Year ABC
The Second Sunday of Christmas
Sunday 3 January 2021



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 have freely bestowed your glorious grace on us.

In the beginning you brought all thing into being
through the Word who was with you,
and destined us for adoption as your children,
making known the mysteries of your will,
through the law and prophets.

In Jesus, your Word became flesh among us,
that the fullness of your grace and truth
might enlighten the world.
Though he came to what was his own,
his own people did not accept him,
but crucified him.
You redeemed him from the strong hands of death,
and turned our grieving into joy.
So now, as those you have marked with your Holy Spirit,
we live for the praise of your glory,
our lives like a well nourished garden
and our hearts radiant over your good gifts of bread and wine.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





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

We give thanks for your glorious grace, O God,
for through your beloved Son,
you have given us power to become your children,
and marked us with the seal of your Holy Spirit,
so that we might live for the praise of your glory.

©2000 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 have freely bestowed your glorious grace on us.

In the beginning you brought all thing into being
through the Word who was with you,
and destined us for adoption as your children,
making known the mysteries of your will,
through the law and prophets.

In Jesus, your Word became flesh among us,
that the fullness of your grace and truth
might enlighten the world.
Though he came to what was his own,
his own people did not accept him,
but crucified him.
You redeemed him from the strong hands of death,
and turned our grieving into joy.
So now, as those you have marked with your Holy Spirit,
we live for the praise of your glory,
our lives like a well nourished garden
and our hearts radiant over your good gifts.

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.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

From the fullness of Christ
we have received redemption through his blood.
Our sins are forgiven
according to the riches of his grace lavished upon us.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, and bear witness to the light so others might believe.
Since you are chosen in Christ,
........live before him in love, holy and blameless.
Live with hope in Christ, for the praise of his glory.

And may God fill the earth with peace;
May Christ give you grace upon grace from his fullness;
And may the Holy Spirit, the pledge of your inheritance,
   lead you on straight paths where you will not stumble.

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

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net







Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 2nd Sunday of Christmas - Sunday 3 January 2021
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.




* Jeremiah 31: 7-14

This is what the LORD has to say:

Sing and celebrate with God’s people.
    Raise the shout for the number one nation.
Broadcast the news and give due credit,
    for I, the LORD, have come to save my people,
        the few who have remained faithful.

See, I am going to bring them home from across the border.
    I will gather them from the ends of the earth.
I won’t only bring the strong and agile ones,
    but the blind and the crippled,
    the one’s who are heavily pregnant
    and those with small children clinging to their ankles.
I will bring them all back here,
    the whole mob of them.

There will be floods of tears as they return,
    but I will reassure them and lead them home.
I will make sure there are refreshments available along the route,
    and that the road is clear and easy to follow,
for I have made these people my own children,
    and I love them as my one and only.

Listen to what I, the LORD, have to say, you nations of the world,
    and pass it on across the land and over the seas.
Let everyone know that the one who scattered Israel
    is gathering them back together
        like a farmer bringing his flocks in to safety.

You see; I, the LORD, have bailed out my people.
    I freed them when the odds were stacked against them.

They will come and gather here at the city heights
    to sing out loud.
When they see what I have prepared for them,
    they won’t be able to wipe the smiles off their faces.
What a feast I will spread before them:
    breads and wines and every delicacy,
        the finest meats, cooked to perfection.
And it will go on forever!
    Like a well watered garden,
        their lives will go on and on flourishing.

They will break out into joyous dancing,
    men and women, young and old, celebrating together.
I will replace their grief with a thousand reasons to smile.
    I will comfort them, and turn their tears to laughter.

All of them, priests and people, will eat their fill
    and be more than satisfied with what I provide.
        I, the LORD, have given my word on this.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



OR Sirach 24: 1-12

Wisdom outlines her own credentials,
    and tells her people of her glorious deeds.

In front of those assembled by the Most High God, she speaks freely,
    telling God’s gathered crowd of her accomplishments.

“I was breathed into existence by God Most High,
    and I covered the earth like a rolling mist.

I lived at large in the skies,
    and my throne was in the pillar of cloud.

I covered the entire universe in my travels,
    from the outer reaches of space to the bowels of the earth.

I held sway over everything on the planet,
    from the waves of the sea to the peoples and nations.

Everywhere, I searched for a place where I would be at home.
    Whose land should should I settle down in?

“Then the One who created everything gave me an order.
    My Creator told me where to roll out my swag.
God said, ‘Go and settle in the land of Israel.
    There you will receive what I have prepared for you.’

God created me at the beginning, before time began,
    and I will go on forever, from age to age.

I served the Creator in the sacred tent of worship,
    and took my place in the Temple on Mount Zion.

God gave me a place to settle in the beloved city.
    Yes, Jerusalem became my home town.

I put down roots among an honoured people,
    among the chosen ones who belong to the Lord.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* Psalm 147: 12-20

Your chosen city gives you all the glory, LORD;
........the people sing your praises from your sacred mountain!

You a like a wall of safety around the city,
........and you see that our children grow up healthy and happy.

You give us peace in our own land,
........and good crops to keep us well fed.

