Year A
Proper 16
Sunday 23 August 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,
offering ourselves as a living sacrifice,
for you have never allowed the gates of Hell
to prevail against us.

You are the creator of the earth and sky;
the author of all that is good, acceptable and perfect.
When your people were bitterly oppressed,
you acted to save them, raising Moses from the waters
to grow and lead your people to freedom.

In your child, Jesus, you have again been with us
to save us from the snares of the enemy.
In him people saw the courage of John the Baptiser,
the fiery passion of Elijah, the faithfulness of Jeremiah.
Though he was killed, you raised him to life
and revealed him to us as your chosen Messiah,
the one in whom we are reconciled as one body,
gifted and called to unlock your Kingdom on earth.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give you thanks for your child, Jesus,
who you revealed to us as your chosen Messiah,
the one in whom we are reconciled as one body,
gifted and called to unlock your Kingdom on earth.

©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,
offering ourselves as a living sacrifice,
for you have never allowed the gates of Hell
to prevail against us.

You are the creator of the earth and sky;
the author of all that is good, acceptable and perfect.
When your people were bitterly oppressed,
you acted to save them, raising Moses from the waters
to grow and lead your people to freedom.

In your child, Jesus, you have again been with us
to save us from the snares of the enemy.
In him people saw the courage of John the Baptiser,
the fiery passion of Elijah, the faithfulness of Jeremiah.
Though he was killed, you raised him to life
and revealed him to us as your chosen Messiah,
the one in whom we are reconciled as one body,
gifted and called to unlock your Kingdom on earth.

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

If the Lord was not for us
we would be forever ensnared in our sins.
But in Christ we have been cut free from our sins on earth,
and all who are freed on earth will be freed in heaven.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, strong in the mercies of God.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,
so that knowing the will of God
your whole lives may become a sacrifice of praise,
holy and acceptable to God.

And may God, the Creator of earth and sky, be your help;
May the Son of the Living God ground you on solid rock;
And may the Holy Spirit equip you with all the gifts and graces of Christ.

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 16 - Year A - Sunday 23 August 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.



* Exodus 1:8 - 2:10

    A new king came to power in Egypt, and he knew nothing of Joseph’s place in the history of his nation or why the Israelite people had been welcomed to live there. In his speeches to his people, he appealed to nationalist sentiments and stirred up racial hostility, saying:

“Look at what is going on. There are too many of these Jews in our country and they are getting to powerful. We need to exercise sound management to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand. Otherwise these people will overrun us, and in the event of war they will side with our enemies, fight against us, and escape, leaving our economy in ruins.”
So the Egyptian authorities brought in a policy of oppression, forcing the Israelites into slave labour gangs with harsh taskmasters cracking the whip. These labour gangs were used in the king’s huge infrastructure program, and among other things, they built the massive royal storage facilities in the cities of Pithom and Rameses. However, the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more land they occupied, and that in turn fuelled the fear and hostility towards them. The taskmasters became increasingly ruthless in the way they worked the labour gangs, and life for the workers became a bitter misery as they were worked to the bone on the building sites and in every kind of heavy outdoors work. The productivity targets were outrageous and the treatment of the workers was utterly inhumane.
    The policies of oppression became increasingly genocidal. The two Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, were given orders from the king that when they assisted Hebrew women giving birth, they were to kill all the male babies born and allow only the female babies to live. But the midwives cared more about about what God thought than what the king said, so they did not obey the order and continued to let the all the babies live. When he realised that his order had not been carried out, the king called in the midwives and demanded an explanation: “Why have you allowed these baby boys to live?”
    The midwives answered, “The Hebrew women seem to have more oomph than the Egyptian women. They pop their babies out so quickly that by the time we arrive, it’s all over.”
    And so because the midwives had done the right thing by God, God did the right thing by them and enabled them to have families of their own. The Hebrew people continued to multiply and become a more powerful presence within the country. Eventually the king issued a new order to everyone in his nation: “You are to throw every Hebrew boy that is born into the Nile River. Only the girls are allowed to live.”
    A man and a woman from the tribe of Levi got married and fell pregnant. When the child was born, it was a strong and healthy baby boy, and his mother kept him hidden for three months. When he became too boisterous to keep him hidden, she made a little lifeboat for him by plastering a cane basket with tar. She placed him in the little lifeboat and floated it among the reeds near the bank of the river. The baby’s older sister kept watch from a distance to see what would happen to him.
    Before long, the daughter of the king came down and took a dip in the river while her bodyguards walked along the bank. She spotted the little lifeboat among the reeds and sent one of her servant girls to get it. When the king’s daughter opened the lid and saw the baby crying inside, she began to feel all clucky. “This must be one of the slave children,” she said.
    Then the baby’s sister spoke up and asked the king’s daughter, “Would you like me to go and find a slave woman to nurse the baby for you?”
    “Yes,” said the king’s daughter. “Go and get one right away.”
    So the girl went off and came back with the baby’s mother. The king’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse it for me. I will pay you to be his nanny.”
    So the mother took the baby home and raised him. When he had grown up enough, she delivered him back to the king’s daughter, who adopted him as her own. She named him Moses, because it sounded a bit like the word meaning to pull someone out of the water.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 124


If you had not sided with us, LORD,
........we all know where we’d have ended up.

