Year A
Proper 27
Sunday 8 November 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 mysteries well up from ancient depths,
assuring us that we will be with you forever.

In the first of your mighty works,
you created the earth and filled it with life.
You rescued a people from slavery
and called them to choose between wisdom and foolishness, between serving you and making their own gods.

In your child, Jesus, you have again called us to choose -
to live in readiness
for the promised return
of the one who died and rose again,
or to waste our opportunities
and squander what you have given us.
We choose to serve you,
and with hearts full of gratitude
we trust in your protection and look for the day
when at the trumpet’s sound the dead will arise
and all will be embraced in the marriage of earth and heaven.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

As those who have chosen to serve you,
we give thanks for your protection along the way
and your promise of a day
when at the trumpet’s sound the dead will arise
and all will be embraced in the marriage of earth and heaven.

©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 your mysteries well up from ancient depths,
assuring us that we will be with you forever.

In the first of your mighty works,
you created the earth and filled it with life.
You rescued a people from slavery
and called them to choose between wisdom and foolishness, between serving you and making their own gods.

In your child, Jesus, you have again called us to choose -
to live in readiness
for the promised return
of the one who died and rose again,
or to waste our opportunities
and squander what you have given us.
We choose to serve you,
and with hearts full of gratitude
we trust in your protection and look for the day
when at the trumpet’s sound the dead will arise
and all will be embraced in the marriage of earth and heaven.

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 died and rose again, and through Jesus,
those who live or die in him
will be embraced in the mercy of God forever.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, and follow in the footsteps
of those who have gone before us in Christ.
Revere the Lord.
Serve God in sincerity and faithfulness.
Teach those who come after you to trust in God.

And may God protect you along the way;
May Christ Jesus keep you alert and prepared;
And may the Holy Spirit fuel the lamp that guides your path.

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 27 - Year A - Sunday 8 November 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.



* Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem. He called a meeting of their leaders — the tribal elders, the clan chiefs, the judges, and the civil officials — and they gathered under the authority of God. Joshua addressed them, saying:

“The LORD, the God of Israel, wants you to hear this. Back in the dark ages, your ancestors — Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor — lived in the land beyond the Euphrates river and served other gods. Then the LORD led your father Abraham out of that land and into the land of Canaan, and gave him a huge mob of descendants. So now, treat the LORD with due respect, and be absolutely fair dinkum and rock-solid in your commitment to doing all that the LORD asks of you. Have nothing more to do with any of the other objects of devotion that your ancestors worked for back in those days, or when they were in Egypt. Put yourselves wholly at the service of the LORD. But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then you can make up your own minds what you are going to devote yourselves to: the ignorant ways of your ancestors back there in the dark ages; or the trivialities of the culture around you here. But I have made up my mind for myself and for my family; we will devote ourselves to the LORD.”
When Joshua finished his speech, the leaders replied, saying:
“There is no way we would turn our backs on the LORD and devote ourselves to other gods. It was the LORD who broke us free from slavery and did such spectacular things before our very eyes in the land where we had been oppressed. As we travelled, the LORD looked after us every step of the way and kept us safe from hostile nations. It was the LORD who made room for us by driving out the nations who were occupying this land. Therefore we will serve the LORD, for the LORD is our God.”
But Joshua challenged them saying, “You lot haven’t got what it takes to serve the LORD, for the LORD has the most uncompromising standards. The LORD demands your undivided devotion, and will not tolerate or forgive any unfaithfulness or breach of trust. If you do the wrong thing by the LORD and go running around after some other object of devotion, the LORD will turn on you and do you some serious harm. The LORD will quit looking after you and destroy you instead.”
    But the leaders of the people all insisted, “No, we will serve the LORD!”
    So Joshua said, “You people are all witnesses that you made this choice with clear heads and sound minds. You all understand that you are choosing to serve the LORD alone.”
    “We know what we are saying,” they replied.
    Then Joshua said, “Well then, get rid of any other objects of devotion that you have in your lives, and give your hearts wholly and solely to the LORD our God.”
    And the people answered Joshua, saying, “The LORD our God is the only one we will serve and the only one we will obey.”
    So Joshua ratified the alliance between God and the people that day, and there at Shechem he spelt out the terms and conditions of the alliance.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 78: 1-7

We are keen to learn of you, LORD;
........your people are eager to hear what you have to say.

We listen to those who pass on the old stories;
........the dark mysteries of ancient wisdom.
These are things we must hear and know,
........for the wisdom of our ancestors must not be lost.

We will not deprive our children of these things.
........We will pass on the stories to the next generation, LORD,
................stories of the wonderful things you have done,
........so that they know how great and amazing you are.

