Year C
Proper 13
Sunday 4 August 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 gather us up in your arms
and hold us like a child to your cheek,
healing us, even before we know it.

You created the earth and chose yourself a people,
snatching them from danger
and leading them to a land where they could settle.

When disobedience and idolatrous greed
were our only response to your loving call,
your heart was still warm and compassionate towards us
and you recoiled from punishing your children.
You came to us in love and mercy
in Christ ó the Holy One in our midst ó
showing us the path to renewal in your image.
When he was put to death,
you raised him in glory,
and now our lives are hidden in his,
ready to be revealed in glory
when all is fulfilled and Christ is all and in all!

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We thank you for gathering us up in your arms
snatching us from danger and hiding our lives in Christ,
ready to be revealed in glory
when all is fulfilled and Christ is all and in all!

©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 gather us up in your arms
and hold us like a child to your cheek,
healing us, even before we know it.

You created the earth and chose yourself a people,
snatching them from danger
and leading them to a land where they could settle.

When disobedience and idolatrous greed
were our only response to your loving call,
your heart was still warm and compassionate towards us
and you recoiled from punishing your children.
You came to us in love and mercy
in Christ ó the Holy One in our midst ó
showing us the path to renewal in your image.
When he was put to death,
you raised him in glory,
and now our lives are hidden in his,
ready to be revealed in glory
when all is fulfilled and Christ is all and in all!

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

God has heard you cry out
and has snatched you from danger.
Godís compassion for you is warm and tender.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now as those raised with Christ,
wondering at Godís great love
and telling the story of your salvation.
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed
and set your minds on the ways of heaven.

And may God reach out to you and nourish you;
May Christ Jesus renew you in the image of your creator;
And may the Holy Spirit lead you with cords of kindness and love.

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 13 - Year C - Sunday 4 August 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.


* Hosea 11: 1-11

I, the LORD, once loved a little tacker called Israel.
    I called, ďCome to me, my child. Leave the land of slavery.Ē

But I was wasting my breath.
    The more I called, the further they ran.
They kept offering themselves to other gods
    and giving their devotion to things they owned.

They did this even though I had raised them;
    even though I hugged them and guided their first steps.
They were blind to all Iíd done for them.
    They forgot how often I had nursed them back to health.

I had secured them with kindness, not ropes.
    I had led them in love, not chains.
I doted on them like a parent cuddling a baby.
    I got down to play with them and feed them.

They will end up in slavery again.
    They will be under the thumb of foreign powers.
I begged them to come back to me for safety,
    but they thumbed their nose at my offer.

Now their cities are torn apart by violence
    and those who think they have the answers
        are destroyed along with their plans.

My people are hell-bent on replacing me.
    They go flocking to the latest trendy messiah,
        but he is powerless to help them.

Israel, O Israel; I canít give up hope.
    I canít walk away and abandon you to your fate.
I canít bring myself to treat you as you deserve;
    to wipe you out like Sodom and Gomorrah.
My gut knots up just thinking about it.
    My heart melts and warm tears flow.

So I will not let my anger explode.
    I will not destroy you, Israel.
If I were just a human being, I would have snapped,
    but I am God, the one and only.
        I am among you, but not in fury.

My people will return to me, the LORD.
    I will roar like a lion, and when they hear me roar
        they will come trembling out of their hiding places.

They will come fearfully Ė unsure of what awaits them ó
    trembling like birds lifted from their cage.
But they will come en masse, like migratory birds
    returning from their lands of exile,
        and I will welcome them back into their own homes.

I, the LORD, have given my word.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 107: 1-9, 43

Thank you, LORD! Thank you for being so good.
........Your rock-solid love will never end.

LORD, we freely and openly acknowledge
........that it was you who got us out of trouble;
................you who put us back on the right track.
You gathered us from the four corners of the globe,
........from wherever we had been lost or exiled.

Some of us were lost in pitiless deserts,
........desperate to find shelter and company.
Without food or water,
........our courage dried up and our steps grew weak.

In sheer despair, we cried out to you, LORD,
........and in a flash, you came to our rescue.
You guided us back to the main road
........and got us safely to the nearest town.

So let us tell you how grateful we are, LORD.
........Thank you for your rock-solid love
................and for the great things you do for everyone;
........for you quench our thirst
................and feed us generously when we hunger.

