Year C
Proper 7
Sunday 23 June 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,
and declare to all how much you have done for us.

Since the day you brought the earth to birth,
you have been present in the sounds of sheer silence,
where deep roars to deep;
and through your law and prophets
you guarded us and kept us from destruction.

When we were imprisoned in condemnation,
chained and shackled by demons too many to name,
you sent your light and truth
in your child, Jesus the Christ.
He drove our tormentors into the abyss
and reconciled us to ourselves and to one another.
When he was crucified,
you raised him to new life
and plunged us into his death, burial and resurrection.
Now you feed us with bread and wine
so that we might have strength for the journey
to the holy mountain where you make your home.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ,
who drives our tormentors into the abyss,
reconciles us to ourselves and to one another,
and feeds us with bread and wine
so that we might have strength for the journey.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
and openly declare how much you have done for us.

Since the day you brought the earth to birth,
you have been present in the sounds of sheer silence,
where deep roars to deep;
and through your law and prophets
you guarded us and kept us from destruction.

When we were imprisoned in condemnation,
chained and shackled by demons too many to name,
you sent your light and truth
in your child, Jesus the Christ.
He drove our tormentors into the abyss
and reconciled us to ourselves and to one another.
When he was crucified,
you raised him to new life
and plunged us into his death, burial and resurrection.
Now you feed us with bread and wine
so that we might have strength for the journey
to the holy mountain where you make your home.

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 LaughingBird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

You are no longer judged and condemned by the law,
for in Christ Jesus, you are children of God through faith.
You are clothed with Christ.
You are heirs of the promises of God.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, proclaiming to all how much Jesus has done for you.
Be as one with each other in Christ.
Wait for the Lord, and be ready to hear God’s voice,
even in the sounds of sheer silence.

And may God be your fortress;
May Christ Jesus release you from all that torments you;
And may the Holy Spirit give you light and truth
   to sustain you day and night.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Proper 7 - Year C - Sunday 23 June 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.


* 1 Kings 19: 1-4, (5-7), 8-15a

    King Ahab told his wife Jezebel how Elijah had made a mockery of the prophets of Baal and then killed them all. Jezebel was outraged and sent a message to Elijah, saying, “I’ll see that by this time tomorrow you suffer the same fate as the prophets you killed. May the gods strike me down if I don’t.”
    Elijah was terrified and hit the road – running for his life. He made it to the Judean town of Beersheba where he parted company with his servant. He then went off-road and pushed on alone into the scrub. After a day of that, he was in utter despair. He collapsed under the only tree for miles that offered any shade and spilled his guts, saying, “I can’t take any more, LORD. Just kill me now! I’m as good as dead anyway.”
    Exhausted, he fell asleep where he lay. Suddenly someone tapped him on the shoulder, saying, “Get up and eat.”
    Elijah looked around and there, just near his head, was a cake of damper bread and a full water bottle. He ate and drank and then went back to sleep. The messenger of the
LORD came to him again, tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “Get up and eat, or you’ll never survive the journey ahead.”
    So Elijah got up and ate and drank his fill. That meal gave him the strength to push on for forty days and nights until he reached Mount Sinai – God’s own mountain. When he got there, he spent the night in a cave.
    The next morning, the LORD spoke to him, saying, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
    Elijah answered, “I’ve given my all for you, LORD God, ruler of everything. The people of Israel have turned their backs on their alliance with you. They have demolished the places of worship and massacred your prophets. I am the only one left and now they are hunting me down to kill me too.”
    The LORD said, “Go outside and stand to attention on the mountain, because I am about to pass in front of you.”
    As Elijah stood there, a cyclone hit the mountain, shattering the rocks and splintering the trees; but the LORD was not in the cyclone. After the cyclone, the mountain was shaken by an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a raging bushfire; but the LORD was not in the bushfire. Then, after all that, there came a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his coat over his face and stood stock still outside the entrance of the cave. Then, from the silence, came a voice, saying, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
    Elijah answered, “I’ve given my all for you, LORD God, ruler of everything. The people of Israel have turned their backs on their alliance with you. They have demolished the places of worship and massacred your prophets. I am the only one left and now they are hunting me down to kill me too.”
    Then the LORD said to him, “Off you go. Head back down to the desert near Damascus.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 42 & 43

Like a wallaby searching for a waterhole,
........I crave you, God, with every fibre of my being.

