Year A
Proper 29 - Reign of Christ
Sunday 22 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 love is forever, faithful from age to age.

You are our maker, to who we belong,
for you created the earth
and you shepherd all who live in it.
When your people were scattered and oppressed,
you promised through your prophets to gather them home
and feed them on the rich pasture of their own land.

In your child, Jesus, the promises have been fulfilled:
a shepherd king who seeks the lost
and binds up the wounded.
When he was killed, you raised him from the dead
and seated him at your side in the heavenly places.
Now your immeasurable power is at work in us who believe
to clothe us in compassion and righteousness
so that we might be fit for the kingdom
which you prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




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

We give thanks for your immeasurable power at work in us
to clothe us in compassion and righteousness
so that we might be fit for the kingdom
which you prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

©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 love is forever, faithful from age to age.

You are our maker, to who we belong,
for you created the earth
and you shepherd all who live in it.
When your people were scattered and oppressed,
you promised through your prophets to gather them home
and feed them on the rich pasture of their own land.

In your child, Jesus, the promises have been fulfilled:
a shepherd king who seeks the lost
and binds up the wounded.
When he was killed, you raised him from the dead
and seated him at your side in the heavenly places.
Now your immeasurable power is at work in us who believe
to clothe us in compassion and righteousness
so that we might be fit for the kingdom
which you prepared for us from the foundation of the world.

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 Lord our God says:
”I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strayed.
I will bind up the injured and I will strengthen the weak.”
Indeed the Lord is good.
God’s love and mercy are forever.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Commission & Benediction

Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognise Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.

And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;
And may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom
   and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

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 29 (Reign of Christ) - Year A - Sunday 22 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.



* Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24

    I, the Lord GOD, will personally undertake the search and rescue mission for my missing people. When a mob of sheep has been attacked and scattered, a good farmer will mount a search and not rest until they are all safely back together. I am just like that farmer. I will seek out my sheep. On a day of violent storms and clouds of black smoke, they were scattered in all directions, but I will rescue them from wherever they ended up. Even if my exiled people have disappeared among other peoples in other countries, I will gather them up, one at a time, and bring the whole mob back home to their own land. I will let them graze contentedly on the rolling hills of this promised land. They will be free to stroll beside rivers and creeks, and to make their home among their friends and family. I will give them the best pasture to feed on, and the rich and fertile high country will be their home. They will have it easy, and want for nothing. The rich high country pastures will provide them with everything they desire. I, the Lord GOD, will personally take care of my sheep and see to it that they can lie down with nothing to fear.

    Those who are lost, I will seek.
    Those who have wandered off track, I will bring back.
    Those who are wounded, I will bandage up.
    Those who are weak, I will nurse back to full strength.
        But I will come down hard on the powerful fat-cats.
            Justice will be their staple diet.

    I, the Lord GOD, have this to say to those who have grown fat off the misery of others. You will have me to answer to when it is time to judge between you and those who have been trampled down and deprived. Like a bullying ram, you stood over them and butted them with your horns, exploiting their weakness and throwing your weight around until they were scattered, helpless and half starved. So I am going to step in and save this mob of mine. They will no longer have to put up with your violent stand-over tactics. I will sort out the sheep and cull out the rogues.
    I will find a shepherd who I can trust to put him in charge of them, one from the family of King David who works for me. He will provide for them and take care of them. I, the LORD, will be their God, and David, who answers to me, will be their king. I the LORD, have given my word.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 100

With all the earth we join in thunderous celebration, LORD;
........raising the roof as we come into your presence singing;
................coming gladly to offer you our devotion.

LORD, we know that you are God.
........You made us, and we belong to you.
................We are your people, fed and cared for by you alone.

Your gates are open to us; thank you!
........In your presence, we sing your praises!
................We name you as deserving all the credit and thanks!

You are the best, LORD!
........Your love is rock-solid, and always will be.
................Down through the ages, you keep your word and stick by us.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Ephesians 1: 15-23

Having heard of your deep trust in the Lord Jesus and your active love for his people, I could hardly stop thanking God for you. And I’m praying for you too. I ask the glorious God of our Lord Jesus the Messiah to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will fill you with wisdom and insight as you get to know God. That way you’ll get a clear picture of all that God wants you to see:
...-..the promised goal of the mission to which you are called;
...-..the extravagant generosity of God’s provision for us;
...-..and the immense capacity of the dynamic power
........which is put to work in us when we trust God.
This dynamic power is the same energy that God put to work in the Messiah when he raised him from death and enthroned him in heaven. Now the Messiah sits at God’s right hand, reigning over the entire universe, and there is not a single authority that can overrule him, now or ever. Every religious hierarchy and military regime; every legal jurisdiction and people-power movement; every economic imperative and moral principle; God has put them all under the feet of the Messiah. God has decreed that all things will answer to him. The church, then, is central to what the Messiah is doing, for it is his body, already filled with the presence of the one who is filling each and every part of the entire universe.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Matthew 25: 31-46

