Year B
Second Sunday after the Epiphany
17 January 2021



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 what we know of you is overwhelming,
more wonderful than we can ever understand.

In the hidden depths of time
you formed the newborn earth according to your design,
and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs.
You led your people through Moses,
and corrected them through prophets like Samuel,
whose every word went forth with your power.

In these last days you have sent us your Son
— Jesus, son of Mary, from Nazareth.
In word and deed he brought the truth to light
and called us to follow
in the ways of integrity and discipleship.
When the enemies of life put him to death,
you raised him up by your power,
and likewise you raise us up
and unite us with Christ
that we too may be an honoured dwelling place
for your Holy Spirit.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give you thanks for raising us up
and uniting us with Christ,
so that we can follow him
in the ways of integrity and discipleship,
and become an honoured dwelling place
for your Holy Spirit.

©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 what we know of you is overwhelming,
more wonderful than we can ever understand.

In the hidden depths of time
you formed the newborn earth according to your design,
and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs.
You led your people through Moses,
and corrected them through prophets like Samuel,
whose every word went forth with your power.

In these last days you have sent us your Son
— Jesus, son of Mary, from Nazareth.
In word and deed he brought the truth to light
and called us to follow
in the ways of integrity and discipleship.
When the enemies of life put him to death,
you raised him up by your power,
and likewise you raise us up
and unite us with Christ
that we too may be an honoured dwelling place
for your Holy Spirit.

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 God who searches us and knows our inmost thoughts
has bought us at great price.
In Jesus Christ we have been freed from sin
and heaven has been opened to us.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now. Listen for the voice of the Lord
and follow wherever it leads.
Do not be dominated by anything.
Allow no room within yourselves for deceit,
but offer yourselves as a temple for the Holy Spirit.

And may God be with you and speak through you;
May Christ Jesus be one with you and raise you to life;
And may the Holy Spirit dwell within you and make you holy.

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 Epiphany 2 - Year B - 17 January 2021
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.



* 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)

    Samuel grew up in the Temple at Shiloh, working as an apprentice to Eli the priest, in the service of the LORD. In those days, the people had completely lost touch with God, and messages or visions from the LORD were rare. The light of God had not gone out, but Eli’s failing eyesight had left him unable to see.
    One night, Eli had gone to bed in his room, and Samuel was lying down in the Temple of the LORD near the sacred Ark of God. The LORD called out, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    “At your service,” said Samuel, jumping up and running into Eli’s room. “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    But Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.”
    So Samuel went and lay down again, and the LORD called out again, “Samuel!”
    Samuel got up and went to Eli, saying “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    But Eli said, “I didn’t call you, my son. Go back to bed.”
    Now it was no surprise that Samuel didn’t understand what was going on, because he did not yet know the LORD, and his mind had not yet been opened to what the LORD had to say. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and again he got up and went to Eli, saying “You called me and here I am, at your service.”
    Finally the lights went on for Eli and he realised that it was the LORD who was calling the boy, so he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if you hear the call again, say, ‘Speak to me, LORD. I’m at your service, and I’m all ears.’ ”
    So Samuel went and lay down again in the same place. The LORD came and stood alongside him, calling out as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    And Samuel replied, “Speak to me. I’m at your service, and I’m all ears.”
    The LORD said to Samuel, “Look, I am about to do something that  will make the hair stand up on the back of everyone’s necks when they hear about it. On that day I will follow through on everything I have ever said I would do to Eli and his offspring. I have told him that I am about to bring down a permanent punishment on his family, because his sons have been dragging my name through the mud and even though he knew about their corruption, he didn’t crack down on them. So now I swear to Eli’s family that the charge of corruption will stand against them forever, no matter how many apologies, sacrifices or gifts they offer.”
    Samuel had a restless night after that! When he got up in the morning to open the doors of the house of the
LORD, he was afraid to say anything about the vision to Eli. But Eli wanted to know, and called him, saying, “Samuel, my son.”
    “At your service,” Samuel answered.
    “What did the
LORD have to say to you?” Eli asked. “Don’t keep me in the dark. May God punish you big time, if you don’t tell me every detail of what was said to you.”
    So Samuel told him the whole lot, every last detail, and when he had finished, Eli said, “The
LORD has spoken. I will have to cop whatever the LORD sees fit to do.”
    As Samuel grew to be a man, the
LORD kept a guiding hand on his shoulder, and saw to it that when he spoke, not a word was wasted. Before long, the whole land, from one end to the other, knew that Samuel was the real deal – a messenger of the LORD who could be trusted.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




* Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

You have taken a good hard look at me, LORD,
   and you know exactly what makes me tick.