Everything inside me thirsts for you, God,
........for you, the Living God.
When will the drought break
........so I can be with you, face to face.

I’ve had nothing but tears to sustain me;
........day and night it’s been the same;
I can’t shut out the jeers and taunts,
........“Where is this God of yours?”

Cherished memories flood my mind,
........rubbing salt in the wound;
memories of past celebrations
........when I led the worship in your house.
I can still hear the laughter and joyous singing;
........the crowds celebrating your goodness.

Why do I feel so defeated?
........Why am I so anxious and agitated?
I tell myself not to give up hope,
........for you are my God and my help
................and I’ll be glad of that again.

I feel so defeated inside;
........I try to remind myself of your goodness
as I walk along the beach to the river mouth
........and look towards the mountains.

But all I hear is the roar of waves
........and churning waters;
I feel like chaos is breaking over me
........and sucking me down, deeper and deeper.

Every day I read of your rock-solid love, LORD;
........and every night I sing your songs
................and pray to you as the God of my life.

But still I find myself asking the question:
........“Why has your rock-solid love let me down?
................Why are so many out to get me,
........................making my life such a misery?”

My wounds are deep and painful
........but the torture goes on;
over and over I hear the taunts,
........“Where is this God of yours?”

Why do I feel so defeated?
........Why am I so anxious and agitated?
I tell myself not to give up hope,
........for you are my God and my help
................and I’ll be glad of that again.

Clear my name, God;
........side with me against these godless tormentors.
Rescue me from their lies and abuse.

I trusted you to look after me, God;
........why have you pushed me aside?
Why are so many out to get me,
........making my life such a misery?

Let your truth blaze like a beacon
........so I can see the way to go;
let it light up the path and lead me
........to your home on the sacred mountain.

Then I will offer myself to you in worship, God;
........offer myself with uninhibited joy.
I will praise you with music and song,
........O God, my God!

Why do I feel so defeated?
........Why am I so anxious and agitated?
I tell myself not to give up hope,
........for you are my God and my help
................and I’ll be glad of that again.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Galatians 3: 23-29

........Before we had put our faith in Christ and allowed that faith to begin reshaping our lives, we needed a rigid legal code to keep us in line. The law was like a zealous parole officer, keeping us on the straight and narrow, under duress. When Christ came, the law was no longer necessary, because we can be put on track with God by entrusting ourselves to Christ. Now that this opportunity is available to us, we no longer need the parole officer watching over our shoulders. Having entrusted ourselves to Christ, we have been transferred with him into the direct care of God, and God treats us as beloved children, not as prisoners. When we were baptised, we handed in our prison clothes and were given a make-over in the image of Christ. All of you who have been baptised, therefore, are on an equal footing — your new Christ-like clothing covers any previous distinction. There is no longer any preferential treatment on the basis of your ethnic or religious background, your education or employment status, or even your sex. All of you are related to Christ Jesus in exactly the same way and are regarded by him as equals. If you belong to Christ, then through him you are descendants of Abraham, and you therefore stand to inherit all that God promised to Abraham’s children.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 8: 26-39

