Year C
7th Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 2)
Sunday 24 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 show love and kindness even to the ungrateful,
and you raise us all to new life in glory and strength.

You created all that is,
shaping the earth with your own hands
and raising creatures from the dust to fill it.
Whenever famine or wickedness threatened your people,
you have sent a saviour to preserve their lives.

You sent your child, Jesus Christ,
to reveal your nature to us all.
He embodied your desire to go on loving
even in the face of hostility and hatred.
When he was killed by the enemies of life,
you raised him in power
with a glorified body which will never die.
Now he is a life-giving spirit,
saving all who seek refuge in you,
and preparing all your faithful children
for rebirth into the life of your Kingdom.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




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

We thank you for the love we have seen in Jesus,
a love that continues even in the face of hostility and hatred.
Raising Christ from the dead, you made him a life-giving spirit,
that he might prepare us all for rebirth into the life of your Kingdom.

©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 show love and kindness even to the ungrateful,
and you raise us all to new life in glory and strength.

You created all that is,
shaping the earth with your own hands
and raising creatures from the dust to fill it.
Whenever famine or wickedness threatened your people,
you have sent a saviour to preserve their lives.

You sent your child, Jesus Christ,
to reveal your nature to us all.
He embodied your desire to go on loving
even in the face of hostility and hatred.
When he was killed by the enemies of life,
you raised him in power
with a glorified body which will never die.
Now he is a life-giving spirit,
saving all who seek refuge in you,
and preparing all your faithful children
for rebirth into the life of your Kingdom.

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.



Declaration of Grace / Absolution

The God who is kind even to the ungrateful and wicked
will be merciful to all who call for help.
God will not judge you or condemn you,
but will pour out forgiveness
in generous measure.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



Commission & Benediction

Go now and give your life to the Lord.
Trust in God and do good.
Love and bless everyone, even your enemies.
Do not judge others, but be merciful and generous to all.
Treat others and you would have them treat you.

And may God be quick to act on your behalf;
May Christ Jesus raise you to new and everlasting life;
And may the Holy Spirit go before you
   to prepare a place for you and provide for 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 Epiphany 7 (Proper 2) - Year C - 24 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.


* Genesis 45: 3-11, 15

    Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph, your brother. Is my father still alive?”
    His brothers, though, were in such a state of shock and panic that they couldn’t even answer him. Joseph called them to gather close around him and, when they did, he said:

“I am your brother, Joseph: the one you sold to the Egyptian slave traders. But don’t panic! Despite what you did, it has worked out for the best. Your actions played into God’s hands, because God was bringing me here so that I could save many lives. The land has been in the grip of drought and famine for two years already, and it’s only going to get worse. It will be another five years before crops can be sown and harvested again. You and your families would have all perished if God hadn’t brought me here ahead of you, but now you will be among the survivors. So, don’t kick yourselves: it was not you, but God, who brought me here. Because of what God has done, even Pharaoh looks up to me now. I run all his business for him, both in the palace and in the whole land of Egypt.”
Joseph then told his brothers that he wanted them to get home as quickly as possible and deliver a message to his father. This is what it said:
“Dear Dad, I am your son, Joseph, and I am alive! God has put me in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Move down here at once. I will set aside land for you in the region of Goshen so that you can live near me. There will be plenty of room for you, and for your children, your grandchildren, all your livestock, and all your possessions. The drought will last for another five years, but I will provide for you and all your family and livestock so that you will be protected from starvation.”
With tears flowing freely, Joseph hugged and kissed all his brothers, and they finally loosened up and were able to talk with him.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Psalm 37: 1-11, 39-40

Because of you, LORD, we don’t stress over corruption;
........we don’t get jealous when crime seems to pay.
Those who live off ill-gotten gains will have their day;
........they’ll wither like cut flowers in a hot north wind.

We put our trust in you, LORD, and do what’s right.
........You give us our own land, and keep us safe and content.
Our greatest delight comes from knowing you, LORD,
........and you delight in giving us what our hearts desire.

We have set our minds on following your ways, LORD;
........our trust is in you, and we know you’ll back us up.
It will be as clear as day that we made the right choice;
........you’ll make it perfectly obvious that our cause was justified.

We wait in your presence, LORD,
........in stillness, quietness, patience.
We don’t waver when others profit from corruption;
........we don’t regret our choice when others get away with murder.

