Year B
Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 2)
does not occur in the next cycle


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 blot out the memory of our failures,
and bring new and life-giving things springing forth.

You created the earth and its inhabitants
and formed a people for yourself to declare your praise.
When they piled up sins instead of offerings,
you sent your prophets to call them to repentance
and offer forgiveness and restoration.

To us you sent your Son, Jesus the Christ,
with the authority to forgive sins
and to set free those paralysed by illness or fear.
When he was betrayed by a friend
and killed by those who would not recognise
the new things you were doing,
you raised him to life again,
and in him, you establish us
and anoint us as your own,
pouring your Spirit into our hearts
as a guarantee of all you have in store for us.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



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

We give thanks for the new and life-giving things
you are doing through your Son, Jesus the Christ,
who forgives our sins,
sets us free from the paralysis of illness and fear,
and pours your Spirit into our hearts.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for you blot out the memory of our failures,
and bring new and life-giving things springing forth.

You created the earth and its inhabitants
and formed a people for yourself to declare your praise.
When they piled up sins instead of offerings,
you sent your prophets to call them to repentance
and offer forgiveness and restoration.

To us you sent your Son, Jesus the Christ,
with the authority to forgive sins
and to set free those paralysed by illness or fear.
When he was betrayed by a friend
and killed by those who would not recognise
the new things you were doing,
you raised him to life again,
and in him, you establish us
and anoint us as your own,
pouring your Spirit into our hearts
as a guarantee of all you have in store for us.

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.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

God’s own glory is confirmed
in saying “Yes!” to our cry for mercy and healing.
In Jesus Christ, God forgives our sins
and chooses not to remember our wrong doing.

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

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now in confidence, as forgiven people.
Stand with the Lord forever,
look for the new things God is doing
and always be ready to help the poor.

And may God watch and protect you;
May Christ Jesus who forgives you, raise you to wholeness;
And may the Spirit pour rivers into your deserts
   and lead you into all God’s promises.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 7th Sunday after Epiphany - Year B - does not occur in the next cycle
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.


* Isaiah 43: 18-25

This is what the LORD has to say:

Don’t dwell on the things of the past;
    don’t get bogged down in nostalgia.
I am about to do something completely new;
    can’t you see it taking shape before your eyes?

I will make a safe path through the hostile wilderness.
    I will make the desert rivers flow again.
Untamed animals will applaud what I do
    – dingoes, emus, goannas –
because the desert bursts into life
    as I send rains, filling the inland lakes.

Now the people I have chosen can drink their fill;
    I created them to be my people,
        to enjoy and celebrate the things I do.

Despite all this, my people,
    you have not spent any time with me in worship,
        and yet you claim to be sick and tired of me!

You have not given me anything of value;
    you have not honoured me at any cost to yourselves.
I have not made any demands of you,
    or hassled you for gifts or fragrant incense.

You have not spent a cent on sweet spices for me,
    nor offered me the prime cuts
        from the animals roasted on my own altar.
All you have ever brought me is grief;
    you have made me sick with your offences.

But I am the One who wipes your record clean;
    because of who I am,
        I will keep no record of what you’ve done wrong.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Psalm 41

Those who are ready to help the poor have got it made;
........in hard times, you step in to get them through, LORD.

You stand guard over them
........and keep them in one piece.
You don’t let their enemies get their claws into them, LORD,
........and they are the happiest people in the country.

When they are sick, you get them safely through,
........and when they are injured, you put them back on their feet.

In dire straits, I’m praying to you, LORD;
........I know I have done the wrong thing by you,
................but please show mercy and heal me.

My enemies are gloating over how crook I am;
........keen to see me dead and forgotten.

They visit, pretending to wish me well,
........but are soon out on the streets,
................crowing to one another about how near to death I am.

In their hatred of me, they whisper and sneer about me,
........and wish on me the worst death they can imagine.

They reckon some deadly virus has got me by the throat,
........and that I’ll never make it out of the hospital alive.

Even my best mate, who I trusted through thick and thin,
........who shared many a meal and many a drink with me,
................has turned against me now.

Give me a break, LORD, in your generous mercy.
........Put me back on my feet so I can wipe the smirk off their faces.

When my enemy’s campaign against me falls apart
........I will know that you have sided with me, LORD.

Recognising my integrity, you have gone in to bat for me
........and given me a permanent place at your side.

May everything work out right for you, LORD, our God,
........now and ever, to the end of time and beyond!
................And so say all of us! Too right!

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* 2 Corinthians 1: 18-22

What God says, God follows through on; and by the same token, we have not been having a bet each way in anything we have said to you. The Son of God — Jesus the Christ — was made known among you by Silas, Timothy and me. He was certainly not an each way bet on God’s part. On the contrary, God backed him all the way, and for good reason. Every promise God had ever made has ridden home a winner on the back of Jesus. That is why, when we link up with him we are saying “Count us in!” and betting our lives on the glory all belonging to God. But we — that’s you and us — have only got in on what Christ is doing because God has made us partners in him. God signed the transfer papers, marking us out and setting us apart as those whose fortunes were now bound up in Christ. God’s Spirit was put in our hearts, given to us as the first instalment of the winnings that we are to share in Christ.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Mark 2: 1-12

    When Jesus arrived home in Capernaum after a few days away, the word quickly got around that he was back. A large crowd flocked to the house to hear what he had to say. As he spelt out his message, so many people crammed in that it was standing room only, right through the house and out the front door into the street. While he was still speaking, some people arrived carrying a paralysed man on a stretcher. They wanted to bring him to Jesus, but they soon saw that there was no way of getting through the crowd. Not willing to give up, they climbed up on top of the house and ripped open a section of the roof above Jesus’s head. Then they used ropes to lower their friend on his stretcher right down in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw how firmly they believed that all this effort would pay off, he spoke to the paralysed man and said, “Mate, all you have done wrong is forgiven. You’re in the clear!”
    Now some of the local religious experts were there in the crowd, and they immediately began thinking, “Who does this bloke think he is? This is a gross insult to God, because no one but God can put people in the clear.”
    Being tuned in to what was going on around him, Jesus could tell that these questions were bubbling up among them, so he turned to them and said, “Why does this set your heads spinning? Which do you think would be the bigger challenge for me, to tell him he was forgiven, or to tell him to get up, fold up his stretcher and walk out of here? So, if you want to know whether the New Human has the authority here on earth to put people in the clear, watch this!” And he turned to the paralysed man and said, “I’m telling you, get up on your feet, fold up your stretcher and get off home.”
    And sure enough, the man got to his feet in front of everybody, and promptly folded up his stretcher and headed out the door. The people could hardly believe their eyes. They all began giving God the credit for it, saying, “This is like nothing we have ever seen before!” 

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net