Year C
Proper 8
Sunday 30 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,
for you alone are holy,
and there are no other gods that compare with you.

With thanksgiving we recall your awesome deeds,
your wonders of old,
when you brought forth the earth from the churning chaos;
when you parted the waters and led your people to freedom;
when your chariot of fire carried your prophet to glory.

And especially we recall
how you sent your child, Jesus Christ,
who proclaimed your reign among us.
When he was crucified by those who refused to accept him,
you raised him to life,
and through him,
gave us a double portion of your Spirit.
He has rescued us from slavery,
called us to follow in his ways,
and set us free to bear the fruit of your Holy Spirit,
in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We thank you for your awesome deeds of old,
and for all you are doing now through your son, Jesus Christ:
rescuing us from slavery;
guiding us in his ways by your Holy Spirit;
and bearing within us fruits of love, joy and peace.

©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,
for you alone are holy,
and there are no other gods that compare with you.

With thanksgiving we recall your awesome deeds,
your wonders of old,
when you brought forth the earth from the churning chaos;
when you parted the waters and led your people to freedom;
when your chariot of fire carried your prophet to glory.

And especially we recall
how you sent your child, Jesus Christ,
who proclaimed your reign among us.
When he was crucified by those who refused to accept him,
you raised him to life,
and through him,
gave us a double portion of your Spirit.
He has rescued us from slavery,
called us to follow in his ways,
and set us free to bear the fruit of your Holy Spirit,
in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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

Christ Jesus has set you free.
Stand then as free people,
and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.
You are set free to live by the Spirit.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and proclaim the reign of God.
Do not let bodily desires enslave you,
but live by the Spirit.
Use your freedom to grow in love for one another.

And may God reach out to you and save you;
May Christ Jesus give you a double portion of his Spirit;
And may the Holy Spirit bear fruit within you
   and guide you in all your ways.

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 8 - Year C - Sunday 30 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.


* 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14

    Shortly before the LORD sent a whirlwind to take Elijah into heaven, Elijah and Elisha headed off on a journey from Gilgal. Elijah had tried to talk Elisha out of coming, saying, “The LORD wants me to go to Bethel, but there is no need for you to come. You can stay here.”
    But Elisha said, “I’m sticking with you, come hell or high water!”
    So they travelled together down to Bethel. Then Elijah said, “Elisha, you stay put. The LORD wants me to go across the Jordan River, but there is no need for you to come.”
    But Elisha said, “I’m sticking with you, come hell or high water!”
    So the two of them continued on together. A group of fifty prophets followed them, keeping their distance but not letting them out of their sight. When they arrived at the Jordan River, Elijah took off his coat, rolled it up, and slapped the water with it. The water immediately parted to form a dry path through the middle of the river and the two of them crossed over. When they reached the other side, Elijah said, “Elisha, our time together is almost up. What would you most like me to do for you before I am taken away?”
    Elisha replied, “Please make me your successor by leaving to me the largest share of the spirit that empowers you.”
    Elijah responded, “That’s a tough ask! But if you actually see me being taken away from you, then you’ll get your wish. If you don’t, you’ll miss out.”
    The two of them continued to walk along, deep in conversation, when suddenly a chariot of fire drawn by two blazing horses charged between them and Elijah was sucked up in a whirlwind and taken into heaven. Elisha saw the whole thing and kept crying out, “Father! Father! You are gone with the defenders of Israel, God’s mounted warriors!”
    When Elijah disappeared from sight, Elisha was torn apart with grief. When he had pulled himself back together, he picked up the prophet’s coat which Elijah had dropped, and headed back to the river bank. He rolled up Elijah’s coat and, slapping the water with it as Elijah had, called out, “Are you with me now LORD, God of Elijah?”
    Sure enough, when he struck the water, a dry path opened up through the Jordan River again, and Elisha crossed over to the Jericho side again.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 77: 1-2, 11-20

Please God, hear me!
........I’m crying out as loud as I can.

I search for you in desperation, Lord.
........Day and night I never stop reaching out for you;
................I refuse to be comforted by anyone else.

I think back on what you’ve done in the past, LORD;
........I remember the amazing things you did.

I will keep these things in my mind,
........and meditate on all your works.

You are in a class of your own, God;
........No other god even comes close.

You are the God who does awesome things;
........you have come out in the open
................and shown everyone what you’re made of.

You rolled your sleeves up and pulled your people out of trouble,
........coming to our rescue like you did for our forebears,
................Jacob and Joseph.

When the waters stood between us and freedom,
........they took one look at you, God, and panicked;
................the depths shuddered with fear.

Everything went berserk;
........the clouds burst their seams,
................thunder shook the skies
........................and lightning bolts flashed in all directions.

Your whirlwind came with a crash of thunder;
........your lightning lit up the sky;
................the earth shuddered and shook.

You cut a path through the raging waters;
........blazed a trail through the roaring waves;
................not a footprint was left to show where you’d been.

