Year A
Proper 11
Sunday 19 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 you have formed in us the first fruits of your Spirit,
a harvest that will prevail when evil is uprooted.

It was your labour that brought forth creation,
and your love that formed the families of the earth.
You revealed yourself to Jacob,
promising that for all who are led by your Spirit,
every place would be filled with your presence.

In Jesus Christ you have thrown open the gate of heaven
and adopted us as your beloved children.
Though all creation yet groans in pain,
Christ suffers with us,
enduring death on the cross,
so that we might be glorified with him.
His Spirit groans within us as we await the end of the age
when your children will be revealed and,
with our bodies redeemed,
we will shine like the sun in your Kingdom.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We thank you for adopting us as your beloved children
who at the end of the age when evil is uprooted,
will be revealed with our bodies redeemed,
shining like the sun in your Kingdom.

©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 have formed in us the first fruits of your Spirit,
a harvest that will prevail when evil is uprooted.

It was your labour that brought forth creation,
and your love that formed the families of the earth.
You revealed yourself to Jacob,
promising that for all who are led by your Spirit,
every place would be filled with your presence.

In Jesus Christ you have thrown open the gate of heaven
and adopted us as your beloved children.
Though all creation yet groans in pain,
Christ suffers with us,
enduring death on the cross,
so that we might be glorified with him.
His Spirit groans within us as we await the end of the age
when your children will be revealed and,
with our bodies redeemed,
we will shine like the sun in your Kingdom.

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 has searched our hearts, testing and judging our thoughts,
but through our hope in Christ we are saved.
We have been adopted as children of God
and given freedom and glory.
Our redemption has begun.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now with your hope set on Christ.
As children of God, let the Spirit of God lead you
and let your righteousness shine like the sun
until darkness and light are one.

And wherever you go,
whether you scale the heavens or plunge to the depths,
may God’s presence be inescapably with you;
May Christ Jesus welcome you into his inheritance;
And may the Holy Spirit assure you that you are God’s children.

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 11 - Year A - Sunday 19 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 28: 10-19a

Jacob was travelling from Beer-sheba to Haran, and was camping out each night on the way. One night he set up camp in a suitable place, and bedded himself down using a rock that he found there for a headrest. In a dream he saw a ramp spanning the gap between earth and heaven, and God’s messengers were using the ramp to go up and down between the two. As he looked at it, the LORD came and stood beside him and said:

“I am the LORD, the God of your fathers, Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land on which you are now camped. Your descendants will multiply like a cloud of dust, spreading out in all directions and settling all over the world. Life will be better for all the peoples of the world because of you and your descendants. And you can know for sure that I am with you. I will look after you wherever you go and I will get you safely back to this land. I will stick with you and make good on all my promises to you.”
Jacob woke up suddenly and said, “No bull, the LORD is right here in this place, and I didn’t realise it!” And he was shaking in his boots at the thought of it. “This place makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck,” he said. “This must fair dinkum be the house of God — the front gate of heaven itself!”
    So when Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the stone he had used for a headrest and set it up as a monument. He poured oil on top of it to dedicate it to the LORD. He named the place ‘Bethel’, which means ‘House of God’.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 139: 1-12, 23-24

You have taken a good hard look at me, LORD,
........and you know exactly what makes me tick.

You know when I’ve got my feet up and when I’m on the job;
........you can read my mind like an open book.

You see where I am going and where I stop,
........and you know all about what I do and why.

You know exactly what I am going to say, LORD,
........even before I open my mouth.

You are in front of me, behind me, beside me;
........your hand on my shoulder at every turn.

All this is more than I can get my head around;
........I pinch myself, and struggle to take it in.

Could I hide from your spirit if I wanted to?
........Is there anywhere I could go to escape you?

If I sped into outer space, you’d be there;
........if I curled up in the bowels of the earth, you’d be there.

If I took to the skies and pursued the dawn;
........crossed the globe and never came back;
I’d be no further from your reach;
........you’d hold me tight and guide me just as easily.

If I hide in the shadows
........and plead with the darkness to cover me,
you can still see me as clear as day,
........for light and dark are all the same to you.

Take a good hard look at me, God;
........check me out and read my thoughts.
Dig out anything corrupt in me,
........and set my feet on the tracks that have proven true.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Romans 8: 12-25

