Year B
The Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 3)
Does not occur in 2018


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 have spoken, not in carved letters on cold stone,
but in songs of love, warm with desire,
sung into our hearts.

When time began you created the world
and filled it with a rich abundance of birds and animals.
You gave yourself to your people in a holy covenant of love,
and through Moses and the prophets you led them
in ways of justice and tenderness, of faithfulness and mercy.

You sent your Son to us as the divine bridegroom.
His love was betrayed, and yet remained undiminished,
and when he was killed you raised him to life.
Alive forever, he is among us again,
mercifully seeking out all who have strayed,
and calling us to follow him to the wedding feast,
there to celebrate a new covenant
with the new wine of your passion.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



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

We give thanks for the divine bridegroom, Jesus,
who comes among us
mercifully seeking out all who have strayed,
and calling us to follow him to the wedding feast,
there to celebrate a new covenant
with the new wine of your passion.

©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 have spoken, not in carved letters on cold stone,
but in songs of love, warm with desire,
sung into our hearts.

When time began you created the world
and filled it with a rich abundance of birds and animals.
You gave yourself to your people in a holy covenant of love,
and through Moses and the prophets you led them
in ways of justice and tenderness, of faithfulness and mercy.

You sent your Son to us as the divine bridegroom.
His love was betrayed, and yet remained undiminished,
and when he was killed you raised him to life.
Alive forever, he is among us again,
mercifully seeking out all who have strayed,
and calling us to follow him to the wedding feast,
there to celebrate a new covenant
with the new wine of your passion.

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

Blessed be God who is tender and caring,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord does not treat us as our sins deserve,
but forgives us, and as far as east is from west,
so God removes our sins.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and follow the Christ wherever he calls.
Bless the Lord and hold dear all God’s gifts.
Find your competence in God
that you might be ministers of a new covenant.

And may God embrace you in tenderness and lay you down in safety.
May Christ write his words of love on your heart.
And may the Spirit fill your life with richness
    and give you the strength of an eagle.

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 Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany (Proper 3) - Year B
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.


* Hosea 2: 14-20

Beloved Israel, I, the LORD, will win you back.
    I will take you out to that wilderness place
    where our love was first awakened,
    and whisper tender words in your ear.

I will give you back your wedding presents,
    and transform the Valley of Heartbreak
    into the Pathway of Hope.

There you will again respond to me
    with the delight you had as a young bride
    when you first came to me from the land of Egypt.

From that day on, you will call me, “My loving husband.”
    Never again will you call me, “Owner” and “Master.”
I will wash you clean of the memories of those would-be gods.
    You will never again have cause to utter their names.

I will make a deal with the wild animals,
    with the birds of prey and dangerous creepy-crawlies,
    to ensure that they never threaten you again.
I will eliminate war and get rid of all the weapons,
    so that you can sleep soundly, with nothing to fear.

Then you will be mine and I will be yours;
    partners in marriage forever.
Our marriage will be good and right,
    rock-solid in love and rich in mercy.
We will give ourselves to one another
    and be faithful to one another.
    You will know me, the LORD, intimately and fully.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 103: 1-13, 22

With all our hearts, we praise you, LORD,
........from the depths of our being
................we name you as our one and only.

With all that we are we sings your praises, LORD;
........how could we ever forget all you have done for us?

When we do wrong, you forgive us;
........when we are sick, you make us well;
................when our lives fall apart, you put us back together.

With love and mercy, you treat us like royalty;
........you shower us with good things all our lives;
................you makes us feel as young and free as an eagle.

You are there for those who are victimised, LORD;
........you clear their names and bring them justice.

Through Moses, you let us know what you are on about;
........through Israel, you let us see what you can do.

Your mercy and generosity are extravagant, LORD;
........your patience and love are as solid as rock.

When we do things that anger you,
........you don’t keep dredging them up forever.

You never deal with us as harshly as we deserve;
........despite the wrong we have done, you let us off lightly.

We could no more climb to the moon on a step ladder
........than measure the limits of the love and loyalty
................you show to those who respect you.
We could no more swim the ocean from pole to pole
........than cover the distance you put between us and our sins.

Your care and concern for those who honour you
........is as tender as that of parents for their children.

We honour you, LORD,
........joining our voices with all you have made
................and all you rule over.

With all our hearts, we praise you, LORD.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* 2 Corinthians 3: 1-6

    So you think we are starting to blow our own trumpet and write our own references, do you? Of course, some people need official references before anyone will trust them, but not us. We don’t need to present references to you, or to ask you for references to show anyone else. Why not? Because your life is all the recommendation we need. We carry your story in our hearts where anybody can read it and know the truth. It is clear at a glance that you are the real thing, a genuine letter from the Messiah, prepared by us and signed by him. No need for pen and ink or legal parchment! Your life has been written straight onto our beating hearts by the Spirit of the living God.
    So we have every reason for our confidence. Because of the Messiah, we can hold our heads high before God. We are not claiming that we had the qualifications or abilities to do anything on our own. Everything we have managed is God’s doing. The only reason we have what it takes to begin putting in place God’s new alliance with humanity is that God has given it to us. Neither the alliance itself, nor our qualifications to introduce it, are written legal documents. They are much more real than that – things of spirit! The letter of the law crushes people to death, but the Spirit fills them with life.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Mark 2: 13-22

    Jesus went down to the beach. A huge crowd of people gathered around him, and he taught them there. As he was walking along, he saw a man named Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting in his office where he worked collecting taxes for the Roman occupation forces. Jesus said to him, “Come and join me,” and Levi got up and began following him.
    That evening at Levi’s house, Jesus and his followers had dinner with a group that included many disreputable characters whose lifestyles were considered offensive by the more respectable members of society. There were many such people among his followers. Some religious experts from the Pharisee party saw that he was eating in such bad company and confronted his closest followers over it, saying, “What does he think he’s doing, sharing meals with people whose behaviour is beyond the pale?”
    When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Who needs the help of a doctor: the fit and healthy, or the sick? I didn’t come to spend my time preaching to the converted, but to call back those who are off the track.”
    During a time when John’s followers and the members of the Pharisee party were going without food for religious reasons, some people came and asked Jesus, “How come the followers of John and the followers of the Pharisees give up food at this time, but your followers are still eating?”
    Jesus replied, “If you are the guests at a wedding feast, you don’t refuse to eat and drink while the bridal couple are still with you, do you? As long as the reason for the celebration is still in your midst, you celebrate! All good things come to an end, and when the reason to celebrate is taken away, then they will go without.”
    “The thing is, sometimes the old ways don’t fit the new situation. If you patch an old coat with a brand new piece of fabric, the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole. If you try to recycle some brittle old bottles for a fresh batch of sparkling wine, you’ll end up with nothing but smashed glass and an expensive puddle. Fresh content gets fresh packaging.”

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net