Year A
Proper 7
Sunday 21 June 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 alone are God,
and great is your loyalty to all who call on you.

You created the earth and its inhabitants,
and your care for your creatures is so complete
that even the hairs on our heads are counted.
You made a covenant with your servant Abraham,
and when his family tore itself apart,
your compassion for the outcast was shown
as you led the thirsty to springs of living water.

Your child, Jesus, came among us
calling us to turn our backs on all other allegiances
and to take up the cross and follow him.
When he was killed, he gathered us to himself,
putting to death our enslavement to sin
in the waters of baptism,
so that we might find our lives
united to his in resurrection
and walk in newness of life.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We thank you for uniting us with Christ in the waters of baptism
and putting to death our enslavement to sin,
so that we might find our lives
united to his in resurrection
and walk in newness of life.

©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 alone are God,
and great is your loyalty to all who call on you.

You created the earth and its inhabitants,
and your care for your creatures is so complete
that even the hairs on our heads are counted.
You made a covenant with your servant Abraham,
and when his family tore itself apart,
your compassion for the outcast was shown
as you led the thirsty to springs of living water.

Your child, Jesus, came among us
calling us to turn our backs on all other allegiances
and to take up the cross and follow him.
When he was killed, he gathered us to himself,
putting to death our enslavement to sin
in the waters of baptism,
so that we might find our lives
united to his in resurrection
and walk in newness of life.

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

God is good and forgiving,
loyal to all who cry out for mercy.
Through our union with Christ
we are now dead to sin,
and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now and walk in newness of life
for Christ was raised from the dead.
Therefore do not be afraid.
What God speaks to you in the dark, proclaim boldly in the light.
Take up your cross and follow the Christ.

And may God watch over you and provide for you;
May Christ Jesus openly declare you to be his own;
And may the Holy Spirit bring you help and comfort always.

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 7 - Year A - Sunday 21 June 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.


* Genesis 21: 8-21

    Sarah nursed her son Isaac until he was about three years old, and on the day he was weaned, his father Abraham threw a big party to celebrate. But Sarah saw Ishmael Ń the son of Abraham and his Egyptian servant, Hagar Ń laughing with Isaac. She said to Abraham, ŅGet rid of that slave woman and her son. I donÕt want my son Isaac having to share his inheritance with the son of a slave woman. Kick them out of here.Ó
    Abraham felt really cut up over this, because both of the boys were his sons. But God said to him, ŅDonÕt stress over your servant and her son. Go along with whatever Sarah demands of you, because it is IsaacÕs descendants who will be known as your offspring. But I know that Ishmael is also your son, so I will make sure his descendants become a great nation too.Ó
    So, early the next morning, Abraham got up and packed some food and water into a backpack and put it on HagarÕs shoulders. Then he sent her and the child away. She left and wandered aimlessly in the desert wilderness known as Beer-sheba. The water Abraham had packed for them soon ran out and, in despair, Hagar abandoned the child under a bush. She herself went and sat down about a hundred metres away because she couldnÕt bear to watch the child die there in the desert. As she sat there, she cried loudly and bitterly. God heard the sounds of distress from the child and sent a messenger from heaven to speak to Hagar. The messenger said, ŅWhat is the matter, Hagar? You have got nothing to fear, because God has heard the boy crying where you left him. Come on. Pick the child up and donÕt let go of him again, because I will make him the father of a great nation.Ó
    Then God opened her eyes and she spotted a small water hole. She refilled her water containers with clean water and gave the boy some to drink.
    God was on-side with Ishmael, and he grew up living in the wilderness where he became an expert bushman and hunter. He lived in the desert at Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from her homeland, Egypt.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 86: 1-10, 16-17

Tune in and answer my cries, LORD,
   because I have been left with nothing and no one.

Protect me and save my life,
   for I am your devoted servant and I trust you.

You are my God.
   All day long I cry out to you, Lord,
   begging you to give me a break.

Give me something to smile about, Lord,
   for I am your servant and I being up front with you.

After all, Lord, you are good and forgiving;
   full of unfailing love for those who look to you for help.

Tune in to my prayer, LORD,
   and give your attention to my plea for help.

This is the worst day of my life,
   but IÕm confident you will answer my cry.

None of the things people worship compare to you, Lord;
   your actions are in a league of their own.

You made every nation, Lord,
   and they will all come and honour you,
   bowing down and naming you as the greatest.

So they should, given all the great and amazing things you do,
   for you are the one and only God.

I am your servant, Lord,
   and my mother was your servant too.
Take note of me, and treat me with compassion;
   save me and give me strength.

Give me a sign that you are on my side;
   something that will be seen by those who hate me
      and send them off with their tails between their legs.

