Year A
Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 2)
23 February 2020
unless this Sunday is observed as Transfiguration



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 your love and wisdom are perfect,
but the wisdom of this world is foolishness to you.

You laid the foundations of the earth
and built a people to be your holy temple.
Through the law you taught us to walk in your ways,
to love one another and provide for all equally,
just as you graciously make the sun to shine
and rain to fall on good and bad a like.

When we became caught in the futility
of selfishness and vengefulness,
you sent your child, Jesus,
as the new foundation
on which to rebuild a holy temple
of perfect love that goes beyond the demands of the law.
When he was put to death,
you raised hm to new life
and placed all things in his hands
to share with all who belong to him.

Therefore with .....

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give thanks for your child, Jesus,
who came as the new foundation
on which you are rebuilding a holy temple
of perfect love that goes far beyond
the wisdom of this world which is foolishness to you.

©2011 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 your love and wisdom are perfect,
but the wisdom of this world is foolishness to you.

You laid the foundations of the earth
and built a people to be your holy temple.
Through the law you taught us to walk in your ways,
to love one another and provide for all equally,
just as you graciously make the sun to shine
and rain to fall on good and bad a like.

When we became caught in the futility
of selfishness and vengefulness,
you sent your child, Jesus,
as the new foundation
on which to rebuild a holy temple
of perfect love that goes beyond the demands of the law.
When he was put to death,
you raised hm to new life
and placed all things in his hands
to share with all who belong to him.

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.

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

The God who makes the sun shine and the rain fall
on the righteous and the unrighteous alike,
does not withold mercy from any who ask.
Complete forgiveness is yours
for you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, knowing that your are GodŐs holy temple
and that GodŐs Spirit dwells in you.
Therefore, love your enemies,
pray for those who persecute you
give generously to all who need your help,
and be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,

And may God give you all things in Christ;
May Christ Jesus be the foundation of all you are and do;
And may the Spirit fill you with delight in all GodŐs ways.

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

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 7th Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper2) - Year A - 23 February 2020
unless this Sunday is observed as Transfiguration

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.



* Leviticus 19: 1-2, 9-18

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

Gather the whole congregation of my people and tell them this: You are to be utterly dedicated to doing what is right, because I aLORDm the  your God, and I am utterly dedicated to doing what is right.
    When you harvest the crops on your land, you are not to be too thorough. Whether it is your grain fields, your vineyards, or your orchards, just go over them once and donŐt go back for anything you dropped or missed. You are to leave it so that the poor and the refugees can come and gather what they need. Why? Because I am the LORD your God.
    You are not to steal; you are not to swindle anybody; and you are not to deceive one another. And you are not to drag my name through the mud by quoting it to convince someone that you are being honest when you are not. Why? Because I am the LORD.
    You are not to commit fraud or theft to get your hands on what rightly belongs to someone else. You are not to hold back the wages of your workers beyond their regular pay day. You are not to take advantage of the disabilities of others, or to make them the butt of cruel jokes. Why? Because if you do, youŐll have me to answer to, and I am the LORD.
    You are not to pervert the course of justice in the courts. Your decisions must be fair and transparent, not showing bias either to the poor or to the powerful. You are to be absolutely fair in your judgments, without fear or favour. You are not to go spreading malicious stories about anybody; and you are not to seek to profit from the misfortune of another. Why? Because I am the LORD.
    You are not to harbour hatred in your heart towards anyone in your community. If someone you know does the wrong thing, speak up and sort it out, or you will end up being held responsible yourself. If anyone among your people has wronged you, you are neither to bear a grudge, nor try to get even. Instead you are to love your neighbour as attentively as you love yourself. Why? Because I am the LORD.

©2006 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 119: 33-40

LORD, teach me the way of life you have set for us
   and I will stick to it for keeps.

Help me to get my head around what you want
    and I will throw myself wholeheartedly into doing it.

Guide me down the track youŐve mapped out for us,
   for nothing pleases me more than being where you want me.

Keep me focussed on the values youŐve spelt out;
   donŐt let me get sucked into grabbing everything for myself.

Put the blinkers on me so I see only your life-giving ways
   and am not distracted by fashionable froth and bubble.

Reassure me that I am in on what you promised to all
   who respect you and work for you.

Protect me with your good teachings
   so that I wonŐt disgrace myself as I fear I could.

See how much I long to do things your way;
   please do the right thing by me and give me real life.

©2006 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* 1 Corinthians 3: 10-11, 16-23

   You lot are GodŐs building, and God equipped me and entrusted me with the task of laying the foundations like an expert master builder. The next job Ń building on the foundations Ń was given to someone else. But each builder has to work off the same plan. They canŐt just build any old which way. They canŐt start again because the foundation is already down and the building must fit the foundation. And in this case, the foundation is none other than Jesus the Messiah.
   DonŐt you realise what kind of building you lot are? You are GodŐs sacred temple. GodŐs Spirit lives in you. Anyone who ruins GodŐs temple can expect to be ruined by God. For GodŐs temple is to be kept sacred and undefiled, and you lot are that temple.
   So donŐt kid yourselves. If you pride yourselves on a reputation for wisdom and knowledge, you would be better off losing it and being written off as fools. That would be the first step to becoming truly wise, because the kind of wisdom that is all the rage these days is dismissed by God as complete rot. As the scriptures say:
   ŇThe Lord watches the clever get tangled up
   in their own cleverness,Ó
and in another place:
   ŇThe Lord knows what the think tanks are thinking,
   and it is all a lot of hot air!Ó

So donŐt waste your time trying to big-note yourselves by dropping the names of your favourite leaders. You have already been given everything you could possibly want or need, whether it be me or Apollos or Simon Peter, or even the world, life, death, the present, or the future. Everything already belongs to you, and you belong to the Messiah, and the Messiah belongs to God.

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 5: 38-48

    Continuing his teaching on new standards of integrity for his followers, Jesus said, ŇYou know that the law put a limit on retaliation: Ôan eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.Ő Well, I am telling you to expect a bit more of yourselves than just that. When others are doing the wrong thing, donŐt come down to their level. DonŐt take the law into your own hands at all. If someone gives you a smack around the ear to humiliate you, stand tall and stick your chin out, and invite them to have another crack. Absorb the hostility Đ donŐt escalate it. Or if someone takes you to court and demands the shirt off your back, drop your pants and hand over those as well. And if someone pulls rank and orders you to carry his pack for the next mile, show him up by going the second mile as well.
    ŇIf people are begging for your help, give it generously, and donŐt be stingy with anyone who asks you for a loan.
    ŇYou know that the law said ÔCharity begins at home; love your neighbourŐ, and it has always been accepted that Ôhate our enemiesŐ follows from that. Well, it doesnŐt, so I am telling you to lift your standards. I want you to love our enemies. I want you to pray for the welfare of those who try to make your life a misery. That way you will clearly be the offspring of the God who conceived you in heaven; the God who lets the sun shine on the scum of the earth and the salt of the earth alike, and the rain fall equally on those who always do the right thing and on those who are always crooked and corrupt. Loving the people who love you and treat you well is no big deal, is it? Why would you expect a medal for that? Even the low-life pimps and pushers can do that much. Being friendly to your friends and neighbours does not show that you are any better than anyone else. The most godless foreigner can do that much just as well.
    ŇKeep aiming to do better. Model yourselves on your Father in heaven who loves without limits or boundaries. Aim to love like that and settle for nothing less.Ó

©2011 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net