Desiring wisdom, we take note of all you do, LORD,
........and focus our thoughts on your rock-solid love.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Colossians 3: 1-11

........If you are fair dinkum when you say you have been raised to new life with Christ, then commit yourself to the things that belong to such a life. Look to Christ ó Godís right hand man ó and take your cues from him. Concentrate on the things that matter to Christ, and donít let yourselves get hooked into the agendas that preoccupy the world around you. Your old life is behind you ó dead and buried ó and your new life is intimately bound up with Christ, and lived in God. The full reality of this new life is not visible to the general public yet, but it will be. Because your life is now bound to Christ, when Christ makes his triumphant return to the public stage, you will be there with him, in all your glory, for all to see.
........So, since your old life has been extinguished, make sure you stamp out any remnants of it that might spark up within you and set it off again. Donít char your sexuality with trivialised, loveless flings. Expel the fumes of moral contamination. Douse smouldering compulsions. Remove anything that might fuel greed, because after all, greed is just another form of idolatry. God is getting ready to deal with those who have been defiantly allowing these sorts of things to burn out of control. You were once implicated in all this, because those things were all part the kind of life you used to live. But now you must purge yourselves of all such things ó bitterness, vengefulness, spite, slander, and any tendency to mouth off in ways that insult and humiliate others. And donít lie to one another. Dishonesty may have been a natural part of the old persona you all once wore, but youíve stripped all that off, along with all its accessories, and decked yourselves out in a whole new persona. The new you is becoming more and more like your creator as your minds are reconstructed and your understanding grows. In this renewed life, we are no longer divided up into factions based on our backgrounds. It no longer makes any difference at all whether you were from this ethnic group or that, one religious tradition or another; whether you were educated or illiterate, refined or rough-nut, welfare dependent or money-to-burn. Every possible distinction among you is rendered irrelevant, because now Christ is in all of you and all of you are in Christ.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 12: 13-21

   Someone called out to Jesus from the crowd, saying, ďTeacher, tell my brother to give me my fair share of the family inheritance.Ē
    But Jesus replied, ďCome on, mate. What makes you think Iím in the business of family mediation?Ē
    And turning to the crowd, he said, ďKeep a close eye on your values! Greed has all sorts of ways of getting under your guard if you donít take care. Donít get sucked into thinking that life is all about how much stuff you own. Let me illustrate. A certain rich man had an absolutely bumper year. His business interests and investments all went through the roof, and at the end of the year he had so much money he didnít know what to do with it all. So he said to himself, ĎIím going to put it all away for myself and live off the interest. Iíll never need to work again. Iíll surround myself with the best of everything and just put my feet up, pat myself on the back, and eat and drink to my heartís content.í
    ďBut God said to him, ĎYou mindless twit! Your numberís up. Tonight youíll kick the bucket, and what will you be remembered for? Nothing but a stockpile of goodies heading for the tax office!í
    ďThat is the way it goes for all those who accumulate wealth for their own selfish pleasure and have nothing invested in anything that God values.Ē

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Ecclesiastes 1: 2, 12-14; 2: 18-23
(If anyone can suggest an Aussie phrase that better conveys the meaning of Ďvanity of vanitiesí, please email me and let me know. I realise that this one may offend some people, but I havenít thought of anything that captures it as thoroughly.)

    What a wank!
        I reckon itís all a big wank, the lot of it!

    When I was the king of Israel, living in Jerusalem, I was known as a teacher of wisdom. I put a lot of work into study and reflection, trying to get my head around the way things work out, here on earth. God has given people a hunger to understand such things, but what a frustrating quest it is! It is like chasing the wind. I have carefully observed all that goes on in the world, and so far as I can see, it is all a big wank.
    One thing I did get my head around is why people hate their work so much. The harder we work, the less we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labours. Instead, it is the next generation who really benefit from our efforts, and there is no guarantee that they wonít be a bunch of no-hopers who squander the lot. They could be a pack of complete drongos, but they are still going to inherit control of everything we created with all our careful planning and hard yakka. What a wank!
    The more I thought about it, the more depressed I got. All my hard work felt like a complete waste of effort. Some people apply themselves to their work with extraordinary vision, knowledge and expertise, but everything they create must be passed on to someone who hasnít lifted a finger to earn it. This is all a big wank, not to mention a crime! So what do people gain from their own efforts, from all the hard yakka they put in through the long hot days? Nothing but tired bones, headaches, and enough anxieties to keep them awake at night. It is all a horrible big wank!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 49: 1-12

Listen up, folks.
........All of you, everywhere, tune in to this.

Whether you be kings or commoners,
........battlers or silvertails,
........I have wisdom to share with you.
I have thought deeply and made sense of things;
........I have listened to the deep truths
................and will uncover mysteries in my song.

There is no need to be afraid in tough times,
........even when enemies are out to get us;
even though they are rich and arrogant,
........and confident in wielding power.

The fact is, money does not sure up your life;
........no one can stave off death by bribing God.

No one has the means to save themselves;
........to buy immunity from death.
It is not possible to live forever
........and avoid the grave.

Brilliant, high-achievers die,
........and bludging morons die,
and neither can take anything with them;
........whatever they had is left to others.

The cemetery will be their final resting place
........and it is a permanent address for both,
........whether their legacy is remembered or not.

Death cuts everyone down to size;
........in the grave, a man and his dog are equals.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net