You, LORD, have come to my help;
   you have given me comfort.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Romans 6: 1b-11

   Do you think we should continue to sin in order to provide opportunities to showcase GodÕs generous forgiveness? No way! We have put to death our relationship with sin, so how could we possibly share another living moment with it? Surely you know that all of us who have been baptised into union with Christ were, in that baptism, dying with Christ. You will understand then, that having died in baptism, we have been buried with him; and so now, in the same way that Christ was raised from the dead by the awesome power of God, we too can re-enter life in a whole new way.
   You see, if we have been united with him in sharing the same kind of death, you can rest assured we will be united with him further in sharing the same kind of resurrection. We are no longer the people we used to be. Our former selves were put to death with him on the cross in order to eradicate the sin that had taken over our lives, and to thus allow us to live free of it. Everyone knows that death is the only escape from a sin-infested life Ń once you are dead, you are free of it. For us, though, thatÕs no dead-end solution. If we have died with Christ, we are convinced that we will live with him too. This much we know for sure: Christ has been raised from the dead and will never have to die again. Death has lost any further power over him. When he died, he took sin out with him, once and for all. The life he now lives, then, is lived in union with God. So you should now think of yourselves in the same way Ń your former lives, ended; your new lives, begun. Your old relationship with sin, dead; your new relationship with God, alive and flourishing in Christ Jesus.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Matthew 10: 24-39

While briefing his followers about their mission, Jesus said:

    ŅNew recruits do not get more credit than their coach, and the workers do not get more credit than their boss. But when everyone is doing their job Š recruits and coach, workers and boss Š they are all lumped in together and judged as a team. So if people have been accusing the team leader of being the Prince of Evil, you can imagine what they are going to be saying about the rest of the team!
    ŅSo donÕt be intimidated by them. The time is coming when the truth will be exposed and all that has been done behind closed doors will be on the public record. So donÕt bother keeping the lid on things in the meantime. Broadcast to the world anything I tell you in private. Release to the daily news anything I whisper in your ear. DonÕt be silenced by fear of those whose ability to hurt you is only physical. The one to be afraid of is the one who would destroy your humanity entirely and suck you, body and soul, into the fires of hell.
    ŅThink about it. What does a pet budgie cost? A couple of bucks? And yet if a budgie falls off its perch, God is there like a concerned parent. GodÕs care extends to every last hair on your head, so donÕt let anyone put the wind up you. You are worth far more than a tree-full of budgies to God.
    ŅIf you stick up for me in the face of public opinion, then I will have no hesitation sticking up for you when my Father in heaven asks the hard questions. But if you pull your head in and go all quiet when people mouth off against me, why should I speak up in your defence?
    ŅDonÕt make the mistake of thinking IÕm here to make everything peaceful and nice on earth. I am not here to paper over the cracks, but to drive a wedge into them, opening them up for all to see.
I am here to drive a wedge into the cracks
between father and son;
between mother and daughter;
and between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.
When it is flushed out into the open,
the most dangerous hostility often turns up within families.
ŅIf you are more committed to your parents than you are to me, you donÕt deserve my commitment to you. If you are more committed to your children than you are to me, you donÕt deserve my commitment to you. Unless you are ready to risk defying the death squads to follow me, then you donÕt deserve my loyalty to you. Those who are focussed on getting a life for themselves will lose whatever life they had; while those who give up their life, for me, will find that they have really got it made!Ó
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* Jeremiah 20: 7-13

You played me for a sucker, LORD,
    and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
You took advantage of your superior strength
    to force me into doing what you wanted.
Thanks to you, I am the laughingstock of the city;
    the butt of everyoneÕs jokes.

You give me the job of broadcasting your messages,
    but they are all bad news Š chaos, carnage and doom.
No wonder everyone hates the sight of me.
    Speaking your word has ruined my life, LORD.

But what else can I do?
    I try to quit, and keep silent about you,
but your word begins to burn its way out.
    I feel like I am going to explode.
I use up all my strength trying to hold it in
    but it defeats me every time.

Everyone is out to get me.
    I hear them talking behind my back.
They say I am causing a public panic
    and that they should dob me in
        and have me dealt with.
Even my closest friends are giving up on me.
    If I put a foot wrong, theyÕll turn me in.
Some of them are already trying to set me up;
    baiting the trap and lying in wait;
        thinking to themselves, ŅRevenge is sweet!Ó

But you are like an armed bodyguard at my side, LORD.
    Those who are out to get me havenÕt got a hope.
They will end up with egg all over their faces;
    humiliated by their own failure.
They will never be able to hold their heads up in public again.
    The smell of disgrace will follow them round forever.

O LORD who rules over everything,
    you have got everyone worked out.
        You read our innermost thoughts and desires.
Let me have a front row seat
    when you give my enemies their just deserts.
        I have put my case in your hands.

IÕll sing your praises, LORD!
    IÕm giving you all the credit!
You are the one who rescues the downtrodden
    when the corrupt would grind them into the dirt.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 69: 7-10, (11-15), 16-18

Because of my association with you, I am the target of slander;
   I am ashamed to show my face in public.

My own relatives donÕt want anything to do with me;
   by brothers and sisters pretend they donÕt know me.

My passion for your cause has become all-consuming and costly;
   those with a beef against you stick the boots into me.

When I abstained from food to discipline my soul,
   I was rewarded with insults and contempt.

When I gave up my comforts and slept out in the cold,
   I became the butt of everyoneÕs jokes.

At the top end of town they swap rumours about me;
   in back alleys, they send me up in drunken songs.

But come what may,
   I will go on praying to you, LORD.

In your own good time, God, answer me,
   for I know you are full of love, rock-solid love.
You can be depended on to send help;
   IÕm up to my neck in the stinking mire, rescue me!
Rescue me from those who hate me;
   donÕt give them the chance to watch me drown.

DonÕt let the raging waters flood over me;
   donÕt let the murky depths swallow me up;
   donÕt let the jaws of death close around me.

Answer me, LORD;
   there is nothing better than your rock-solid love;
you are full of compassion,
   so turn to me and help.

I am your servant;
   donÕt turn your back on me.
I am in deep trouble;
   answer me now before itÕs too late.

Come close and put me back where I belong;
   break me free from the grip of my enemies.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net