Year C
Proper 4
Does not occur in 2019


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,
and to tell of your salvation from day to day
and declare your glory and your marvelous works to all.

You made the heavens and established the earth,
and revealed yourself through your law and prophets
to be a God of glory and strength
who answers the cries of your people.

Though we were not worthy to receive you,
for we turned our backs on your grace
and limped off after worthless other gods,
you came to us in your child, Jesus,
speaking the word of healing and forgiveness.
When we turned against him,
he gave himself into our hands
as a revelation of your self-sacrificing love,
and when we crucified him,
you raised him from the dead,
and sent down your Spirit in fire
to heal us and set us free from this evil age.

Therefore with .....

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give thanks for your child, Jesus,
who came to us as a revelation of your self-sacrificing love,
speaking the word of healing and forgiveness
and sending down your Spirit in fire
to heal us and set us free from this evil age.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



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

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
and to tell of your salvation from day to day
and declare your glory and your marvelous works to all.

You made the heavens and established the earth,
and revealed yourself through your law and prophets
to be a God of glory and strength
who answers the cries of your people.

Though we were not worthy to receive you,
for we turned our backs on your grace
and limped off after worthless other gods,
you came to us in your child, Jesus,
speaking the word of healing and forgiveness.
When we turned against him,
he gave himself into our hands
as a revelation of your self-sacrificing love,
and when we crucified him,
you raised him from the dead,
and sent down your Spirit in fire
to heal us and set us free from this evil age.

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.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net





Declaration of Grace / Absolution

Jesus gave himself freely for our sins
to set us free from the present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
and to turn our hearts back to righteousness and truth.

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

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Commission & Benediction

If the Lord is God, go now, and follow him,
and do not be tempted to share your loyalty with other gods.
Stay true to the gospel that has been revealed to you in Jesus.
Call on the name of the Lord,
tell of God’s salvation from day to day,
and live in righteousness and truth.

And may God bring you grace and peace;
May Christ Jesus heal you and raise you up,
and may the Holy Spirit’s fiery glory strengthen your hearts.

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

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Proper 4 - Year C - Does not occur in 2019
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 Kings 18: 20-21 (22-29) 30-39

    At Elijah’s suggestion, King Ahab called all the prophets of the god Baal to an assembly on Mount Carmel, and advertised it throughout Israel. When the crowd had gathered, Elijah stepped forward and addressed them saying, “How long are you going to keep trying to play for both sides? Make up your minds and follow the real God. Is it going to be the LORD or Baal?”
    But there was silence. No one moved one way or the other.
    So Elijah threw down the gauntlet, saying, “I’m here as the last remaining prophet on the LORD’s side, but there are four hundred and fifty prophets here on Baal’s side. Bring us two bulls for a sacrifice. Baal’s mob can choose the bull they want. They are to butcher it and lay it out on the firewood on their altar, but they are not allowed to light the fire. I will prepare the other bull the same way, laying it out on the wood but not lighting the fire. Then they can call out to their god and I will call out to the LORD, and we’ll see which god can prove himself by sending down fire.”
    The gathered crowd thought this was a great idea.
    Elijah turned to the prophets of Baal and said, “There are lots of you, so you can go first. Choose your bull, prepare it for the sacrifice, and start praying to your god. But you are not allowed to light the fire yourselves.”
    So they took one of the bulls and butchered it for the sacrifice. From morning till midday they prayed to Baal, crying out, “O Baal, god of fire, answer us.” But nothing happened. There was no answer, not so much as a whisper. They prayed harder and harder as they marched around the altar which they had made.
    Come midday, Elijah started making fun of them. “Come on,” he said. “Shout louder! What kind of god is he? Maybe he’s dreaming. Perhaps he’s nicked out to the dunny. Could he have wandered off somewhere? Maybe he’s fallen asleep, and needs to be woken up.”
    So they prayed louder and louder and more and more desperately. They slashed themselves with swords to offer up their own blood, as was their custom, and soon there was blood all over the place. They continued this well into the afternoon, trying everything they could to get an answer out of their god, but still there was nothing. Not a whisper, not a spark, no answer of any kind.

    Then Elijah called the people to gather around him, and they crowded in close. The altar of the LORD that had once stood on the mountain was in ruins, so Elijah rebuilt it in honour of the LORD using twelve large stones. Each stone represented one of the twelve tribes descended from the sons of Jacob to whom the LORD had given the name Israel. When Elijah finished building the altar, he dug a trench around it, deep enough to hold several buckets of water. He arranged the firewood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid it on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four buckets of water and pour it all over the offering and the wood. When they had done it, he said, “Do it again”, so another four buckets were poured over it. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” so four more buckets full were poured over it so that everything was completely soaked. The whole altar was dripping wet and the trench was flooded.
    At the usual time of the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stood with the people and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, prove to everyone now that you are the real God in Israel, and that I am serving you and acting on your authority. Answer me, LORD. Show these people what you are made of, so that they will know that you are the real God and that you are winning their hearts back to you.”
    With a flash, the LORD’s fire fell and incinerated the lot: the meat, the wood, the stones, and even the water in the trench. There was nothing left but scorched dirt. When the people saw it happen, they fell on their faces in awe, saying “The LORD is the true God! The LORD is the true God!”

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 96

We sing like we’ve never sung before, LORD;
    singing to you with all the earth.
        Every mention of your name sets us singing your praises.

We never tire of telling the story of how you bailed us out;
    all over the world, we speak of your incredible accomplishments;
        everyone we meet hears us giving the credit to you.

