Year A
Proper 9
Sunday 5 July 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 with the passion of a lover
you have delivered us from slavery to sin and death.

You are the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth,
and it is your Word that brings life into bloom.
You called your servant Rebekah to leave family and country,
and, from the offspring of her loving union with Isaac,
you brought forth a people to delight in your ways.

You sent among us your child, Jesus the Christ,
and in him you revealed yourself to us.
Though we were burdened and wearied by sin
and unable to dance to your song,
in gentleness and humility
he lifted our burdens
and showed us the way of wisdom.
When he was killed,
you raised him to life,
rescuing us from our bodies of death
and giving us rest for our souls.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give you thanks that though we were burdened and wearied by sin,
and unable to dance to your song,
in gentleness and humility
your Son Jesus has lifted our burdens
and showed us the way of wisdom.

©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 with the passion of a lover
you have delivered us from slavery to sin and death.

You are the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth,
and it is your Word that brings life into bloom.
You called your servant Rebekah to leave family and country,
and, from the offspring of her loving union with Isaac,
you brought forth a people to delight in your ways.

You sent among us your child, Jesus the Christ,
and in him you revealed yourself to us.
Though we were burdened and wearied by sin
and unable to dance to your song,
in gentleness and humility
he lifted our burdens
and showed us the way of wisdom.
When he was killed,
you raised him to life,
rescuing us from our bodies of death
and giving us rest for 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

Who will deliver us from this body of death,
and from the law of sin at work within us?
Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lifts the heavy burden of sin we are carrying
and gives rest to our souls.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now at the call of Christ.
Take his yoke upon you and learn from him;
Dance when he sings and mourn when he cries.
Be generous in your hospitality to all.

And may God greatly bless you;
May Christ Jesus reveal the fullness of God to you;
And may the Holy Spirit lift your burdens and give you rest.

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 9 - Year A - Sunday 5 July 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 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-67

Abraham’s trusted servant addressed Rebekah’s family, saying:

“I work for Abraham and he has sent me here. The LORD has set my boss up very nicely. He has become a very wealthy man, with huge holdings of livestock, investments in silver and gold, a large workforce, and convoys of transport animals. My boss and his wife Sarah became the parents of a son in their old age, and they have signed over their entire fortune to him. My boss has given me the job of finding a suitable wife for his son, but he made me promise that I would not let him marry one of the local Canaanite girls. Instead he has sent me to find a wife for his son from here among his own relatives.
“So, when I pulled up at the waterhole here today, I prayed that the God of my boss would put me on the right track. I said, ‘O LORD, I have arrived here at this waterhole where the young women come to collect water. I will ask the first one who comes for a drink, and she will offer me a drink and offer to draw water for my camels as well. LORD, let her be the one you have chosen to be the bride of my boss’s son.’
“Even before I finished my prayer, Rebekah came out to fill her water container. After she had gone down to the waterhole and collected her water, I asked her for a drink. Without hesitation she offered me a drink from her water container and then offered to draw more water for my camels. So I accepted the drink and she watered my camels. Then I asked her whose daughter she was, and she told me that her father was Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. I knew then that she came from among my boss’s relatives, so I put on her the ring and the jewellery he had sent. Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the LORD, the God who my boss Abraham worships. The LORD had put me on the right track so that I could find a suitable wife for my boss’s son from among his own people.
Now then, let me know whether you will do the right thing by my boss. Or if not, tell me straight, so that I will know which way to turn.”
So the family called Rebekah and asked her, “Are you willing to go with this man?”
    “I am,” she said.
    So they farewelled their sister Rebekah, and sent her off with Abraham’s servant and his drivers. They also sent with her the family servant who had been her childhood nanny. They gave Rebekah their blessing, saying to her,
“Sister, may you become the mother of millions;

    may your descendants triumph in everything they do.”
With that, Rebekah and the servant girls who were going with her got up and were seated on the camels. They set off, following Abraham’s servant as he headed for home; mission accomplished.
    Now Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan, near a waterhole called ‘the Eye of God’. One evening as he was out walking to unwind at the end of the day, he looked up and saw the convoy of camels approaching. Rebekah saw him in the distance, and quickly slipped off her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man coming towards us?”
    The servant replied, “That’s him, Master Isaac.”
    So she made herself ready, with her veil over her face. The servant told Isaac all about the success of his mission. Then Isaac met Rebekah and took her home and she became his wife. As the new leading woman of the tribe, she was given the home that had belonged to Isaac’s late mother, Sarah. Isaac loved Rebekah greatly, and she was a comfort to him as he grieved the death of his mother.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 45: 10-17 (alt)

O chosen daughter, bride of the king, listen to my advice:
........leave your father’s home and don’t look back
................for the king is wild with desire for you.
What more could you want? Abandon yourself to him!
........Wedding gifts will arrive from every nation,
................the wealthy outdo each other with their presents.

The inner beauty of your bride, O king,
........outshines even her wedding gown,
................woven with gold and sparkling with jewels.
In dazzling beauty she is brought to you
........with her chosen bridesmaids at hand.
Joy and laughter process in with her,
........and the whole palace erupts with elation.