    Jesus and his followers sailed across Lake Galilee and landed near the town of Gerasa. As they stepped ashore, they were confronted by one of the locals – a dangerous madman who was tormented by demons. For years he had wandered around naked and dirty, and made his home in the graveyard and the rubbish dump outside the town. He had a long history of violent outbursts. On many occasions he had been locked up and straight-jacketed, but each time the demonic torment would drive him into a crazed frenzy and he would smash his way out and flee back into the bush.
    When the man saw that Jesus was ordering the vile spirit out of him, he threw himself down on the ground, screaming. “What gives you the right to interfere with my life? You’re Jesus, the Son of the Supreme God. You don’t belong here. Leave me alone. I’ve been tortured enough already.”
    “What’s your name,” Jesus asked him.
    “They call me ‘the Mob’,” he replied.
    He had been given that name because there were so many demons raging within him. The demons began pleading with Jesus not to wipe them off the face of the earth. They begged him to send them only as far as the herd of pigs foraging in a nearby paddock. Jesus agreed, and ordered them out of the man. No sooner was the man free of the torment, than the pigs went berserk, stampeding off the edge of the cliff and drowning in the lake below.
    When the farm hands who were in charge of the pigs saw what had happened, they dropped their bundles and bolted. They reported the incident in town, and word of it was soon all over the district. A delegation came out to investigate, and they found the man who had for so long been out of his mind sitting with Jesus and hanging on his every word. It was the first time they’d ever seen him clothed and clear-headed, and the change was so dramatic that it unnerved them. The eye-witnesses filled them in on how the demon-crazed man had come to be healed.
    All this was too freaky for the people of the Gerasa district. They were completely spooked by it and asked Jesus to clear off. So he and his followers piled back into the boat and headed for home. The man who had been freed from the demonic torment pleaded with Jesus to let him go with them, but Jesus sent him home, saying, “Move back into town and tell everyone what God has done for you.”
    So the man went on his way and never let the townsfolk forget the wonderful things Jesus had done for him.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Isaiah 65: 1-9

I, the LORD, have made myself available
    even to those who didn’t bother to ask.
I put myself on call, ready and waiting,
    even for those who were too lazy to look for me.
I kept waving and shouting, “Here I am!”
    to a nation who kept ignoring me.
I kept offering the hand of friendship, round the clock,
    to a people who kept spitting in my face.

Their behaviour has gone completely off the rails,
    and they don’t care about anything but themselves.
They are constantly in my face,
    needling me, stirring me up.
They play mix-and-match religion to spite me:
    an idol from here, a ritual from there;
a sacrifice to this, some incense for that;
    a seance in the cemetery to summon the dead.

If I say don’t eat something, they eat it.
    They’d cook and serve sewerage if they thought I’d react.
They promote themselves as the spiritual elite;
    too holy by far to mix with those they see as beneath them.
These people are a noxious stench.
    They get right up my nose.

Look, I’ve kept a record of what they’ve done.
    I’ll publish the lot and make them pay.
They’ll get all they deserve with interest,
    and an added bonus for the sins of their parents.
I, the LORD, guarantee all this,
    because they worship only what gives them a high
        and they spurn me to pursue their next hit.
I will see that they cop the full consequences
    of each and every despicable act.

But hear this from me, the LORD:
    there is still some good wine in the cellar.
And just as people say,
    “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”,
so for the sake of those who still serve me,
    I will not just wipe out the entire nation.

From among Jacob’s descendants
    I will raise my true children;
from the tribe of Judah
    I will raise people worthy of receiving my land.
Those I have chosen will inherit it;
    those who truly serve me will make their home there.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 22: 19-28

What are you doing, LORD? Don’t quit on me now!
........Get your act together and come to my rescue!
Save me before I get my throat cut,
........before my body is dog meat!
................Pull me out before they get their teeth into me!

At last! Just before the bulls ran me down, you have rescued me.
........I won’t forget this — I’ll let everyone know.
................Whenever people gather, I’ll be singing your praise.

I’ll call on all who honour you, LORD, to stand up and say so!
........All who trace their roots to Jacob will give you the glory!
........All who share the heritage of Israel will stand in awe of you!

LORD, you did not rubbish anyone
........or blame the victims for their suffering.
You did not turn away or slip off quietly;
........when I cried for help, you responded.

Whenever people gather to worship,
........my heart overflows and I sing your praises.
Out in the open for all to see
........I’ll do all that I promised.

At your table, God, the needy will feast;
........those who hunger for you will be fed till they burst with praise!
........They will be able to live it up, now and forever!

In every corner of the earth people will wake up to themselves
........and turn back to you, LORD.
Every race, nation, tribe and family
........will offer themselves to you in worship,
for you have the last word on everything;
........what you say goes.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net