Year A
Proper 18
Sunday 6 September 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 your delight is in your people,
and the day of our salvation is near.

You are our King and our maker,
for all things came into being at your command.
You came to save your people from slavery,
striking the land of their oppressors,
and setting free all who identified themselves
with the blood of your lamb.

In your child, Jesus, you have again come to save us.
In his love we have seen the fulfilment of your law
and the revelation of your desire to reconcile all people –
to yourself and to one another.
When he was killed you raised him to life,
and marked us for salvation with his blood.
Now wherever two or three gather,
clothed in his love,
you are present in the midst of us
and we rejoice in you forever.
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,
in whose love we have seen the fulfilment of your law
and whose presence in our midst
we know and celebrate whenever we gather in your name.

©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,
It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your delight is in your people,
and the day of our salvation is near.

You are our King and our maker,
for all things came into being at your command.
You came to save your people from slavery,
striking the land of their oppressors,
and setting free all who identified themselves
with the blood of your lamb.

In your child, Jesus, you have again come to save us.
In his love we have seen the fulfilment of your law
and the revelation of your desire to reconcile all people –
to yourself and to one another.
When he was killed you raised him to life,
and marked us for salvation with his blood.
Now wherever two or three gather,
clothed in his love,
you are present in the midst of us
and we rejoice in you forever.

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

Jesus Christ has called us to lay aside the works of darkness
and to confess our sins and be reconciled to God.
You have confessed your sin in the company of God’s people.
Your forgiveness, declared on earth, is sealed in heaven.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go out in love, reconciled to one another in Christ.
Lay aside the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light.
Live honourably,
fulfilling the law through love for all.

And may God mark you out for salvation;
May Christ Jesus be present among you always,
And may the Holy Spirit reconcile you to one another
   and fulfil the law of love among you.

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 18 - Year A - Sunday 6 September 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 12: 1-14

After the King of Egypt had refused to listen to all the warnings, the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron again, saying:

    “Rewrite your calendars — from now on, this month is to be the beginning of the new year. Put the word out among all the Israelite people that on the tenth day of the month, each household is to obtain a lamb or a young goat to be eaten. Small households can combine with their neighbours to share one, dividing it up so that there is enough for everyone to have some. The lamb must be a healthy male yearling with no deformities — not a runt. Having obtained the lamb, the household is to keep it at home for four days. Just after sunset on the fourteenth, all the Israelites are to slaughter the lambs ready for cooking. Take some of the blood and paint it on the frame of the front door of the house where you are eating the lamb. Cook and eat it that night. Don’t serve it raw or boiled. Don’t even cut it up or gut it. Spit-roast it whole over the fire and serve it with unleavened flat-breads and bitter herbs. Eat it all that night. If there is any left over in the morning you are to burn it. When you eat it, you are to eat as though you were in a hurry and about to leave on a journey. You should be dressed and packed, with your walking boots on and your stick at hand. In this way you are to keep the feast of Passover in honour of me, the LORD.
    That night, I will pass through Egypt, killing the firstborn sons of every family and the firstborn male animals. I am the LORD, and I will carry out the sentence I have passed on the gods of Egypt this night. The lamb’s blood painted on your door frames will be the sign that your households are to be exempted. I will pass over every house that I see marked with the blood, and you will not be touched by the plague that will strike down the Egyptians.
    Remember this day and, in every generation to come, celebrate it as an annual festival to honour me, the LORD.”
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 149

You are the greatest, LORD!

We sing your praises like we’ve never sung before, LORD,
........along with all your faithful people everywhere.

Our greatest joy is knowing
........that you made us as your people.
With all the children of your holy city,
........we celebrate you as our King!

Every mention of your name sets us singing and dancing;
........we strike up the band in your honour.

For you, LORD, delight in your people;
........you share the spoils of victory with ordinary folk.

Your faithful ones revel in your glory,
........and bask in the sheer joy of praising you.

Put your words in their mouths
........and your sword in their hands, God,
so that they can bring the nations to justice
........and execute your sentence on every population.
Deliver every despot and dictator into their hands
........to be tried and sentenced
................and put behind bars where they belong.