Soon you will have children, continuing your family line,
........and the thrones of the earth will be theirs.
No one will ever forget you,
........your fame will inspire generation after generation,
........and songs will be sung in praise of you forever and ever.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

OR


* Song of Solomon 2: 8-13 (alt)

I await the voice of my lover!
    I see him coming, running through the alpine bush,
    leaping rocks and logs,
        as surefooted as a wallaby,
        muscles rippling like a mountain thoroughbred.

Look, now he arrives, there by the garden wall,
    his eyes scanning the windows,
    searching the balcony,
        eager to catch a sight of me.

My lover calls out for me alone, saying:

    “Come now, my darling, my lovely one,
        come away with me.

    The outdoors will welcome us,
        for the cold wet winter has released its grip.
    Wildflowers explode with colour
        and the air is filled with song;
    Bellbird calls ring through the bush
        like the summons to a wedding.
    Berries and grapes ripen with promise
        and every flower adds it fragrance
        to the wafting breeze.

    So come, my darling, my lovely one,
        come away with me.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Romans 7: 15-25a

........Sometimes I can’t make head nor tail of my own behaviour. I want to do what is right, but instead I find myself doing things I absolutely despise. Even as I do them, I am telling myself I don’t want to. Clearly then I know they are wrong, so I am not trying to excuse myself by arguing that the law is stupid. The fact is that I don’t have what it takes to control everything I do. Somewhere inside me, sin has corrupted the system. When I look inside myself and see the selfish desires that live there, I know they are all rotten to the core. While I have no trouble making up my mind to do what is right, I still can’t do it. I fail to follow through on my good intentions, and instead find myself doing something crooked — the exact thing I wanted so much to avoid. Now if what I actually do is not what I am intending to do, then clearly I have lost control of what I am doing. Something inside me — namely sin — is sabotaging the system and wreaking havoc.
........So, in my experience it seems to be an inescapable fact of life that when I intend to do what is good, corruption is lying in wait, ready to sneak under my guard. God’s instructions on how we should live appeal to me greatly. I love them with all my heart and mind. So the various parts of me are receiving the right instructions from my mind, but I experience another set of instructions trying to override them. I can see that my body is being controlled by a crippling addiction to sin. How completely and utterly screwed up I am! Is there anybody who can set me free from the addiction that has such a deadly grip on my body? Thank God there is! Jesus the Messiah, our Lord, can set us free!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

Jesus said to the crowd, “What is it about people these days? They are like a bunch of kids pointing the finger at each other in the school yard, chanting:

    ‘We were ready to laugh and play with you,
        but you told us to get serious.
    We asked you over to do homework together,
        but you told us to lighten up.’

    “When John the Baptiser was around, he was a teetotaller, and would often go without food; and people accused him of being a fanatic and a wowser. Then the New Human came, always ready to share a meal and a drink, and what do they say about him? They say he’s a pisspot, a slave to his stomach, and that he’s too close to people whose lifestyles are beyond the pale! But at the end of the day, wisdom will have proved herself in practice.”

    Then and there, Jesus broke into prayer, saying, “Father, Lord of earth and sky, thank you for keeping the religious experts and the sophisticated intellectuals in the dark about these matters, while at the same time making them as plain as day to the average toddler. But of course, Father, such reckless generosity is typical of the way you like to do things!”

    Then, turning to the crowd again, Jesus said,“My Father has put the whole show in my hands, and it all hangs on the strength of our relationship. No one really knows what makes the Son tick except the Father, and no one really knows what makes the Father tick except the Son. Anyone else can only know if the Son chooses to let them in on it.
    “If you are worn out and overloaded, come to me, and I will let you put your feet up. Come and work for me, and take a leaf out of my book. I am gentle on people, and down-to-earth. With me your whole being will be able to relax. The job I will give you is piece of cake. The load I will ask you to bear is a feather-weight.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Zechariah 9: 9-12

It is time to celebrate, people of Jerusalem.
    Sing and dance and party, O Holy City!
Look, here comes your king;
    the one who has won the great victory!
He doesn’t big-note himself,
    but comes riding on a simple donkey,
        and a baby one at that!

He will rid the land of heavy armaments,
    and clear Jerusalem of military vehicles.
He will confiscate weapons and destroy them,
    and forge a lasting peace between nations.
He will rule from one end of the earth to the other,
    and the whole world will take orders from him.

Hear what I, the LORD, have to say to you:
    my alliance with you has been sealed in blood,
so I will rescue those who have been detained
    and set them free from the dry and dusty hell-holes.

Take heart, you prisoners. Your prayers are answered.
    You are free to find refuge and shelter within our walls.
I, the LORD, promise you today
    that I will compensate you double for all that you lost.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 145: 8-14

LORD, you are generous and compassionate;
........slow to anger, and rich in love and loyalty.

You are good to everyone, LORD,
........and you care deeply about all you have created.

Everyone and everything will thank you, their creator,
........and all who are loyal to you will sing your praises.

As your people, we will promote the glory of your reign,
........and broadcast the news of your power for good.

We will tell everyone about the great things you have done
........and about the magnificent splendour of your reign.

You will reign forever and ever, LORD,
........your rule is in place for all generations to come.

Everything you say can be relied on, LORD,
........and everything you do is generous and loving.

When people fall, you put them back on their feet;
........when people are crushed, you stand them tall again.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net