Trusting in you, LORD, we can let go of vengeful anger.
........We can relax and not get sucked into taking the law
........into our own hands.
We can trust you to kick out the crooks, LORD,
........and to hand the land over to those who staked their lives on you.
It’s only a matter of time before you wipe out corruption,
........and those who lived by it will be nowhere to be seen.
But you have promised the land to the salt-of-the-earth types —
........those who are not always demanding their “rights”
................and elbowing past others —
........you will see that their lives are rich and full of joy.

You, LORD, are the one who guarantees the safety
........of those who do what is right;
We can always run to you
........when all hell breaks loose.
You, LORD, are always there for us;
........you save us from those who would harm us;
................you offer us refuge when we turn to you.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* 1 Corinthians 15: 35-38, 42-50

........Some people want to ask biological questions about how the dead are raised to life: questions like, “What kind of bodies will they have?” They’re stupid questions really because it’s not about biology. The nearest biological comparison would be the way seeds grow. A seed doesn’t come to life until it is buried in the ground, and then when it does it is no longer anything like the original seed. You could never guess what a banksia tree, or any other plant, would look like just from looking at a single seed. God creates all the different kinds of plants, and the design of each one is already set within the seed, but you’d never know it by looking at it. In the same way the physical attributes of a human corpse don’t tell us anything about the body that will be raised from the dead.
........When a person dies, we bury the body like a seed, and God raises something quite new and different from that seed. The bodies we have now, before we are buried, wear out and die. The bodies we will have when God raises us, will last forever. The body we bury is something many people can’t even bear to look at, but the body raised will be a thing of glorious beauty. The body buried is limp and lifeless, but the body raised will be strong and vibrant. The questions about biology end with the body that is buried, because while it is a physical body, the body that will be raised is a spiritual body. Physical bodies and spiritual bodies are equally real, but they are not the same thing.
........According to the scriptures, the first human being, Adam, was given life in his body. The ultimate Adam, Jesus Christ, is a spirit who gives life to the body. No one starts off spiritual and then gets a physical body: the physical comes first and then the spiritual. Human beings were first made from the earth as physical creatures, but the new model, which we have seen in Jesus Christ, is from heaven. Those who are born on earth have the same kind of bodies as the first human being. Those who are born into heaven have the same kind of bodies as the ultimate human being. Just as we have been indistinguishable from the one born of earth, so too we will be the spitting image of the one born of heaven.
........So to cut to the chase, brothers and sisters; when we inherit the realm of God we won’t be taking our present flesh and blood in with us. Perishable bodies cannot receive life without limit — God will raise us with new bodies for that life.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Luke 6: 27-38

While teaching his followers, Jesus said:
    “If you are ready to hear the truth then I have this to say: Love! Love even your enemies. Treat even those who hate you with love. If anyone mouths off at you or treats you like dirt, wish them all the best and pray for them. If someone gives you a smack around the ear to humiliate you, stand tall and stick your chin out, and invite them to have another crack. Absorb the hostility – don’t escalate it. If someone nicks your coat, just say, ‘Hey, if you’re needing that, you’ll be needing these,’ and hand over your hat and scarf as well. Give to everyone who asks something of you, and don’t go hassling people to give back what they’ve got from you. Live generously, and don’t go keeping score and looking to balance the ledger.
    “If you want to know how to treat someone, just ask yourself what you’d be hoping for if you were in their shoes. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated, not just the way you are treated. It’s not as though you’d deserve a medal for loving someone who loves you. Anyone can do that! You won’t find your name in the honours lists for a good turn done to those who are always going out of their way to help you. Any crook can do that! And if you only ever give when it looks like there’ll be something in it for you, what’s the big deal? Every business shark knows how to make an investment, but it’s not exactly evidence of a generous spirit.
    “Be different! Love your enemies and do good to them. Lend freely, and don’t go looking for returns. God will see that it’s worth it for you. You will be God’s very own children. God is generous to those who don’t deserve it, even if they’re totally ungrateful. God forgives whatever anyone owes. Do likewise: treat people the way God treats people.
    “Don’t go checking on how people measure up, and God won’t go checking on how you measure up. Don’t be demanding and picky with others, and God won’t be demanding and picky with you. If you act with tolerance, you’ll be treated with tolerance. If you act generously, you’ll be treated generously. Very generously! Life will be absolutely chock full and bursting at the seams with good things for you. If you’ve lived open-handedly, you’ll find that what goes around comes around.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net