Year A
Proper 4
Sunday 4 June 2029


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 by grace you have justified and redeemed us
and become our refuge and strength.

In the first of your works you created the universe
and everything that moves on the earth.
When you sent a flood to purge the earth of corruption,
you made a covenant with your servant Noah
and saved every family of living creatures.

You sent your child, Jesus Christ, among us,
to teach us with authority how to live by your words
and be welcomed into your kingdom.
When he was killed by those who were filled with violence,
you raised him with power from the dead
and called everyone to put their faith in him.
To all who hear your invitation and act on it
you give the gift of righteousness in your presence
and redemption in and through Christ Jesus.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your grace
in which you have justified and redeemed us
and become our refuge and strength,
even though we had becoe corrupt and fallen short of your glory.

©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 by grace you have justified and redeemed us
and become our refuge and strength.

In the first of your works you created the universe
and everything that moves on the earth.
When you sent a flood to purge the earth of corruption,
you made a covenant with your servant Noah
and saved every family of living creatures.

You sent your child, Jesus Christ, among us,
to teach us with authority how to live by your words
and be welcomed into your kingdom.
When he was killed by those who were filled with violence,
you raised him with power from the dead
and called everyone to put their faith in him.
To all who hear your invitation and act on it
you give the gift of righteousness in your presence
and redemption in and through Christ Jesus.

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

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,
but through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
we are forgiven and justified
as a gift of his grace.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now and build your lives on the solid rock
of Christ’s words, heard and put into action.
Do not be ashamed of the gospel,
but live by faith
and find your refuge and strength in God.

And may God be known to you in the stillness;
May Christ Jesus be the solid foundation of your lives;
And may the Holy Spirit give you courage,
   even when the earth is shaken around you.

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
for Proper 4 - Year A - Sunday 4 June 2029
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.


* Genesis 6:9-22; 7:24; 8:14-19

    This is the story of Noah. Noah was a man who always did the right thing by everybody: the only person of real integrity on the earth in that generation. Noah and his wife had three sons named Shem, Ham and Japheth.
    The rest of the human race had become totally corrupt and violent, and God was sick of the sight of it. Seeing how depraved everyone had become, God spoke to Noah and said:
“I have made up my mind to wipe the human race off the face of the earth, because they have made the earth a violent and heartless place. So now I am going to destroy them and wipe the planet clean, ready for a fresh start. Build yourself an enormous lifeboat according to these specifications. Use marine-quality timbers for the construction and apply a waterproof lining of tar, inside and out. Build it with three deck levels and many cabins. The overall dimensions are to be as follows: a length of 150 metres; a width of 25 metres; and a height of 15 metres. Build a roof over the top with a half metre clearance between it and the top of the side walls. Build the lifeboat with a single entrance on the side.
What I am going to do is completely flood the earth with water to wipe out everything that lives and breathes on it. Every creature on earth will die. But I am going to form a new alliance with life on earth, setting it up with you. You are to move into the lifeboat along with your wife, your sons, and their wives. You are also to take on board a male and a female of every kind of living creature to keep them alive with you. Every kind of bird, every kind of animal, and every kind of creepy-crawly on earth: take with you a breeding pair of each to keep them alive. You are also to store a full range of food on board the life-boat; enough to feed your family and all the animals.”

    So Noah went ahead and followed God’s instructions to the letter. Sure enough, the swollen waters flooded the earth for one hundred and fifty days. Even after that, everyone had to stay on board for nearly three months more while the earth dried out. Eventually God said to Noah:
“It is time for you and your whole family to leave the lifeboat. Unload all the living creatures that are with you; all the birds and animals and creepy-crawlies of every kind. Release them so that they can breed like rabbits and restock the earth.”

    So Noah disembarked with his wife and their sons and their son’s wives. And out of the lifeboat with them came all the animals, all the creepy-crawlies, and all the birds — breeding pairs of every kind of creature that lives on the earth.



©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 46

Our refuge, our shelter, our fortress, our security;
........you are all these things to us, God.
................You are always there for us when we need you.

Because of you, we will not panic
........even if our world comes crashing down around our ears;
................even if the earth splits open beneath us;
........even if chaos pours in like a raging flood;
................even if life as we know it goes up in smoke.

You are the LORD of cosmic power — the God of our ancestors —
........our safety, our refuge.

A river flowing with life-giving water runs through your holy city
........bringing joy and peace to your sacred home.
You are the most high God, and the city where you live
........will rest secure and greet the new day with confidence.

The world may be in chaos, nations tearing apart at the seams,
........but when you speak, the earth sinks to its knees.

You are the LORD of cosmic power — the God of our ancestors —
........our safety, our refuge.

What you have done is a sight for sore eyes, LORD;
........you have left a trail of destruction across the earth:
................weapons of war crushed and burned;
................implements of fear smashed to pieces;
........conflicts and wars closed down for good.

You call us to a peaceful calm
........and invite us to know you as God.
You stand supreme above the nations,
........unmatched in all the earth.

