Year A
Proper 17
Sunday 30 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,
for you meet us in our suffering
and the fire of your love and compassion burns forever.

In the first of your mighty wonders
you created the earth and made it holy.
You heard the cries of your oppressed people
and from the blazing power of your presence
you sent Moses and Aaron to lead them to freedom.

Once again, in your child, Jesus,
you have come down to deliver us.
He suffered at the hands of the authorities in Jerusalem,
and was killed,
but you overcome evil with good
and raised him to new life on the third day.
And now you have called us to follow him,
taking up the cross and relinquishing our lives,
so that united with him we may enter your life -
the life which is worth more than the world itself.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give you thanks for the fire of your love which burns forever,
making all places holy with the power of your presence
and leading us into your life
which is worth more than the world itself.

©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 meet us in our suffering
and the fire of your love and compassion burns forever.

In the first of your mighty wonders
you created the earth and made it holy.
You heard the cries of your oppressed people
and from the blazing power of your presence
you sent Moses and Aaron to lead them to freedom.

Once again, in your child, Jesus,
you have come down to deliver us.
He suffered at the hands of the authorities in Jerusalem,
and was killed,
but you overcome evil with good
and raised him to new life on the third day.
And now you have called us to follow him,
taking up the cross and relinquishing our lives,
so that united with him we may enter your life -
the life which is worth more than the world itself.

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

The blazing fire of God’s presence refines us,
but in mercy it does not destroy us.
God does not repay evil for evil,
but comes to deliver us and restore us to life.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now and follow Jesus in the way of the cross.
Rejoice in hope,
hold fast to what is good,
persevere in prayer.
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
As far as is possible, live peaceably with all.

And may God hear your cries and deliver you;
May Christ Jesus repay you with fullness of life;
And may the Holy Spirit be with you always
   nourishing you in love and hope.

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 17 - Year A - Sunday 30 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 3: 1-15

    Moses married the daughter of a Midianite priest named Jethro, and worked for him droving his sheep. One day he drove the sheep out back of beyond, and he ended up grazing them on the slopes of Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. While he was there, he saw a bush burst into flames and the messenger of the LORD appeared in the fire. As Moses watched the fire, he was amazed to see that although the fire was intense, the bush was not being burned up and reduced to ash, so he decided to go closer to see if he could work out what was going on. Having got Moses’ attention, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
    “At your service,” Moses replied.
    “Don’t come any closer!” God said. “And take your boots off, because you are standing on a sacred site. I am the God of your ancestors; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
    At that, Moses pulled his coat over his face because he was afraid to stand face to face with God. Then the LORD said:

“I have seen how my people have been chewed up and spat out in Egypt. I have heard their desperate cries for help as the slave-drivers work them into the ground. The truth is, I know what their suffering is like, and I have come down to break them free, and to bring them up out of the land of slavery. I will bring them into good land of wide open spaces, a land rich with milk and honey. It is presently occupied by the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, but I will give it to my people. The cries of the Israelites have gotten through to me, and I have seen how the tyrants are grinding them into the dirt. So come on Moses, up and at it. I will send you to the king of Egypt to bring my people, the Israelites, out of slavery in his country.”
    But Moses said to God, “Hang on a minute! Why me? I must be about the least qualified person on the face of the earth for the job of negotiating with the king of Egypt for the release of his Israelite slaves!”
    But God replied, “I will be with you! And this is how you will know that I have been with you: when you have got the people out of Egypt, you will worship me right here on this mountain.”
    But Moses continued to protest, saying, “If I go to the Israelites and try to tell them that the God of their ancestors has sent me to them, they’ll never believe me. They will say, ‘And what name does this God go by?’ What am I to tell them then?”
    God replied, “I AM who I AM. So you go and tell the Israelites that the one named I AM the LORD has sent you to them. And you can further tell them that the LORD, the God of their ancestors; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent you to them. This is my name forever; this is how I am to be addressed from now on.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 105: 1-6, 23-26, 45c

We shout your name and give you thanks, LORD;
........we will tell everyone what you have done for us.
We sing your praises in your presence,
........and publicise your wonderful achievements.

We put your name up in lights, your name alone;
........our hearts burst with joy when we approach you.
It is you we want most of all, you and your strength;
........we try to keep near to you all the time.

Like all the descendants of Abraham and Jacob,
........and all your chosen children,
we remember all the astonishing things you have done
........and the breath-taking wisdom of your decisions.

Your people turned up in Egypt;
........yes, Jacob migrated to Africa.
You let them breed there like rabbits, LORD,
........and they grew stronger than the native population.
The Egyptians grew fearful and bitter
........and plotted to force your people into slavery.

You sent your trusty worker, Moses,
........and his chosen right hand man, Aaron.

