Year A
First Sunday after the Nativity
Sunday 29 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,
because of all the good things you have done for us
in your abundant mercy and steadfast love.

All things exist for you and through you,
for you called them forth and fixed them in place.
You taught your people through the law and prophets
and became their saviour in all their distress.

In your love and concern for us,
you became present among us in your child, Jesus.
Though he was hunted at birth
and forced to flee as a refugee,
he was made perfect through his sufferings
so that he might be a merciful high priest,
faithfully reconciling your people to you.
When enemies overtook him,
in death he destroyed the power of death,
and you raised him to new life,
freeing all those whose lives were held in slavery
by the fear of death.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We thank you that in your love and concern for us,
you became present among us in your Son, Jesus.
Though he was hunted at birth
and forced to flee as a refugee,
he was made perfect through his sufferings
so that he might be a merciful high priest,
faithfully reconciling your people to you.

©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,
because of all the good things you have done for us
in your abundant mercy and steadfast love.

All things exist for you and through you,
for you called them forth and fixed them in place.
You taught your people through the law and prophets
and became their saviour in all their distress.

In your love and concern for us,
you became present among us in your child, Jesus.
Though he was hunted at birth
and forced to flee as a refugee,
he was made perfect through his sufferings
so that he might be a merciful high priest,
faithfully reconciling your people to you.
When enemies overtook him,
in death he destroyed the power of death,
and you raised him to new life,
freeing all those whose lives were held in slavery
by the fear of death.

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 his suffering, Christ has become our high priest,
offering sacrifices to God to atone for our sins.
It is his presence that saves us,
for in his love and mercy he redeems us
and lifts us up.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now and give praise for all the Lord has done.
Put your trust in Christ;
weep over the world’s grief and suffering,
and with Christ, offer yourselves to God
for the healing of the world.

And may God give you strength and glory;
May Christ Jesus be proud to call you his brothers and sisters;
And may the Holy Spirit lift you up and carry you onward.

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 First Sunday after the Nativity - Year A - Sunday 29 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 63: 7-9

I will set out the evidence of the LORD’s extravagant generosity;
    the things that the LORD has done, all deserving applause.
The LORD has done so much for us,
    smiled upon us and been good to us.
Overflowing with love and loyalty,
    our God has treated us far better than we deserve.

Every time we were in trouble,
    the LORD felt our pain and rescued us.
The LORD said of us:
    “These are my people for sure, my own children,
        who would never do me wrong.”

The task of helping us out was not given to someone else;
    the LORD was with us in person to rescue us.
Motivated solely by love and compassion,
    God put our lives back together.
Gathering us up in loving arms,
    our God carried us down through the years.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 148

We sing your praises, LORD!
From every corner of the universe,
........from high and low, near and far,
................we join the chorus of praise!

With the angels and all who serve you in heaven,
........we sing your praises!
With the sun and moon, stars and planets,
........we sing your praises!
With far flung galaxies and the milky way,
........we sing your praises!

All of them speak of you in glowing terms, LORD,
........for they owe their very existence to you.
You ordered their creation
........and fixed them in place for all time.

We sing your praises, LORD!
Every creature on earth joins the choir,
........singing your praises for all they’re worth:
................dolphins and whales
........................and the ocean itself;
................bushfire and hail storm,
........................snow and ice,
................................cyclones dancing to your tune;
................mountain ranges and rolling hills,
........................orchards and rainforests,
................animals from both bush and farm,
........................reptiles and birds;
................people of every race and class,
........................people of power and influence;
................men and women, old and young,
........................every voice on earth joins as one!

One and all, we sing your praises, LORD,
........yours is the only name on our lips!
........You alone outshine the glory of the universe!

You have given strength to your people,
........and honour to your faithful ones,
to those you have chosen
........and hold close to your heart.

You, LORD, are the greatest!

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Hebrews 2: 10-18

........Everything exists for God and because of God, and God set out to gather everyone into one family on the road to glory. It was only right that the one who God chose as the trail blazer to lead people out of danger should first earn a perfect 10 in the same arena of suffering as them. You see, the one who sets the pattern for holy living and the ones who are patterned by it are all children of the one God, born through the same labour pains. That explains why Jesus has no hesitation in calling them his sisters and brothers. He says to God:

“I will tell these, my sisters and brothers, all I know of you.
Whenever they gather, I’ll be there, trumpeting your virtues.”
Again he puts himself in the same boat as us when he says:
“I too live by putting my trust in God.”
And yet again:
“I take my stand here with the children God has given me.”
........So it makes sense that for Jesus to share so fully in the life experience of the children, he had to be of the same flesh and blood as them. It was only in the same flesh and blood that he could go through the same death; and it was in going through death that he destroyed the devil who wields death as his ultimate weapon. That is how he broke open an escape route for those whose fear of death robbed them of their freedom to live. Now it is quite clear that he wasn’t doing this for the benefit of the angels. Rather it was for us human beings, who follow in the footsteps of Abraham, and so he had to become one of us in every respect. Only by being totally identified with us could he have the necessary compassion and loyalty to be the high priest who offers the costly gift to God to cancel out all we have done wrong. Because he himself has survived the worst that life can dish out without giving up, he is now ideally placed to help out those whose limits are being being put to the test.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 2: 13-23

    The visit of the mystics from the east had tipped off King Herod about the birth of a potential rival. Before it was too late, a messenger from the Lord made contact with Joseph in a dream and said, “Get out of bed, pack up the family, and get out of town, because Herod is about to send out a death squad to hunt down the child. Seek asylum in Egypt and stay there until I say otherwise.”
    So Joseph hurriedly prepared the child and his mother for the journey. They made their getaway under the cover of night and hit the road for Egypt. They lived there until the death of Herod. It was just as the prophet Hosea had written:

    “I, the Lord, have called my son out of Egypt.”

    When Herod realised that the visiting mystics had pulled a swifty on him, he went right off his head. Based on what they had said, he calculated that the child could not yet be two years old, so he sent out his death squads with orders to kill every child under the age of two in the district of Bethlehem. It was just as the prophet Jeremiah had said:

    “Hear the noise in the land of Ramah;
        grief-stricken cries and screams;
    Rachel weeping inconsolably,
        wailing for her children,
            for they have been wiped out.”

    Some time later, when Herod died, a messenger of the Lord once again appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “The coast is clear. Those who were out to get the child are dead. You can pack up and take him and his mother home to Israel.”
    So Joseph did just that. He packed up the family and set out for Israel. However, he was unnerved when the news reached him that Archelaus was now king of Judea, taking over where his father Herod had left off. His fears were confirmed in a dream, so they pushed on further north to the region of Galilee, where they made their home in a town called Nazareth. This too was consistent with the words of the prophets:

    “They will call him the man from Nazareth.”

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net