You give orders to the earth itself,
........and your word is quickly acted upon.

When you say “Blazing Sun”, the shadows shrink to nothing;
........when you say “Dry”, the trees wither to brown.

When you say “Heat”, everything begins to melt;
........when you say “Fire”, it all goes up in smoke.

When you give the word, everything greens up again;
........your breath comes like a cool change;
................the rains return and the creeks flow once more.

You broadcast your message to your people,
........and spell out the standards of justice you want us to live by.

It is a privilege to know your ways,
........for not everyone has been given such inside information.
................LORD, we sing your praises!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



OR Wisdom of Solomon 10: 15-21

Lord, your Holy Spirit of Wisdom
    rescued your dedicated and innocent people
        from the nation who had oppressed them.

She got inside the heart and mind of your servant, Moses,
    and enabled him to stand up to a dangerous king
        with an awesome display of your power.

She rewarded the labour of your dedicated people.
    She guided them along the best route through the wilderness.
She sheltered them from the heat of the sun,
    and lit up the night sky above them.

She got them across the Red Sea,
    leading them safely through the deep waters.

But she drowned their enemies,
    and the sea spewed up their bodies on the shore.

And so, the people who were in the right
    carried off the belongings of those in the wrong.
They sang songs in your honour, Lord,
    singing your praises as one,
        naming you as their defender.

Indeed, Wisdom gave voice to the mute
    and the gift of speech to newborn infants,
        so that all could join in singing your praises.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Ephesians 1: 3-14

........Blessed be God! All praise and honour be to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has gathered up all the spiritual blessings of heaven and given them to us in our union with Christ. This followed on from decisions that God had made even before laying the foundations of the world. Way back then, God was anticipating our arrival and laying down plans for us. God was getting ready to immerse us in divine love so that we would emerge ready, willing and able to dedicate our lives totally to God.
........God set the wheels in motion for us to be adopted as his own children. This was to be done through Jesus Christ, because God takes great delight in doing such things through him. God wanted his beloved Son to get all the credit for the boundless love that was being lavished on us. Christ paid the ultimate price, shedding his own blood in his endeavour to reclaim us for God’s family. Given how often we’d turned our backs on God, he could easily have given up on us, but he was so extravagant in his love and reckless in his generosity that he just forgave us for everything and put his life on the line to save us.
........God, who can see and understand perfectly what we could never comprehend, has let us in on the mystery of the divine plan. God took great delight in opening this up and giving us a preview in Christ. This is how it will unfold when the time is right: God will unify all things into one perfect communion in Christ, reconciling everything, from the depths of the earth to the farthest reaches of heaven.
........In Christ we are identified as God’s beneficiaries and our future is secured. God’s plans always find a way, and right from the word go we have been a part of those plans. This was to ensure that we, being the first people to throw in our lot with Christ, would be able to live lives that clearly reflected the wonderful goodness of God. It didn’t stop with us though — you’re in on this too! The message of God’s rescue mission reached you, and once you realized it was fair dinkum and put your trust in Christ, you became part of him, just like us. At that moment your future was signed and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now you know it will be delivered! Everything planned for God’s people will be yours — a life overflowing with the glory and splendour of God.


©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* John 1: (1-9), 10-18

At the very start, there was one who is called the Word.
........The Word was with God,
................and the Word was God.
........From day one, God and the Word were inseparable.

It was through the Word that everything was created.
........There is absolutely nothing that doesn’t owe its existence to him.

In the Word was life.
........He is the source of the life
................that turns on the lights for everyone.
........The light of his life breaks open the darkness,
................and the darkness could not snuff it out.

Once there was a man on a mission from God;
........his name was John.
John gave a first-hand report about the light,
........spelling it out so that everyone could believe.
He wasn’t the light, himself,
........but he made it his job to draw everyone’s attention to the light.

The real light was on his way into the world;
........the light that lights up inside of everyone.

He was in the world
........but the world didn’t even notice him
................even though it owed its existence to him.

He turned up on his own planet, among those he created,
........but his own people turned their backs on him.

Some people accepted him, though,
........and put their trust in who he said he was
................and what he said he was on about.
He gave to those people all they needed
........to become children of God.
Becoming God’s children had nothing to do
........with sperm and egg,
................or three-stage labour;
........they became God’s children
................when they were born of God.

The Word, though, was born flesh and blood like everyone else.
........He cast in his lot with us
................and rolled out his swag in our midst.
We have seen him in all his glory,
........like father, like son;
warm and generous to a fault,
........solid and true to the core.

John was blowing his trumpet the minute he turned up:
........“This is the one I was telling you about,” he said.
“Second to me only by the clock:
........he’s way out of my league — always was, always will be.”

We are the beneficiaries of his open-handed love;
........from the depths of his being
................the gifts tumble forth in wild profusion.

Moses gave us some basic operating instructions,
........but it was through Jesus Christ that life broke through
................in all its richness, passion and integrity.

No one has ever found out what God looks like,
........but that’s no obstacle to getting to know God.
The one who is closest to God’s heart,
........the one and only Son,
................has put God within reach of us all.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net