You are the greatest, LORD!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Romans 12: 9-21

........See to it that your love is for real and without pretence. Avoid corruption like the plague. Dig your heels in and don’t be budged from the side of good. Love one another, and not just in theory but with warmth and friendly affection. If you need something to compete over, see who can score the most points for treating everyone else like royalty. Don’t let your enthusiasm get slack, but keep yourselves on the boil and work hard for the Lord. Celebrate in anticipation of all that is to come. When you are being put through the wringer, tough it out, and pray all the harder. Do what you can to help out other Christians who are in need, and work at making strangers feel welcome and at home among you.
........When others persecute you, wish them all the best and pray that God will look after them. Seek the best for them; don’t wish disaster on them. When others are celebrating, celebrate with them. When others are hurting, share the pain with them. Stay in tune with one another, living a shared life based on common commitments. Don’t be full of yourselves, but hang out with those who the world writes off as nobodies. Don’t go getting over-inflated opinions about how smart you all are.
........If anyone does the wrong thing by you, don’t go trying to pay them back in kind. Instead, take a deep breath and find a way to respond that anyone else would think of as going above and beyond the call of common decency. Do all that can be done at your end to live at peace with everyone else in the society around you. My dear friends, never take the law into your own hands to get revenge. Leave it up to God to sort the offenders out. As the scripture says, “Vengeance is my job, says the Lord, and I will give them what is coming to them.” So, follow the proverb instead: “If those who hate you are hungry, give them a feed; if they are thirsty, pour them a beer; because that’s the way to spark a meltdown in their heads.” Do not let what is evil get the upper hand over you, but get the upper hand over what is evil by doing what is good.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 16: 21-28

    Once his followers had identified him as the Messiah, Jesus began to make it clear to them that he would have to go to Jerusalem where he would be put through the wringer by the politicians, the priests and the religious lawyers. He told them that he would be executed there, but that three days later he would be raised to life. But Peter would have none of it. He pulled Jesus aside and gave him a piece of his mind, saying, “God forbid! Lord, this can’t be allowed to happen to you!”
    But Jesus turned on Peter, saying, “Get out of my face, you satan! You’re like a roadblock in my path because you have got no idea what God is on about. You’re just pursuing the same things as everyone else.”
    Then he spelt it out to his followers, saying: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to hand over the keys, sign their own death warrant, and then do as I do. If you try to hold on to control of your life, you’ll end up losing the lot. But if you let go, even if you pay the ultimate price for your commitment to me, you’ll discover real life. What’s the point of getting control of the whole world if getting it kills you. There’s no trade-in on a burned out soul. The New Human is going to arrive on the scene, full of the glory of God and surrounded by the angels, and he will see that everyone is paid what they deserve for what they have done. I kid you not, there are some people around now who will live to see the New Human arrive and take charge.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Jeremiah 15: 15-21

Jeremiah poured out his complaint to the LORD, saying:
Come on, LORD. You know what is going on here.
    Don’t forget it is for you that I am copping this abuse.
Don’t keep giving my enemies second chances.
    Dish out a harsh dose of justice before they finish me off.

When I first came across your words,
    I consumed them with great gusto.
They were the best thing I had ever tasted.
    They were a feast for my whole being!
Being named as one who belongs to you
    filled me with pride, O LORD, ruler of everything.

But now I don’t get invited to parties any more,
    and I’ve got nothing to smile about.
Doing what you asked of me cost me all my friends
    because you made me so serious and angry.

Why must I live with this constant pain?
    Why does my wound fester and refuse to heal?
The fact is, you are like a mirage in the desert, God,
    all promise but no action.
This is what the LORD said in response to Jeremiah’s complaint:
If you wake up to yourself and get back on track,
    I will accept you and put you back on your feet.
If you choose your words well and quit your whingeing,
    then you can continue to speak on my behalf.
Then the people will come seeking you,
    instead of you always crawling to them.

I will give you a thick skin, like a steel plated wall,
    to protect you from these people.
They can attack you all they like,
    but they won’t be able to bring you down
because I am on your side
    to keep you safe and see you through.
        I am the LORD, and I give you my word.

I will break the grip of these evil people and set you free;
    I will rescue you from their ruthless hands
        and bring you back to where you belong.
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 26: 1-8

Clear my name, LORD.
........I’ve been true to my word;
........I’ve staked everything on you and stood my ground.

Check me out thoroughly, LORD;
........weigh up my every thought and desire.

I keep myself focussed on your rock-solid love,
........and I stay in step with you all the time.

I don’t hang around with worthless scum;
........and I keep clear of those who talk the talk
........but never walk the walk.
I can’t stand corrupt company,
........and I keep my distance from liars and cheats.

There’s no blood to wash off my hands;
........I can dance round your altar with a clear conscience
........singing a song of thanks to you, O LORD,
................and telling the stories of the great things you’ve done.

O LORD, I love the temple you call your own,
........the place where we can bask in your presence.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net