Year A
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sunday 22 December 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 rest your hand upon us,
calling us to be your holy saints and giving us life again.

Before time began, your Holy Spirit brooded over the chaos
and brought the earth and its inhabitants to birth.
Through your prophets speaking in the holy scriptures
you promised us a child
born as a sign of your saving presence with us.

Your promise has taken flesh in your child, Jesus the Christ,
who was born of the line of David.
When he was killed by your enemies,
your Spirit brought him forth again
by resurrection from the dead.
Through him the light of your presence has been restored
and we have been called into the obedience of faith
that we might belong to Jesus Christ forever,
living by the hope conceived in us by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give you thanks that through Christ
the light of your presence has been restored
and we have been called into the obedience of faith
that we might live by the hope conceived in us by the Holy Spirit.

©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 rest your hand upon us,
calling us to be your holy saints and giving us life again.

Before time began, your Holy Spirit brooded over the chaos
and brought the earth and its inhabitants to birth.
Through your prophets speaking in the holy scriptures
you promised us a child
born as a sign of your saving presence with us.

Your promise has taken flesh in your child, Jesus the Christ,
who was born of the line of David.
When he was killed by your enemies,
your Spirit brought him forth again
by resurrection from the dead.
Through him the light of your presence has been restored
and we have been called into the obedience of faith
that we might belong to Jesus Christ forever,
living by the hope conceived in us by the Holy Spirit.

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

Through Jesus Christ we have received grace:
the light of Godís presence is restored to us
and we are saved.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now and live by the hope conceived within you.
Refuse evil and choose good.
Call on the name of the Lord.
Walk with God in faithful obedience,
and do not fear public disgrace.

And may God be with you;
May Christ Jesus save you from your sins;
And may the Holy Spirit restore to you the light of Godís presence.

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 the 4th Sunday of Advent - Year A - Sunday 22 December 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 7: 10-16

The LORD sent word to King Ahaz of Judah, saying:

I, the LORD your God, will give you a sign so that you can be sure that it is really me who is sending you this promise of safety. What sign do you want? Something dramatic, deep the earth or high in the sky? You name it, and Iíll do it.
But Ahaz refused, saying, ďI will ask no such thing. Far be it from me to demand guarantees from the LORD.Ē So Isaiah the prophet spoke on behalf of the LORD, saying:
Then get this into your head, you who rule from Davidís throne. Havenít you made enough people sick and tired of your weak-as-water religious posturing? Do you have to try it on with God as well?! Well, the Lord is going to go ahead and give you a sign anyway. Check this out: there is a girl who is pregnant. She will give birth to a baby boy and he will be given the name Emmanuel, which means ĎGod is with us.í Before he is old enough to choose between right and wrong, he will be eating foods that you canít even get hold of in the present crisis. Yes, even before he is old enough to take responsibility for his own behaviour, the threat of war will have passed. The two countries whose armies are terrorising you will have disappeared without a trace.
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19

God, you are the one who watches over your people
........like a lifeguard supervising a dangerous beach,
................watching from a high seat, like a king enthroned.
Listen to our prayer and clearly flag the boundaries,
........so that your tribes will no longer get out of their depth.

Up and at it, God!
........Come equipped to rescue us.
Come and smile on us again, God;
........save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

LORD God, you rule over everything;
........how much longer will you keep us in the sin bin,
................turning away in anger when we pray?

You reduced our rations to tears alone;
........tears by the plate full, tears by the cup full.
You made us the laughing stock of our enemies
........and even our neighbours turn up their noses.

Come and smile on us again, God;
........save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

Take our side again, your wayward favourite child,
........the one you raised by hand to be your own.
We will never go off the rails again;
........save us now and your name will be on our lips forever.

LORD God, you rule over everything;
........Come and smile on us again;
................save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Romans 1: 1-7

........This letter comes to you from me, Paul, a labourer in the service of Jesus Christ. I was called to be one of his special ambassadors and assigned to the task of broadcasting the wonderful message of Godís love in Christ. This message did not come out of the blue; you only have to read the writings of the prophets in the sacred scriptures to know that God had been promising it for some time. The message centres on Godís Son who was born into a family of King Davidís descendants ó a weak human like us ó and who was declared to be the Son of God by being raised from the dead to new life ó a powerful Spirit like the Holy One. I speak of course, of Jesus, the Messiah and our Lord. It is through him that we have come to be on the receiving end of Godís extravagant generosity. It is also through him that we have been made ambassadors with the special assignment of bringing the outsiders into a new relationship with God based on trust and obedience. Jesus the Christ gets all the credit for this, and you, of course, were among those who have responded to the call to hand yourselves over to him in this way.
........So this letter comes to you ó Godís much loved people in the city of Rome ó who have been called to dedicate yourselves wholly and solely to God.
........I greet you as Godís own children and wish you all the best ó Godís love and peace given through the Lord Jesus the Messiah.

©2004 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 1: 18-25

    This is the story surrounding the birth of Jesus the Messiah. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph who was a descendant of King David. But before they had lived together, Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant. It was the Holy Spirit who had made her pregnant, but Joseph didnít know that. Being a man who always did the right thing by everybody, Joseph didnít want to see Mary publicly disgraced, so he made plans to break off the engagement on the quiet. But just when he had sorted this out in his head, a messenger from the Lord spoke to him in a dream saying:
ďJoseph, hold your nerve and go ahead and get married to Mary, because the child in her womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a baby boy and you are to treat him as your own. Give him the name Jesus, because he will live up to its meaning by saving his people from their toxic ways.Ē

As these events took place, they shed new light on the words that the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

    ďCheck this out:
    a virgin will fall pregnant and give birth to a son,
        and people will speak of him as Emmanuel.Ē

ĎEmmanuelí is a Hebrew name meaning ĎGod is with us.í When Joseph woke up after his dream, he followed the instructions from the Lordís messenger to the letter. He went ahead and married Mary, but they remained celibate until after the baby was born. As instructed, Joseph named the boy Jesus.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net