If we had not had you on our side
........when people turned against us,
................attacking with the fury of a wounded shark,
........they would have made mince meat out of us.

Their frenzied rage would have dragged us under,
........their lust for blood would have torn us apart.
The thrashing waters would have closed over us,
........hiding the violence,
................concealing our fate.

All the credit and all the honours go to you, LORD;
........it was you who saved our flesh
................from the teeth of our enemies.

Thanks to you, we have shaken off their grip,
........and soared to safety, as free as a bird.
Their savage attack was repelled,
........and we have escaped unharmed.

It is you, LORD, the creator of heaven and earth,
........who guarantees our safety.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Romans 12: 1-8

........Sisters and brothers, in light of all the generous breaks God has given you, I urge you to offer in return the only thing you have that comes within cooee being enough: your whole selves, bodies and all. Hand them over to God as the ultimate offering; the living gift of all you are and all you do. Dedicate your lives wholly and solely to God, for this is the nature of true worship and is the only sacrifice God is looking for.
........Do not model your life on the usual aspirations of the world around you. Instead, allow God to completely remodel your life. This will start with changing the way you think, so that you will be able to tune in to what God wants, which of course is always what is good and worthwhile and for the best.
........As one who knows what it means to be treated far better than I deserve, I would warn you not to go getting over-inflated opinions of yourselves. Take a good hard look at yourselves, and be realistic about what you can and can’t do with the gifts and faith God has given you. You are all different, and there is no point in measuring yourselves against each other. It would be like expecting all the different parts of your body to be able to do each other’s jobs. How ever many of us there are, together we are all one body in Christ. As different parts of the body, we belong to one another and need one another, but we are not the same as one another. In the generosity of God, we have been given to one another, each with our own job to do and the unique gift needed to do it. And so just as a human body works best when each part is doing what it was designed to do, so too the body we all belong to works best when everybody faithfully exercises the gift they have been given: the prophets proclaim the message they trust; the ministers perform their ministries; the teachers do the teaching; the encouragers spur others on; the resource people share what they have with uncomplicated generosity; the advocates are spirited in their defence of the community; and the aid-workers carry out their acts of mercy with warmth and good cheer.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 16: 13-20

    Jesus and his followers were in the Roman district of Caesarea Philippi when he asked them, “What’s the word on the streets about the New Human? Who do they reckon I am?”
    His followers replied, “Most of the betting is on one or another of the prophets. Some have you picked as John the Baptiser. Others say Elijah, and still others are going for Jeremiah.”
    “So what about you lot?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”
    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah who everyone has been waiting for; the Son of the living God.”
    Jesus replied, “Good on you, Simon son of Jonah! You could never have worked that out for yourself – no mere mortal could. Only my Father in heaven could have let you in on this. And let me tell you who you are. You are the Rock, and on this rock I will build my church – the new people of God – and not even the deadly powers of the grave will ever drag it down. I will give you the keys that will unlock the truth of the culture of heaven here on earth. You will be the one who teaches people how to live this truth – what may and may not be done – and heaven will back you up.”
    Then he gave his followers strict instructions not to breathe a word to anyone about him being the Messiah.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Isaiah 51: 1-6

If you want to sort out your relationship with me,
    and to start living out what is right,
        then listen to what I, the LORD, have to say.

Look at your own family history;
    you are a chip off the old block.
Look back to your ancestor Abraham,
    and to Sarah who gave birth to your family line.
They were just one couple when I called them,
    but I set them up for life and from them came a huge family.

Although the city is in ruins now and only a few of you are left,
    I will put the smile back on your faces, my people.
The land lies waste, but I will make it like Eden once more;
    the scorched earth will again be like my own garden.
The land will ring to the sounds of laughter and singing;
    happiness and thankfulness will overflow.

Listen to me, my people;
    let the whole nation tune in to what I have to say.
I am going to teach you what you need to know;
    I will teach you justice that will light up the world.

I am coming on the double to set you free;
    my rescue mission has been launched,
        and I will personally take charge.
From coast to coast they are hanging out for my arrival;
    eager to see me take charge and put things right.

Take a good look at the skies;
     take a good look at the earth beneath your feet;
        they are both on their way out.
The sky will disappear like a puff of smoke;
    the earth will wear out like an old shirt,
        and those who live on it will drop like flies.

But the life I am saving you for will last forever.
    When I put things right, they will stay right for good.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 138

Thank you, LORD, thank you!
........Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
I will stand and sing your praises
........in the face of every would-be god!

Wherever I am, I turn towards your holy Temple
........and fall to my knees in gratitude,
................thanking you for your rock-solid love and loyalty;
With everything you say and everything you do
........your reputation continues to go through the roof.
The minute I called, you were there for me,
........you put steel in my spine,
................gave me the guts to go on.

When the things you have been saying sink in, LORD,
........all the earth’s powerful rulers will give credit to you.
They’ll join the party, singing and dancing in your honour,
........celebrating the wonderful things you do.

As great as you are,
........you never think of ordinary people as beneath you,
but you don’t waste your time
........on those who are pretentious and stuck-up.

Although I must often walk into dangerous situations,
........you protect me from hatred and hostility;
................your invisible hand is always there, keeping me safe.

You, LORD, have made plans for me
........and you will see them through to completion.
Your love is as timeless and dependable as the rock;
........you have made us what we are
................and you never give up on us.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net