Year A
4th Sunday of Pascha (Easter)
3 May 2020


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 spread a banquet of abundant life before us
and invite us to eat and drink in celebration.

In the first of your wonders and signs you created the earth,
tending it with goodness and love.
You created a people for yourself
and gave them your law
that they might know your voice and follow in your ways.

When we wandered away like lost sheep,
stumbling through death’s dark valley,
you sent us your child, Jesus Christ,
who endured unjust abuse and suffering
and returned only mercy and life.
Calling us to attend to his voice and return to you,
he bore our sins in his body on the cross,
and when you raised him he freed us to follow him,
— our shepherd and the guardian of our souls —
along sure paths to life in abundance.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We thank you that in Christ,
you have spread a banquet of abundant life before us
and invited us to eat and drink with him
— our shepherd and the guardian of our souls.

©2002 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 found us, lost and astray
and guided us along sure paths to life in abundance.

In the first of your wonders and signs you created the earth,
spreading it out like a banquet before us.
You created a people for yourself
and gave them your law
that they might know your voice and follow in your ways.

When we wandered away like lost sheep,
stumbling through death’s dark valley,
you sent us your child, Jesus Christ,
who endured abuse and suffering unjustly
and returned only mercy and life.
Calling us to attend to his voice and return to you,
he bore our sins in his body on the cross,
and when you raised him he freed us to follow him,
our shepherd and the guardian of our souls.

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

Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the cross.
so that free from sin and the fear of sin,
we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds we have been healed.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, listening for the voice of Christ,
and follow the example he left us.
Devote yourself to the apostles’ teaching,
to fellowship,
to the breaking of bread
and to the prayers of God’s people.

And may God lead you to places of rest and renewal;
May Christ Jesus give you life in abundance;
And may the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with gladness and generosity.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net







Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
4th Sunday of Pascha (Easter) - Year A - 3 May 2020
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.


* Acts 2: 42-47

........The newly baptised believers threw themselves wholeheartedly into studying the teachings of the apostles, and into sharing their lives with one another, breaking bread together, and gathering for prayer.
........Everyone was mind-boggled by what was going on, and especially by the miraculous things the apostles were doing — things that clearly bore the signs of God’s involvement.
........All those who had put their trust in Christ lived a common life and shared everything with one another. They sold off their personal assets and possessions, and pooled their resources so that there was plenty to provide for everybody’s needs. Their daily pattern of life revolved around praising God, both at gatherings for worship in the Temple and while breaking bread in their homes at meals which were eaten in a generous and festive spirit. Everyone thought they were alright, and every day their numbers grew as the Lord added more and more people whose lives were being put on track.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 23

You, LORD, are my guide in the wilderness;
........there is nothing more I could need.

You set up camp in places of beauty and shelter;
........you lead the way on secluded tracks
................beside creeks of cool clean water.
I feel my spirit breathing freely again;
........your reputation puts me at ease;
................I leave the navigating to you, and follow.

Even if we hike through a perilous valley,
........where crows keep a menacing watch,
................fear will still not get the better of me.
As long as I stick with you
........I know I’ll make the distance;
with a knife and a bit of rope
........you seem able to tackle any challenge.

You cook up a feast for me,
........as those who wanted to feed on me watch, frustrated.
You pamper me like an honoured guest
........and constantly top up my glass.

My life feels charmed, each and every day.
........Love, mercy and all good things
................keep falling into my lap.

I’m with you for life, LORD,
........where you go, I’ll go;
................where you live, I’ll live.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* 1 Peter 2: 19-25

It is greatly to your credit if you can cop it sweet and keep looking to God when you are being treated cruelly and unfairly by others. Of course, there is no great credit in copping it sweet if you deserve the punishment, is there? But if you are being made to suffer for doing the right thing, then God will applaud you for taking it on the chin and holding your line. After all, it comes with the territory in the life to which you have been called. Christ set the example on this when he suffered for your benefit, and we should all be following in his footsteps.

“He never did anything wrong,
........and not a word of a lie ever passed his lips.”

When he was abused,
........he never retaliated;
when they inflicted pain on him,
........he made no threats of revenge.
He trusted God to get him through,
........and to judge the right and wrong of it all.

He copped the consequences of our corruption
........in his own body on the cross,
so that we could walk free with a clean slate
........and dedicate our lives to doing what is right.

When he was wounded,
........we were healed.

Before that we were as far off track
........as a penguin in the desert,
but now we are back where we belong,
........in the care of the one who protects and guides us.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* John 10: 1-10

Jesus said:

“What I am telling you is the dead-set truth: anyone who gets into the dairy yard by climbing over the back fence instead of walking in through the front gate is obviously up to no good. Call the cops! The farmer who looks after the herd uses the gate. The security guard will always open the gate and let him through, and the cows will recognise his voice as he approaches. His own cows will come to him when he calls their names. He can lead them out just by calling them and walking ahead, and they will follow him, because his voice is familiar to them. They will not follow a stranger. They will back off and not let him near, because they do not recognise the unfamiliar voice.”

Jesus used this image to illustrate his point, but the people listening still could not make head nor tail of it. So Jesus tried another angle:

“I kid you not when I say, I am the gate for the herd. Those who were here before are a pack of crooks, but the herd didn’t trust them for a minute. I am the gate, and all will be well for whoever enters through this gate. They will be able to come and go as required to graze the wide open paddocks. The crook only comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that everyone can have life — life that exceeds all their expectations.”


©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net