Like sheep through a gate you led your people,
........with Moses and Aaron showing the way.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Galatians 5: 1, 13-25

........Christ has set us free — really free. So stand your ground on that freedom, and don’t let anyone or anything else start dictating the limits of your life. The life of freedom into which Christ has liberated us is a wonderful thing, but don’t make the mistake of using it as an excuse to give in to every selfish impulse. That would only lure you into an even worse slavery. Instead use your freedom to serve one another in uninhibited love. If you live by just one law — “love others as fully as you love yourself” — you won’t need to slavishly study the rest in order to comply with its requirements. The rest is just commentary. If, on the other hand, you use your freedom to pursue selfish ends, you’ll become increasingly nasty and competitive with one another and end up just destroying each other. And a fat lot of good your freedom will do you then!
........How then should you live? Dance to the Spirit’s tune, and don’t go feeding every selfish impulse that surfaces within you, or they’ll grow into monsters and take over your life. You see, the problem is that a wedge has been driven between our bodily appetites and the Spirit’s desires. They now strive for quite different things and have become opponents in a struggle for your allegiance. The conflict means that you can no longer simply assume that your body will reliably tell you what’s best for you. But that doesn’t mean that you have to live your lives in slavish compliance with the law, because there is another alternative — following the leadings of the Spirit.
........It is quite obvious what sort of things characterise those whose lives are dictated by their bodily impulses:

— loveless, trivialised sex;
— polluted minds and hearts;
— desperate pleasure seeking;
— the worship of possessions and power;
— personality cults;
— vindictiveness;
— muck-raking;
— resenting the success of others;
— seething bitterness;
— vicious bickering;
— venomous feuding;
— paranoid sectarianism;
— toxic rivalry;
— chronic substance abuse;
— desperate and deluded partying;
I could go on, but you get the picture! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: those who squander their freedom on such things can kiss the realm of God goodbye.
........What a contrast is the life danced to the Spirit’s tune! Like a lush tropical orchard its fruits are constantly ripening:
— active, unconditional love;
— delight at the wonder of life;
— a deep inner peace that shapes all our relating;
— the ability to persevere when results are slow;
— open-handed compassion;
— unfeigned generosity;
— unshakable loyalty;
— unassuming consideration of others;
— the strength to direct our energies wisely.
There is no law against such things, and no law that could ever produce them. Everyone who belongs to Christ Jesus has handed over their selfish impulses and corrupted bodily appetites to be executed on the cross. Since we now live a new life — drawn from the Spirit — let’s see to it that we live it to the full, by allowing the Spirit to set the agenda in every area of our lives.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 9: 51-62

    When Jesus’s time on earth was running out, he gritted his teeth and set out for Jerusalem. He sent some messengers on ahead to book accommodation in the towns where he would be stopping on the way. In one Samaritan town, the locals were so hostile towards Jerusalem that when they heard that Jesus was heading there, no one was willing to offer him a room or even a meal. Two of his followers, James and John, were so incensed by this that they said, “Lord, do you want us to call down a thunderbolt from heaven to wipe them off the map?”
    But Jesus put the two of them back in their place in no uncertain terms and then continued on down the track to another town.
    As they travelled, someone approached Jesus and said, “I will follow you, wherever you go.”
    But Jesus replied, “Do you know what you’d be letting yourself in for? Dogs have their kennels and chooks have sheds, but the New Human can’t even find a room for the night.”
    To someone else, Jesus made the call: “Follow me.”
    But the man said, “Give me time. I can’t come until my father has been buried.”
    But Jesus dismissed his excuses, saying, “Get your priorities straight. You can leave the lifeless to sort out the affairs of the dead. Your business is life. Hit the road and get the message out about the culture of God.”
    Someone else came saying, “I’m definitely with you, Lord, but I just need to say my goodbyes and sort things out at home before I can join you on the road.”
    Jesus replied, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too! Either you’re with us or you’re not. You’ll be of no use to God’s bandwagon if you’re going to keep jumping off to check on things at home.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* 1 Kings 19: 15-16, 19-21

    On Mount Sinai, the LORD spoke to Elijah, saying, “Off you go. Head back down to the desert near Damascus. When you get there, you are to crown Hazael as the new king of Syria. Then you are to crown Jehu, the son of Nimshi, as the new king of Israel. Finally, you are to appoint Elisha, the son of Shaphat, to be your successor as my prophet.”
    So Elijah set out as he had been told, and found Elisha, the son of Shaphat. Elisha was working a paddock with a plow pulled by a pair of bullocks. He was the twelfth in a line of men, each plowing with a pair of bullocks. Elijah picked him out and as he walked past he threw his own prophet’s coat over him. Elisha dropped what he was doing and ran after Elijah, saying, “Let me just go and kiss my parents goodbye, and then I’ll come with you.”
    Elijah replied, “Off you go. Have I done anything to stop you?”
    Elisha went home and severed all his ties. Burning his plow and slaughtering his bullocks, he gave a farewell barbecue for the people he had lived and worked with. Then, putting his old life behind him, he hit the road with Elijah and became his apprentice.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 16

Protect me, God,
........you are my place of refuge.

I’m acknowledging you as the one in charge, LORD;
........you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I delight in the company of those
........who dedicate themselves to you;
................they are the salt of the earth.

Those who worship other things
........will have nothing but grief.
I will not buy into their futile devotions;
........I will not utter the names they revere.

You are all I want, LORD, and all I need;
........you hold my future in your hands.

You mark out the best of everything for me;
........you’ve set me up with a bright future.

I heap accolades on you, LORD,
........for you always give me wise advice;
even in the dead of night
........you fill my heart with your teachings.

I’ll always stick close behind you, LORD;
........with you near by,
................I’ll never be pushed off track.

You fill me with delight, LORD;
........joy erupts from deep in my bones;
................my body relaxes, safe in your care.

You’ll never let the grave drag me down;
........your faithful servants are never left for dead.

You set my feet on a life-giving track, LORD.
........To be in your presence is absolute bliss.
................All I could dream of comes from your hand.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net