Year C
Proper 14
Sunday 11 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 it is your good pleasure to open the Kingdom to us.

The worlds were created by your word
and the heavens testify that you are just.
Through your law and prophets
you called your people from their hypocrisy,
refusing to accept our offerings or hear our prayers
until we showed a willingness to obey you.

Through Jesus Christ, your child and our saviour,
you called us to travel lightly
as strangers and foreigners on the earth,
putting our hopes in you alone
and always ready to welcome your future.
When he was killed by those
whose hands were full of blood,
you raised him to new life
so that he might prepare a new world
for those who put their faith in your promises,
giving away their riches on earth
and treasuring heaven in their hearts.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We thank you are preparing a heavenly city
for those who put their faith in your promises,
giving away their riches on earth
and treasuring heaven in their hearts.

©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 it is your good pleasure to open the Kingdom to us.

The worlds were created by your word
and the heavens testify that you are just.
Through your law and prophets
you called your people from their hypocrisy,
refusing to accept our offerings or hear our prayers
until we showed a willingness to obey you.

Through Jesus Christ, your child and our saviour,
you called us to travel lightly
as strangers and foreigners on the earth,
putting our hopes in you alone
and always ready to welcome your future.
When he was killed by those
whose hands were full of blood,
you raised him to new life
so that he might prepare a new world
for those who put their faith in your promises,
giving away their riches on earth
and treasuring heaven in their hearts.

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 is not ashamed to be called your God.
Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be like snow;
though they are like crimson, they shall be like wool.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now like those prepared for the Lord to return.
Cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, rescue the oppressed.
Give freely to those in need
and let your treasure be in the things of heaven

And may God not be ashamed to be called your God;
May Christ Jesus find you attentive and well prepared;
And may the Holy Spirit give you the assurance
   of all that has been promised to you.

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 14 - Year C - Sunday 11 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.


* Isaiah 1: 1, 10-20

    During the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah as kings of Judah, the LORD spoke through Isaiah, the son of Amoz. This is a message Isaiah was given about Judah and Jerusalem.

Listen to what I say, for I am the LORD.
    You rulers are no better than the rulers of Sodom!
You people are no better than the people of Gomorrah!
    So take note of what I have to say.

What do I care for all your sacrifices?
    I have had a gutful of them.
If I see one more burnt offering
    – be it a ram or a grain-fed calf –
        I think I’m going to puke.
I can’t stand all this blood you keep offering
    from slaughtered bulls, lambs and goats.

What on earth makes you think
    that this is the way to please me?
Get out of my temple and stay out.
    Your gifts are wasted.
        Your incense is nothing but a smokescreen.
I can’t stand all your sacred days and special gatherings;
    your pomp and ceremony doesn’t hide your evil ways.

You can fill your calendar with special events
    to celebrate this, that and the other thing,
        but I despise them deep in my guts.
They have drained my patience;
    I can’t put up with even one more.

You can raise your hands to me in prayer,
    but I’ll look away;
You can pray till you’re blue in the face
    but I’ll block my ears.
All I see on your hands is blood;
    all I hear in your prayers is excuses.

Clean up your act;
    scrub yourselves clean, inside and out;
        don’t let me see any more corruption from you.
Quit your evil,
    learn to do the right thing;
make justice your goal,
    prevent the use and abuse of people;
stand up for the vulnerable,
    take sides with the forgotten.

Come on, let’s sort this out.
    I am the LORD. Listen to me.
Your sins are as red as scarlet,
    but they will be white as snow;
they are crimson like blood,
    but they will be like fresh-cut wool.

If you are willing to cooperate with my ways
    you’ll feast like kings;
but if you dig your heels in and defy me
    you’ll be slaughtered like cattle.
I am the LORD. You have been warned.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 50: 1-8, 22-23

You, LORD, are the mighty God.
........Wherever the sun shines, from horizon to horizon,
................you call the earth to attention.

From the spectacular beauty of your holy mountain,
........you approach us in a blaze of glory.

You come with the full fanfare;
........flashes of fire in front of you;
................thunder storming all around you.

You call the earth and sky to sit as a jury,
........and set out the charges against your people.

You call the accused:
........those who swore their faithfulness to you,
................and signed themselves to a binding alliance.

The whole universe honours you as the judge,
........and affirms the honesty of your court.

We belong to you and you call us to listen.
........You set out the case against us, your chosen people.
................You are God; our God.

It is not our sacrifices you condemn;
........the gifts we are constantly offering.

But you set us straight in no uncertain terms;
........we have ignored you,
................offering gifts instead of ourselves.
You warn us that when you pass sentence,
........there is nowhere to make further appeal.