May all your faithful ones share in this glory, LORD,
........for you are the greatest!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Romans 13: 8-14

........Keep yourselves out of debt. Let the only thing you owe anyone be love. If you are loving others you are measuring up to the standard that God’s law has always been seeking. The law contains lots of detailed commandments such as don’t betray your marriage partner, don’t kill anybody, don’t pinch other people’s stuff, and don’t get preoccupied with the desire to possess things you don’t have. All such commandments can be summarised into the one simple instruction: “Love your neighbour as attentively as you love yourself.” Love never does the wrong thing by anybody, so if you really love, you will measure up to the whole law without even thinking about it.
........You will realise how important these things are, because you understand the significance of the times we are living in. It is time to wipe the sleep out of your eyes; to be on your feet, fully alert. Salvation is at hand. It has been approaching ever since we first put our trust in God, and it is now drawing near. The night is almost gone; the new day is about to dawn. So let’s make sure that we get rid of any old ways of living that belong to the darkness of our past. Let us live our lives in such a way that we’ll be able to hold our heads high when the broad light of day shows up everything for what it really is. Avoid the desperate pursuit of pleasure with its common pitfalls of substance abuse, sexual sleaze, hostile belligerence, and crippling jealousy. Instead, take on the persona of our Lord Jesus the Messiah and don’t give any encouragement to the selfish desires that clamour for your attention and seek to hijack your life.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 18: 15-20

While teaching his followers, Jesus said, “If another one of the brothers or sisters in the congregation does the wrong thing by you in some serious way, go and try to sort it out between the two of you. If the offender takes on board what you have to say, then you have rebuilt the relationship. If your approach is rejected, have another try, but this time take one or two others with you, so that there will be witnesses to all that is said and done between you. If the offending brother or sister still refuses to accept responsibility for the problem, then bring the issue to the congregation. If even the congregation’s decision is rejected, then it is time for them to sever ties and to relate to the offender as they would to anyone else whose behaviour is beyond the pale and who is yet to respond to the call to turn around and become part of the people of God. I kid you not, when you make decisions together about what may and may not be done as you live your life in the congregation, heaven will back you up. And again I’m not kidding when I say that if two of you make a joint commitment to something in prayer, then my Father in heaven will support you in it. For whenever two or three people gather together, identifying themselves with me, I will be right there with them in the gathering.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Ezekiel 33: 7-11

The LORD God said to me:
    “Ezekiel, I have given you the job of standing guard over my people. You are to pass on to them, word for word, every warning you hear from me. If I give you a message for those who have gone off the rails, saying, ‘You people are corrupt and it is going to destroy your lives and kill you,’ you are to give it to them in no uncertain terms. If you fail to warn them of the need to turn their lives around, then they will continue on their fast track to an early grave, and I will hold you culpable for their deaths. But if you give them fair warning to mend their ways, and they take no notice, then they will still end up dead, but you won’t have their blood on your hands.
    “Now, young man; can you hear what my people are saying? They are saying that their past has caught up with them, and that the mistakes that they once made will go on ruining their lives from now on. They think they are stuck with no way out, and no life to look forward to. This is what I want you to tell them, Ezekiel: ‘I am the LORD your God who lives forever, and I can assure you that I take no pleasure in seeing those who have done wrong pay for it with their lives. I would so much rather see them mend their ways and rebuild their lives. So you people who think your past is killing you, turn around and get your lives back on track. Come, my people, why should you let these things kill you when there is a way out?”
©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 119: 33-40

LORD, teach me the way of life you have set for us
........and I will stick to it for keeps.

Help me to get my head around what you want
........and I will throw myself wholeheartedly into doing it.

Guide me down the track you’ve mapped out for us,
........for nothing pleases me more than being where you want me.

Keep me focussed on the values you’ve spelt out;
........don’t let me get sucked into grabbing everything for myself.

Put the blinkers on me so I see only your life-giving ways
........and am not distracted by fashionable froth and bubble.

Reassure me that I am in on what you promised to all
........who respect you and work for you.

Protect me with your good teachings
........so that I won’t disgrace myself as I fear I could.

See how much I long to do things your way;
........please do the right thing by me and give me real life.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net