You know when I’ve got my feet up and when I’m on the job;
   you can read my mind like an open book.

You see where I am going and where I stop,
   and you know all about what I do and why.

You know exactly what I am going to say, LORD,
   even before I open my mouth.

You are in front of me, behind me, beside me;
   your hand on my shoulder at every turn.

All this is more than I can get my head around;
   I pinch myself, and struggle to take it in.

It was you who put me together, every part of me;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I sing your praises, LORD,
   for the the way you have made me fills me with awe.
Your creative works blow my mind;
   too wonderful for words.

You could see me clearly before I was born;
   you watched me taking shape in the secret depths
      and laid out the intricacies of nerve and muscle.

You kept your eye on me
   from conception to birth.
My life lay before you like an open book
   before I had even lived a day.

Your thoughts are way beyond my grasp, God,
   and they add up to more than I can count.
Deeper than the oceans,
   outnumbering the grains of sand;
I give up trying
   but you are with me just the same.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20 - If you find this paraphrase useful, how about clicking here and helping our little church pay its author for the hours that went into it!

You people say:

“There is nothing I am not allowed to do.”
Sure, but the fact that you are allowed to do something doesn’t mean it is a good idea to do it.
“There is nothing I am not allowed to do.”
Sure, but I am not about to let such things start taking over my life.

You also hear people say:
“Food belongs in the stomach,
   and stomachs were made for food.”
Sure, but that’s not exactly the meaning of life! God could abolish both food and stomachs and leave untouched the things that really matter. Here’s a saying worth getting your teeth into:
“The human body deserves better than sleaze.
   The body belongs to the Lord,
      and the Lord belongs to the body.”
Indeed, God cares about bodies. God raised the Lord, body and all, and will raise us, body and all, just as powerfully. You do know, don’t you, that your bodies are now integral parts of Christ’s body? So how could I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a sleazy and degraded body? No way! For you do know, don’t you, that when bodies are joined in sexual intimacy — no matter how cheap and sleazy — they are united to one another forever. As scripture says, “The two become one flesh.” But because you are united to the Lord, you are one with the Lord. Steer well clear of sleaze!

Some say:
“The sins people commit are ‘out there’
   and have no consequences in the body;”
while others say:
“If you get involved in sleazy sin
   you are only hurting yourself.”
You do know, don’t you, that your body is a sacred dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and your life is therefore not your own to trash as you please? You have the Holy Spirit within you, given to you by God. Your whole being, body and soul, belongs to God, and it didn’t come cheap. So, see to it that your bodily life always reflects well on God as its owner and occupier.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





* John 1: 43-51

   Jesus went up to Galilee and there he came across a man named Philip who, like Andrew and Peter, came from the city of Bethsaida. “Stick with me,” said Jesus, and Philip did.
   Philip later came across his mate Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one everyone has been waiting for; the one who was written about in the law of Moses and in the prophets. It is Jesus, the son of Joseph. He comes from Nazareth.”
   Nathanael replied, “Nazareth! You’ve got to be kidding. How could anything good come out of Nazareth?!”
   But Philip just said, “Come and see for yourself.”
   Jesus took one look at Nathanael and said, “Here we have a fair dinkum Israelite. There’s no bullshit in this bloke!”
   Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get your information on me?”
   Jesus replied, “I spotted you back there under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
   Nathanael said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the one who will rule God’s people!”
   Jesus answered, “Are you ready to put your trust in me just because I told you that I knew what you were made of the minute I spotted you under the fig tree. You will see things that make that pale into insignificance!”
   And turning to them all he continued, “I kid you not, you lot will see the New Human become the bridge between heaven and earth, and the messengers of God going back and forth between the two.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net