........The truth is, brothers and sisters, that we owe nothing to the preoccupations of our former life. We need no longer have our lives dictated by the mindless pursuit of fashionable dreams and selfish desires. After all, the attraction was fatal. But thanks to God’s Spirit, we can now be rid of all that — give it a decent burial and get on with our new lives. All those who dance to the Spirit’s tune are God’s beloved children. We were not sold into slavery where we would grovel timidly in the dust, afraid to put a foot wrong. Rather we were adopted into a family full of love and joy. Like eager children crying, “Daddy! Mummy!” we come running to God, and with loving arms, God’s Spirit gathers us up, demonstrating clearly to whom we belong. And since we are children of God, we are actually on the same footing as Christ. With him we will inherit all that has been kept in trust for God’s children. But we have to take the good with the bad, and we know the price he paid. We need to be willing to cop it on the chin with him now if we want to share the glory with him later.
........In my opinion, the worst that our current situation can dish up pales into insignificance next to the glory that is about to be brought out from under wraps. The whole creation is hanging out for this, for the day when the names are read out and the children of God come into their own. Until then, the whole creation is stuck in a rut, unable to make any progress. The creation didn’t bring this on itself, but rather it is being held in check so that, rather than hurtling headlong to destruction, the entire creation can be set free from its devastating addictions and be delivered into the glorious freedom that belongs to the children of God.
........The time of deliverance is near. After a long pregnancy, the whole creation is now groaning and shuddering in the final stages of labour. And we are not just witnesses to this birth. We ourselves, having been impregnated by the Spirit, are labouring to bring the new life within us to fruition. For then, with our bodies set free, our longing to be God’s children will be fulfilled. This joyous expectancy ensures that our deliverance will come. If there was never to be anything more than our present reality, these longings within us would be in vain. But we are eager to see a promised new reality, and this hope sustains us.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

    Jesus used another story to teach the crowd, saying, “Here is a good illustration of the culture of heaven. A farmer planted his fields with good quality seed. But that night, while all the workers were asleep, some mongrel came and dumped a load of weed seeds on the field, and then cleared off before anybody saw what had happened. So when the crop came up and the grain began to form, there were weeds coming up everywhere among it. The farmer’s workers came to him and said, ‘That was clean seed you sowed, wasn’t it, Boss? How come we’ve now got weeds all through the crop?’
    The farmer replied, ‘Some mongrel has tried to sabotage it!’
    The workers asked, ‘Do you want us to get stuck in and pull the weeds out?’
    But the farmer replied, ‘No, it’s not worth the risk. You’ll uproot half the wheat crop trying to get them out. Just let them both grow together until harvest time, and then I’ll tell the harvesters to pull the weeds out first and bundle them up for burning. The good wheat can then be harvested and stored in my silo.’”

    When Jesus had finished teaching the crowd, he went into the house with his closest followers. They asked him to explain the story about the weeds to them. He said, “The farmer who planted the good seeds in the story represents the New Human. The field is the world, and the good quality seeds are the people who are part of the new culture. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one, and the mongrel who sowed them is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the age – the grand finale – and the harvesters are God’s angels. The scene where the weeds are gathered up and thrown on the fire is just like what will happen at the end of the age. The New Human will send his angels to weed out of his culture all that cause corruption and participate in evil, and throw them into the incinerator. They’ll be cursing and kicking themselves then! After that, those who stayed on the right track will be seen in all their glory, shining like the sun in the new culture of their Father. Don’t miss what I’m saying: if you’ve got ears, use them!”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Wisdom of Solomon 12: 13, 16-19 (alt)

Lord, everything and everybody is under your care.
    There is no other god to whom you have to answer
        or prove that you have been fair to everyone.

It is your strength that results in things being put right.
    It is because you are in charge of everything
        that you are free to show mercy to all.

When people question whether you are up to the job,
    you blow away their doubts with a show of strength.
If anyone has the gall to challenge your power,
    you put them back in their place quick smart.

Although your power and authority are supreme,
    you are gentle and compassionate in judging us.
You are more than capable of wiping us out if you wished,
    but you show great tolerance in your rule over us.

In these things you have set an example for us,
    showing us that those who are passionate for what is right
        must also be gentle on others.
You have given your children every reason for hope,
    because you give us the chance to turn our backs on corruption
        and get our lives back on track with you.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

OR


* Isaiah 44: 6-8 (alt)

I am the LORD, the commander of everything;
    your ruler who puts things right for you.
I am the whole story, from beginning to end;
    the one and only God.

Can anyone match me? Let’s hear from them!
    Let them take the stand and set out their case.
In all the years since I set up the nation,
    did they ever predict what was about to happen?
What’s going to happen next then?
    Let’s hear from them.

My people, don’t worry. You’ve got nothing to fear.
    Haven’t I always kept you informed?
        You are my witnesses!
Is there any other god besides me?
    Is there any other rock you can depend on?
No way! Not even one.
    And I ought to know!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 86: 11-17

Teach me how to stick to your track, LORD,
........so I won’t stray from your path of truth.
................Keep my heart focussed on adoring you alone.

O Lord my God, I thank you with all my heart;
........I will always name you as the to whom all the glory is due.

Your love for me is the best, and absolutely rock-solid;
........you saved me when my whole being was plunging into the abyss.

A crass and arrogant mob are out to get me, God;
........a bunch of thugs are trying to bump me off,
................and they couldn’t care less about you.

But I know that you, Lord,
........are a compassionate and generous God,
................slow to anger, and rich in love and loyalty.

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