You are honoured when we express our gratitude,
........not when we fob you off with gifts.
It is those who get back on the right track
........who you lead into the land of freedom.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-16

........Faith is the capacity to put all your eggs in the one basket, when even the existence of the basket must be taken on trust and hope. It was the ability to take decisive action based on faith alone that made our forebears such memorable heroes. Even our belief that the universe came into existence on God’s say-so is based solely on faith. The existence of material things might be provable, but the belief that their origins lie in something that is not accessible to scientific observation can only be grounded in faith.
........It was the exercise of faith that enabled Abraham to cooperate when God called him to uproot himself and emigrate. He was to be given a new and permanent home, but when he set out, he had no idea where he was headed. It was faith that kept him going, even when, on arrival in the land that had been promised to him, he had to camp like a refugee and see his son Isaac and grandson Jacob doing the same. What he inherited and passed on to them was a promise that was yet to be made good. He was sustained by a vision of the city that would be founded, designed and built by God.
........It was the exercise of faith that enabled Sarah and Abraham to go ahead and have a child, even though they had grown old without ever before being able to have one. They believed that God could be trusted to keep promises. As a result, this one shrivelled old couple became the parents of a line of descendants that is now as uncountable as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the beach.
........All those we remember as the early heroes of faith went to their graves without having seen the promises fulfilled, but still trusting in God. They were glad to have just caught a glimpse of what was coming, and that vision was enough to sustain them. They freely admitted that they were on the earth as outsiders and guests. This attitude made it clear that they were still expecting to eventually find their true home. If they had regarded themselves as truly belonging to the places they had come from, there was nothing to stop them from going back. It is clear that the reason they didn’t was that their hearts were set on a better country — a piece of heaven itself. It is no wonder that God is proud to be known as their God. And their faith will be vindicated, for God has made ready a city for them.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 12: 32-40

   Jesus said to his followers, “You lot may seem small and helpless, but don’t be afraid. God conceived you in love and is only too happy to give you the kingdom. Simplify your lives. Off-load your possessions and share generously with people in need. Commit yourselves to a new investment strategy, putting all your eggs in God’s basket. Such investments are not subject to the vagaries of the market. If the treasures that your heart is set on are all in God, they are totally fire-proof. Nothing can ever devalue them. The fact is that wherever you make your greatest investment, your passion and energy will inevitably follow.
    “Keep your boots on! Keep the lights on! Be ready for action at any moment. Be like diligent workers who are not sure when their boss will be back from his honeymoon, but are determined to be hard at work whenever he shows up. They will be glad they didn’t slack off but kept themselves industrious, because you can bet that when he comes he will throw a party for them – all on the house – and give them a generous end-of-year bonus. It won’t make any difference whether he arrives early or late in the shift. If he finds them on the job, they will have every reason to be thankful.
    “Think about it. No one would ever let their houses get burgled if the house-breakers worked set hours and made appointments. You have got to be on the ready all the time, because you have no way of knowing when the New Human is going to show up.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Genesis 15: 1-6

    The LORD spoke to Abram in a vision, saying, “Abram, don’t you worry about a thing. I am your armour-plated protection and you will be greatly rewarded for your loyalty to me.”
    But Abram said, “Thank you, Lord GOD, but the only thing I really want is the one thing you’ve never given me: children. I have longed for children of my own but you have not given me any. When I die, there will be no one to carry on my family name, and since the only person born in my house is Eliezer, my Turkish servant; he will inherit everything I own.
    But the LORD spoke to Abram again, saying, “Eliezer will not be your heir. You will be able to pass on your property to a child of your own.”
    The LORD took Abram outside and said, “Look at the night sky, Abram. See if you can count how many stars there are. You can’t, can you? Well, your descendants will be as uncountable as the stars in the night sky.”
    Abram took the LORD’s word on trust, and for that the LORD regarded him as a good man.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 33: 12-22

What more could a country want than to have you as their God?
........To be your cherished people, LORD, is the best thing in life.

You keep your eye on the whole earth;
........you see each and every one of us.

Though you are seated in power, LORD,
........you concern yourself with all who live on earth.
You shaped us, inside and out,
........and you watch everything we do with interest.

No army can guarantee our safety;
........the toughest fighter is not invincible.

Pinning our hopes on military might is futile;
........brute force cannot make life worth living.

It is you, LORD, who watches over all who respect you;
........you, whose love and loyalty give us confidence.
You are our only hope when death closes in;
........our only security when times are tough.

We put our trust in you, LORD;
........you alone can help and protect us.

Because of you, our hearts are bursting with joy;
........your name stands out and fills us with confidence.

Surround us with your love, LORD.
........We’ve pinned all our hopes on you
................and on your rock-solid love.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net