You laid down the law for your people, LORD,
........and set out what you expected of your chosen ones.
You spelt it out to our ancestors,
........and told them to teach it to their children,
................so that the next generation would know your ways;
so that those who had not yet even been born
........would be able to grow up and pass it on to their children;
so that they will trust their future to you, God,
........living their lives by your instructions
................and never forgetting what you have done.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Sisters and brothers, as you grieve over the recent death of some members of your congregation, we do not want you to be left in the dark about what this means for their future. The pain of separation is real, but your grief is different from the grief of others who have no hope beyond this. Why? Because we believe that Jesus died and rose back to life, and that in the same way, all those who have died will be gathered up by God with Jesus to share his life. We declare this to you with the utmost confidence, for we have the Lord’s word for it. We who are still alive, and who may still be here when the Lord arrives to take charge, are certainly no better placed than those who have died. On that day, when the order is given, and the archangel roars, and God sounds the siren, the Lord will emerge from heaven in person, and the first to their feet will be those who have died in union with the Messiah. Then the rest of us, those of us who are still alive at the time, will be snatched up too, and there will be a great reunion in the clouds as we all meet the Lord in the air together. From then on, there will be no more painful separations; we will all be with the Lord forever. So keep reminding one another about what I’ve said, so that you may all take courage in this time of sadness.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 25: 1-13

While speaking to his followers, Jesus said, “When the time comes, the arrival of the culture of heaven will be like this:

     At a wedding celebration, ten young women were given the job of holding up oil lamps and forming a guard of honour to greet the bridegroom when he arrived at the reception hall. Five of them had their wits about them, but the other five were not the full bottle. These five dim-wits had their lamps alight, but they didn’t bring any spare oil. The five bright-sparks had some extra with them, just in case. The bridegroom was delayed by several hours, and the ten girls all fell asleep in the foyer while they were waiting for him. Finally, on the stroke of midnight, there was a shout, ‘Quick! The bridegroom has just come around the corner. On your feet and get those lamps waving!’
    The ten young women all jumped up and trimmed their lamps, but by that time the five dim-wits were almost out of oil. They turned to the well-prepared women and said, ‘Our lamps are going out. Can you spare us some oil?’
    But the well-prepared women replied, ‘Sorry! If we try to make it go around all ten of us, then all the lamps will run out and there’ll be no lights at all. You’ll have to go down to the shops and get some more for yourselves.’
    But while the five who had not kept their stocks up ran down to the shops, the bridegroom pulled up, and those who had been ready for him waved their lamps and followed him into the wedding feast. The door was locked behind them, and when the other five returned, they couldn’t get in. They banged on the door and called out, ‘Sir, Sir, open the door for us.’
    But the bridegroom replied, ‘I’m telling you straight, I don’t recognise you.’”

    “And so,” Jesus concluded, “Keep yourselves ready, because you have no way of knowing when the time will come.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Wisdom of Solomon 6: 12-16

Wisdom is a radiant beauty
    and her beauty never fades.
Those who love her always recognise her
    and those who seek her have no trouble finding her.

She is open and generous
    with all who desire her.
Get up early to track her down
    and you’ll have no trouble.
You’ll find her right outside,
    ready and waiting for you.

Anyone who gets their mind fixed on her
    is on the way to understanding everything clearly.
Anyone who stays awake to her
    will soon be without a care in the world.
She is always on the lookout for those who are worthy of her.
    She bowls up and generously introduces herself.
        She is there in their minds whenever they need her.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

OR


* Amos 5: 18-24

I, the LORD, am heartbroken over you people
    who seem so eager to see the day
        when I will step in to put everything right.
    What have you got to look forward to on that day?

What you see as a light at the end of the tunnel
    is a train coming the other way!
For you, it will be like escaping from a crocodile
    only to swim into the jaws of a shark;
or flopping down in your favourite chair
    only to sit on a deadly snake.

Can’t you see that for you
    the day of justice will be a dark and gloomy day
        and not any kind of bright new tomorrow?

I can’t stand your religious festivals.
    When you gather for worship, it makes me sick.

I will not accept anything you offer me in worship,
    no matter what it costs or how beautifully it is presented.
You can offer me all your sacrifices and gifts,
    but I will turn away in disgust.

Go and sing your noisy songs somewhere else.
    I don’t want to hear another note you play.

Your worship will remain like a foul stench to me
    until you flood your lives with justice;
        until your passion for doing what’s right
            is as unstoppable as a rolling river.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Wisdom of Solomon 6: 17-20

The first sign of wisdom in a person
    is a genuine hunger to learn from others.
Those who seek guidance from others
    are clearly proving their love of wisdom,
and the love of wisdom
    is shown in living by her laws.
Living by her laws
    guarantees unending life,
and unending life is lived
    in close relationship with God.

So the desire for wisdom
    leads directly to the Kingdom of God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

OR


* Psalm 70

Please God, deliver me!
........Help me, LORD, quickly!

These people are out to get me, LORD;
........leave them confused
................with egg all over their faces.
They are trying to do me harm;
........knock them off their perches
................and send them packing.

When they smirk and make a joke of me,
........run them out of town in disgrace.

Put a smile on the face
........of everyone who seeks you, LORD.
Give everyone who loves your ways
........reason to celebrate your greatness forever.

But right now, God, I need your help in a hurry;
........I can’t make ends meet.
You are the one who helps me;
........the one who rescues me from danger.
................Quickly, LORD, help me without delay!

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net