While speaking to his followers, Jesus said, “The day is coming when the New Human will return in all his glory, accompanied by all his angels, and he will be crowned as king. He will sit down on the judgment seat, and all the nations of the world will be summoned to appear before him. Like a quality controller sorting out the good fruit from the rejects, he will carefully sort the nations into two groups, one on his right side and one on his left. Then the King will say to the group on his right side:

‘Welcome, you who have been given the thumbs up by my Father. Ever since the foundation of the world, there has been a kingdom ready with your name on it. Come now, and inherit it; because
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I came seeking asylum and you made me welcome,
I didn’t have a stitch to wear
and you gave me clothes,
I was diseased and you took care of me,
I was in detention and you visited me.’

Then those compassionate nations will ask him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When were you a refugee and we welcomed you, or in detention and we visited you? When did we find you without clothes or sick and do something about it?’

And the King will reply, ‘The fact is, you did these things for people who were regarded as the dregs of society, but who I love as my own family; and each time you helped one of them, you were helping me.’

Then he will say to the nations on the other side:

‘You lot have been written off. Get out of my sight! A time of fire has been prepared for the devil and his agents, and you have doomed yourselves to go into it with them; because
I was hungry and you didn’t give me a bite,
I was thirsty and you gave me nothing,
I came seeking asylum and you wouldn’t let me in,
I didn’t have a stitch to wear 

and you left me to freeze,
I was diseased and in detention
and you wouldn’t come near me.’

They too will ask, ‘Lord, when was it that we failed to take care of you? We don’t recall seeing you hungry or thirsty or seeking asylum or naked or sick or in detention.’

But he will answer, ‘The fact is, you failed to do these things for those who were regarded as the dregs of society, and each time you turned your back on them, you were turning your back on me.’

And with that they will be marched off into the time of punishment. But the nations who did the right thing by others will enjoy life without limit.”


©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection


* Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24

........I, the Lord GOD, will personally undertake the search and rescue mission for my missing people. When a mob of sheep has been attacked and scattered, a good farmer will mount a search and not rest until they are all safely back together. I am just like that farmer; I will seek out my sheep. On a day of violent storms and clouds of black smoke, they were scattered in all directions, but I will rescue them from wherever they ended up. Even if my exiled people have disappeared among other peoples in other countries, I will gather them up, one at a time, and bring the whole mob back home to their own land. I will let them graze contentedly on the rolling hills of this promised land. They will be free to stroll beside rivers and creeks, and to make their home among their friends and family. I will give them the best pasture to feed on, and the rich and fertile high country will be their home. They will have it easy, and want for nothing. The rich high country pastures will provide them with everything they desire. I, the Lord GOD, will personally take care of my sheep and see to it that they can lie down with nothing to fear.
........Those who are lost, I will seek.
........Those who have wandered off track, I will bring back.
........Those who are wounded, I will bandage up.
........Those who are weak, I will nurse back to full strength.
................But the fat and powerful, I will come down hard on.
........................Justice will be their staple diet.
........I, the Lord GOD, have this to say to those who have grown fat off the misery of others. You will have me to answer to when it is time to judge between you and those who have been trampled down and deprived. Like a bullying ram, you stood over them and butted them with your horns, exploiting their weakness and throwing your weight around until they were scattered, helpless and half starved. So I am going to step in and save this mob of mine. They will no longer have to put up with your violent stand-over tactics. I will sort out the sheep and cull out the rogues.
........I will find a shepherd I can trust to put him in charge of them, one from the family of King David who works for me. He will provide for them and take care of them. I, the LORD, will be their God, and David, who answers to me, will be their king. I the LORD, have given my word.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 95: 1-7a

We gather and sing to you, LORD.
........We raise the roof with shouts of joy
................for you are the rock on which we are safe!

We come into your presence bursting with gratitude;
........we set the house rocking as we sing your praises!

For you, LORD, are the greatest God of all;
........you rank way above every other claim on our loyalty.

You hold the depths of the earth in your hands,
........and the highest mountains are at your disposal.

The oceans and the dry lands alike belong to you,
........for you made them with your own hands.

You made us too, LORD, and we worship you,
........falling to our knees and bowing down to the ground!

You are our God and we are your people;
........you tenderly care for us like a sheep rearing her young.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net