless,
so that we, and all who have laboured in sorrow,
might joyously bring forth a harvest of righteousness
and join Christ in the glory of his resurrection life.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



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

We thank you for your love in Christ
which opens pathways through inhospitable places,
so that we might press on through suffering and death
to the prize of resurrection life in Christ.


©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 there is nothing else in life that can compare
with the surpassing value of knowing you.

The newborn earth sprang forth at your touch
and life burst free as you lavished your love upon it.
You formed a people to declare your glory
and led them to freedom on a road through the sea.

Your child, Jesus Christ, honoured our outpoured devotion,
but was betrayed and killed by those
who profit from corruption.
You raised him to life
and called us leave the past
and look to the new wonders you are doing:
opening pathways through inhospitable places
and pouring forth springs where all was dry and lifeless,
so that we, and all who have laboured in sorrow,
might joyously bring forth a harvest of righteousness
and join Christ in the glory of his resurrection 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.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

The righteousness that comes from God
is given to all who turn from their past
and put their faith in Christ.
Sisters and brothers, God has heard your confession;
Christ Jesus has made you his own.

Sisters and Brothers,
    Arise! Your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and press on in the path to which God has called you.
Do not get caught up in the things of the past,
or in the things that the world prizes,
but welcome the new things God is doing,
and take the new paths that open through the places of death.

And may God pour life-giving waters into your wilderness;
May Christ Jesus make you his own;
And may the Holy Spirit strengthen you
   for the race that lies before you.

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 the Fifth Sunday in Lent - Year C - 7 April 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.


* Isaiah 43: 16-21

This is what the LORD has to say:

I am the one who cut a path through the ocean for you,
    an escape route through the raging waters.
I am the one who dealt with the army that pursued you:
    the soldiers and all their weapons of war.
Where are they now? Lying dead, never to rise again;
    snuffed out like a drenched candle.

Now I say to you: Donít dwell on the things of the past;
    donít get bogged down in nostalgia.
I am about to do something completely new;
    canít you see it taking shape before your eyes?

I will make a safe path through the hostile wilderness.
    I will make the desert rivers flow again.
Untamed animals will applaud what I do
    Ė dingoes, emus, goannas Ė
because the desert bursts into life
    as I send rains, filling the inland lakes.

Now the people I have chosen can drink their fill;
    I created them to be my people,
        to enjoy and celebrate the things I do.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Psalm 126

When you brought us home to Zion from exile, LORD,
........we had to pinch ourselves to be sure it wasnít a dream.

Laughter and singing kept bubbling up in us;
........we were just over the moon!

Even the nations around us had to admit
........that you must have taken our side, LORD.
Indeed, we could only celebrate and thank you
........for the wonderful things you had done for us.

LORD, we need your help again;
........we are like dry creek-beds in need of rain.

We have worked with sweat and tears;
........let us reap the rewards with celebration.

Let those who laboured with heavy hearts,
........expecting nothing but despair,
come home with pride renewed,
........celebrating unimaginable success.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Philippians 3: 4b-14

........If anyone starts bragging about their breeding and background to win an audience, I could trump them every time. Iíve got a pedigree to die for! Iím a pure blooded Israelite, born into the noble tribe of Benjamin. I was circumcised when I was eight days old, exactly as the law prescribes. I was educated by the Pharisees the best school, so I know the scriptures inside out, and discipline and obedience are second nature to me. I was so pumped up with passion for the purity of religion that I led violent campaigns against declared heretics, including the church. You could measure me against the strictest interpretations of the law and Iíd come out with a perfect record every time.
........Most people would count all this as the perfect start in life, but I have come to see it as more of a disadvantage. Why? Because of Christ. You see, the one and only thing that is of real and lasting value is knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, and I now realise that just about everything else gets in the way of that. This is why Iíve turned my back on all of it ó I now regard it as a lot of crap. Iíve broken my addiction to it so that I can give myself totally to Christ and be embraced fully by him. Iím no longer interested in how I measure up to any checklist of religious laws, however worthy it may be. Godís checklist is the only one that matters to me now and it only has one item on it. All those who trust Christ get the big tick from God. What I really want now is to know Christ intimately and to experience in my own life the power that raised him from the dead. Iíll do whatever it takes ó Iíll take my share of his sufferings, Iíll follow him on the road to death if need be ó because the only thing that matters to me is to be united with him in his resurrection life.
........Iím not claiming for a moment that Iíve made it, or that Iíve now got it all together. Thereís a long way to go, but at least Iím now on the right track and Iím not giving up. I know Iíll make it because Christ is backing me all the way. My friends, I donít see myself as the expert in these things, but I know enough to be sure of which way to go. Iím taking no further interest in the successes or failures of the past. Iíve got my eyes firmly fixed on what God has called me to become, and I wonít let anything stop me until I cross the line and fall into the waiting arms of Christ.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* John 12: 1-8

........Six days before the celebration of Passover, Jesus arrived in Bethany. He stayed overnight in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus; the man he had previously raised from the dead. Martha prepared a dinner party in honour of Jesus, and everyone was there, including Lazarus. During the evening, Mary broke open a very expensive bottle of blended fragrant oils. She poured out the oil and used it to massage Jesusí feet. She then wiped them dry with her own hair. The intoxicating fragrance of the oils filled the whole house.
........Judas Iscariot, however, took exception to her behaviour. Although he was one of Jesusí closest followers, the seeds of betrayal were taking root in his mind. When he saw what Mary was doing, he growled, ďWhat do you think youíre doing? That stuff is worth a fortune. Why was it not sold and the money put to work to do something for the poor?Ē
........He wasnít really the least bit concerned about the plight of the poor, but he was their treasurer and liked to keep their shared account topped up so he could help himself to it without anyone noticing.
........Jesus said, ďGet off her case, Judas! She brought that oil and kept it to use in preparing me for a decent burial. There will never be any shortage of opportunities to do something worthwhile for the poor, but you wonít always have the opportunity to do anything worthwhile for me.Ē

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net