You are the LORD of cosmic power — the God of our ancestors —
........our safety, our refuge.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-28, (29-31)

........Being identified with God’s message does not make me cringe at all. I am honoured to be associated with something that God is working through so powerfully in order to bring everyone who believes home to the safety and wholeness for which they were created. It began among the Jewish people, but now everyone is in on it. It reveals God’s unshakable commitment to doing the right thing by all who put their trust in God’s trustworthiness. The scriptures put it this way: “Anyone who gets things right with God through a relationship of trust, will live.”
........This is not applied differently to different groups of people. Everyone is in the same boat because we have all done wrong and fallen well short of the shining integrity God created us for. But God treats everybody with a generosity that is out of all proportion to anything we could deserve and, as a gift, puts us back in the good books. This happens as part of the work done by Jesus the Messiah in putting everything back the way it should be. He was sent by God to clean up the mess we had gotten ourselves into and bring us back into a relationship based on trust, and he made the ultimate sacrifice and paid the price in his own blood to get the job done. This demonstrated God’s unshakable commitment to doing the right thing by everyone, both in the past and in the present. In the past God’s commitment was expressed by putting up with people’s wrongdoing and not dishing out the punishments they deserved. In the present, God is again proving that commitment by putting those who put their trust in Jesus into the good books.
........So what is left of our boast that we Jews are the only ones in the good books with God? Clearly it is not backed up by the facts. Why? Did others do something to earn an equal place before God? Not at all, but God put the relationship on a trust basis, and that put everyone on an equal footing. What we are saying is that people get into the good books by trusting God, regardless of whether or not they observe the customs prescribed by the traditional Jewish law. God is not only the God of the Jews, but of everyone else as well. After all, there is only one God! Those who have been brought up to be religious are put in to God’s good books on the basis of a relationship of trust, and everyone else is put in through exactly the same relationship of trust. However, if you think we are saying that this relationship of trust means that there is no value in the traditional law, you have missed the point. What we are saying is quite the opposite. It is only within this relationship of trust that the customs set out in the law can prove their worth.

If this paraphrase helped you to make sense of this passage, how about clicking here and helping my little church pay me for the nine hours it took me to make this much sense of it!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Matthew 7: 21-29

Drawing to the end of his sermon on the mountain, Jesus said:
“You can’t bluff your way into the culture of heaven by dropping my name and prattling on about what a high view of my authority you hold. It is those who walk the walk who will get in – those who actually live the way God wants them to live. When the day comes, many people will appeal to me saying, ‘Lord, Lord, look at all the great things we did in your name. We preached. We took on the forces of evil and won. We were real movers and shakers. We did all sorts of impressive things and we gave you the credit for it all. Doesn’t that count for anything?’ But I will tell them straight, ‘I’ll have nothing to do with you. You are a bunch of frauds, rotten to the core. Get out of my sight!’
“The people who take notice of what I teach and put it into practice are like experienced builders who always put down solid foundations before building a house. When violent storms come, or even if cyclones and floods hit, that house stands firm, rock-solid on its foundations. But those who hear my teachings and don’t bother doing anything about them are like brainless do-it-yourselfers who knock up a house with nothing but sand for foundations. The first time it is hit by a decent storm, the wind and rain rip into it and in no time at all there is a spectacular crash and down it comes!”
When Jesus had finished speaking, the crowd was stunned. His teaching was like nothing they had ever heard before. His words carried great weight and it was clear that he stood behind everything he said, which was quite a contrast to the religious teachers they were used to!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Deuteronomy 11: 18-21, 26-28

Moses said to the people:
“Take to heart these teachings I have passed on to you from the LORD your God. Do whatever you need to do to keep them fixed in your minds: write them on the back of your hands; wear them as a badge stuck on your forehead. Teach them to your children and talk about them morning, noon and night, at home or wherever you go. Hang them over your front doors, put them up on a billboard at the entrance to your town so that you will be reminded of them as you come and go. That way you will be assured of a long and happy life in the land that the LORD promised to your ancestors. Your children will enjoy the same, and their children too, as long as the earth keeps turning.
“Take note. Today I have taught you how the LORD your God wants you to live, and now it is in your hands. Your life can be blessed or cursed; the choice is yours. Everything will work out well for you if you live the way the LORD your God has told you to live. But everything will fall apart for you if you turn your back on the way that the LORD your God has told you to live and take off after other ways and other objects of devotion.”
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 31: 1-5, 19-24

I look to you for refuge, LORD;
........don’t let me be dragged through the mud.
................You promised justice — save me!

Give me your ear — I’m crying for help;
........rescue me before it’s too late.
Be a secure refuge for me,
........a bomb shelter where I can hide.

Your solid walls protect me from danger;
........lead me and guide me so I’ll be a credit to you;
................keep me clear of pitfalls and traps.

You are the only refuge I trust, LORD;
........I put my life in your hands.
You are a faithful God,
........and you have saved me.

Your goodness is rich and free;
........available to all who respect you and trust you.
Out in the open, for all to see,
........you stockpile blessings for those in your care.

You shelter them yourself, LORD,
........keeping them safe from vindictive plots.
You give them a safe hiding place,
........sheltered from malicious talk.

You are the greatest, LORD;
........and you proved yourself when I needed you.
When I was surrounded by a violent mob,
........your love protected me like a solid wall.

At first I panicked;
........I thought you had given up on me.
But you were there in a flash
........when I cried out for help.

I call on all your people to give you their love, LORD.
........You keep the faithful safe
................and repay the arrogant as they deserve.

I say to myself, “Be strong, tough it out,”
........as I wait with my trust in you, LORD.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net