You are the greatest, LORD; we can’t praise you enough!
    When it comes to gods, you are in a league of your own;
        all other objects of devotion are powerless.

But you, LORD, created the whole cosmos;
    you are surrounded by majesty and celebration;
        strength and beauty are signs of your presence.

People of every race and creed recognise you, LORD;
    they recognise you behind all that is strong and true;
        they name you as the one who deserves all the glory.

We offer ourselves to you, LORD;
    we fall to our knees in this beautiful place of worship;
        with all the earth, we celebrate you alone.

You are our king, LORD; we’ll tell everyone everywhere!
    You have set the world on firm foundations,
        and with you in charge, everyone will get a fair go.

Let the heavens and the earth celebrate;
    let the roar of the sea join in;
        let everything that walks, flies or swims join the party!

You are on your way, LORD,
    and even the roadside trees cheer as you approach,
        for you are coming to set things right on the earth.

You will sort things out and put things right,
    and reveal the truth about everything and everyone.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Galatians 1:1-12

    I, Paul, am one of God’s special ambassadors. I wasn’t given this job by a popular vote, or by some ordinary human boss. I was entrusted with the job by none other than Jesus the Messiah and God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. This letter comes to you, the churches in Galatia, from me, and from the rest of God’s crew who are with me.
    I wish you a full helping of generous love and peace from the God who conceived us and from our number one man, Jesus the Messiah. Faced with the record of our corruption, he gave himself completely to breaking us free from the grip of the evil culture that is so entrenched in the present day. God made our freedom a priority, and all the credit should go to God, now and always. And so say all of us!
    I can hardly believe what I’m hearing about you. I’m disgusted. The Messiah was extravagantly generous in calling you, but already you are turning your backs on him and getting sucked into some other message that claims to be good news. There is no other message that’s worth a pinch of spit, but I hear that there are some snake oil merchants there who are twisting the Messiah’s message and leading you all astray. This is not about me. If anybody, including me, or for that matter even an angel from heaven, starts pushing a message that goes against what we taught you, they can go to hell! I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: if anybody comes pushing a message that goes against the one you have already received, they can go to hell!
    Does it sound like I’m pandering to the crowd and telling people what they want to hear? Does it like like I care what people think of me, or rather what God thinks of me? If I was still trying to impress the crowd, I wouldn’t be serving the Messiah at all.
    Let me set you straight on this, brothers and sisters. The message that you heard me announcing is not something that somebody just cooked up one day. I can assure you that I didn’t get it second hand from any human source, and nor did anybody word me up about it. Instead, the message was the result of Jesus the Messiah revealing himself directly.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Luke 7:1-10

    After spending some time teaching the people, Jesus went into the town of Capernaum. There was a Roman military commander there who had a slave who was very special to him, but the slave had fallen ill and was dying. The commander was desperate to save the life of his slave, so when he heard that Jesus was in town, he sent some of the local Jewish officials to ask for his help. The officials spoke to Jesus with great enthusiasm on behalf of the commander. “This man is certainly worthy of your help,” they said. “He is a great friend of our people. He even bankrolled the building of our local synagogue.”
    Jesus headed off with them, but before he reached the house, the commander sent another delegation of friends out to him with a message saying, “Lord, don’t put yourself out for me. There is no need for you to come all the way to my house. I’m not worthy to have you under my roof, and I wouldn’t presume to approach you in person. Please, just give the word, and my servant will be healed. I know how it works because I too am a man who obeys orders and who gives orders, knowing that they will be obeyed. I tell one soldier ‘Go,’ and he goes. I tell another ‘Jump,’ and he says ‘How high?’ I tell my servant to do something, and he does it.”
    When Jesus heard the commander’s message, he was gob-smacked. Turning to address the crowd that was following him, he exclaimed, “Did you hear that? You might think you could find an Israelite with faith like that, but no, I have never before, anywhere, come across such deep trust.”
    And sure enough, when the commander’s messengers got back to the house, they found the slave back on his feet, a picture of health.

©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Alternative Hebrew Bible Lections themed to the Gospel Lection

* 1 Kings 8: 22-23, 41-43


Solomon stood in front of the altar of the LORD and, with his hands raised high, he led the gathered people in prayer. He prayed:

    “O LORD, God of Israel, you are one of a kind! No other god in the universe is like you. Your love is rock-solid and you never forget the alliance you have made with those who follow you whole-heartedly.
    And don’t stop with just us – foreigners will no doubt hear about you too. Attracted by your reputation and by news of the awesome things you do, they will come from all sorts of far flung places to live among your people and offer their prayers within sight of this Temple. When they do, listen to them from your heavenly home and answer their prayers. That way everyone on earth will hear of you and give you the same respect that your people Israel do. They will know that this Temple which I have built carries your authority.”

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 96: 1-9

We sing like we’ve never sung before, LORD;
    singing to you with all the earth.
        Every mention of your name sets us singing your praises.

We never tire of telling the story of how you bailed us out;
    all over the world, we speak of your incredible accomplishments;
        everyone we meet hears us giving the credit to you.

You are the greatest, LORD; we can’t praise you enough!
    When it comes to gods, you are in a league of your own;
        all other objects of devotion are powerless.

But you, LORD, created the whole cosmos;
    you are surrounded by majesty and celebration;
        strength and beauty are signs of your presence.

People of every race and creed recognise you, LORD;
    they recognise you behind all that is strong and true;
        they name you as the one who deserves all the glory.

We offer ourselves to you, LORD;
    we fall to our knees in this beautiful place of worship;
        with all the earth, we celebrate you alone.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net