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Event Series Event Series: Proper 6 – Year A

Proper 6 – Year A

14 June 2026 All day

Below you will find the Bible readings set for this occasion in the Revised Common Lectionary, with our Australian idiomatic paraphrases of them, plus prayers and sermons based on them.

Bible Readings (paraphrased)

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.

One blazing hot summer afternoon, Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, when the LORD appeared to him. Looking up, Abraham saw three strangers approaching him. He immediately jumped up and hurried to welcome them as honoured guests. He said, “Please allow me the honour of sharing the hospitality of my home with you. Come in. Take a bath. Put your feet up for a bit. Let me serve you up a meal so that you can leave refreshed and strengthened. I would count it a favour to have the opportunity to serve you in this way.”

So they said, “Thank you, we accept.”

Abraham hurried into the tent and said, “Sarah. Quick! Knock up a batch of scones while I organise the barbecue.”

Then he ran out to his grazing herd and butchered a prime calf. He instructed one of his workers to prepare the best cuts for the barbecue. When it was all ready, he served it up for his guests with a yoghurt dip and plenty to drink, and waited on them while they ate.

During the meal, they said to him, “Where is your wife, Sarah?”

Abraham replied, “She’s inside; in the tent.”

Then one of the three said, “Mark my words! I’ll be back this way in about a year’s time, and by then your wife Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was in the tent behind them as they talked, and she overheard this. Knowing well that she and Abraham were both elderly, and that she had long since passed menopause, she laughed to herself, saying, “Fat chance! Am I going to have such pleasure at my age; and with my husband past it too?”

The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and question whether she can have a child at her age? Is there any good thing that the LORD is incapable of doing? I will be back this way in about a year’s time, just as I said, and Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was shocked that she had been caught, and blurted out, “I didn’t mean to laugh.”“Yes, but you did laugh,” replied the LORD.

The LORD was good to Sarah and followed through on the promise made to her. Sarah fell pregnant to Abraham and gave birth to a baby son. This happened when they were both old and grey — Abraham was already one hundred years old when the child was born. Sarah gave birth to their son right at the time that God had spoken about. Abraham named his son Isaac, and circumcised him when he was eight days old, because that is what God had told him to do. Sarah said, “Now God has given me something to laugh about! And everyone who hears the news will laugh with me! Once no one would have dared raise the topic of me having a baby with Abraham, but now I have given birth to the old man’s son!”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

I love you, LORD!
How could I not love you
when you always respond to my cries?

You are always ready to listen to me,
so I will bring my needs to you as long as I live.

How can I ever repay you, LORD?
What gift could ever express my gratitude?

I will raise my glass in your honour,
I will name you as the one who saved me.

I will make good on all I promised you, LORD,
and I’ll let everyone know its for you.

Whenever one of your faithful people dies
it affects you deeply.

LORD, you have released me from my chains.
I will serve you forever,
just as my forebears have done.

I will bring a gift to say thanks;
I will pray to you, and you alone.

I will be true to the vows I’ve made;
and I won’t keep it hidden.
In full view of all your people,
in the public place of worship,
I’ll do all I promised you, LORD.

All the praise and all the credit are your, LORD!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

It was our faith that put us back in the good books with God. We put our trust in Jesus Christ our Lord and we can rest assured that he has cleared up everything with God for us. Christ got us in on the extravagant generosity of God, and that generosity has given us a safe place to plant our feet. We don’t just stand there, though. We hold our heads up high and announce, with pride, that we confidently expect to be sharing the glory that is coming to God. Actually, it’s not just what’s coming in the future that makes us feel so good. Even now, when life seems to be giving us a raw deal, we can stand proud. We know that going through suffering can make us tough enough to survive the worst of times. This ability to tough things through will in turn generate new depths of integrity and maturity within us. And that brings us full-circle because it is this integrity and maturity that gives us our confidence about the future. Our confidence is not in vain either. We are sure about that because of what we have already experienced: a flood of love surging into our hearts from the Holy Spirit who God has given to us.

Christ got us on track at the cost of his own life. He did it right when we most needed it; when we were way off course and too weak to ever get ourselves back. It’s hard to believe, but true. You rarely hear of people putting their lives on the line for others, even for innocent children. Perhaps we might be able to imagine finding the courage to die for someone who we deeply admired and loved. But if you need proof of how much God loves us, just look at what Christ did. While we were still showing no signs of ever offering God anything but contempt, Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Jesus hit the road and began teaching in the meeting halls of every city and town he came to. He broadcast the great news about the new culture, and healed people of every kind of disease and sickness. He was meeting crowds of people everywhere he went, and their predicament always left him feeling gutted. They were under so much stress and were so powerless to do anything about it. They were like children caught in a rip with not a lifesaver in sight. He said to his followers, “The world is an orchard, groaning under a bumper crop, ripe and ready for picking; but there are hardly any workers ready to bring it in. So get in touch with the Lord of the crop, and put in an urgent request for more workers to be sent out to do the picking.”

Jesus called his twelve closest followers together and commissioned them to deal with every toxic spirit they would encounter, and to heal people of every kind of disease and sickness. These are the names of his twelve chosen ambassadors: first there was Simon, who was also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; there were the brothers James and John, the sons of Zebedee; there was Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew who had collaborated with the Roman occupation forces; James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the freedom fighter; and Judas Iscariot, the one who later double-crossed Jesus. Jesus gave these twelve their marching orders as follows:

“I am not giving you the job of going to foreign places or to groups that are hostile to our people. Instead I want you to go to the people of Israel who have gone off the rails. Everywhere you go, broadcast the message that the culture of heaven is close at hand. Restore the sick to heath, raise the dead to life, integrate the outcasts back into society, flush out the demons. You haven’t been asked for payment for what you have been given, so you too are to do all this free of charge for others. Don’t take a wallet full of money just in case, and don’t go carting luggage around. Live simply and depend on others. Those who work hard have earned their keep.

“Whenever you arrive in a new town, accept the hospitality of someone who is trustworthy and on-side. Stay put until it’s time to move on. No shopping around for a better place! When you arrive in someone’s home, honour everyone as a friend. If they are good people they will benefit from your generous spirit; but if they prove unworthy of it, you have lost nothing by offering it. If you arrive somewhere and they refuse to welcome you in or to listen to what you have to say, just turn your backs and walk away. Scratch their name off your map and forget them. I kid you not; on judgment day the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah will get it easy compared to that town.

“Keep your wits about you, because on this job you will be like children swimming among the sharks. You will need to be as street-wise as a feral cat and as harmless as a budgie. Be on your guard against those who make wild allegations against you and turn you over to the authorities or incite mobs to beat you up in public. You will be dragged before the magistrates and political leaders because of your association with me. It will be your chance to speak out for the truth before an international audience. When they arrest you and put you on trial, don’t worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say in the witness box. You will be given the right words to say when the time comes. It won’t really be you doing the talking, but the Spirit of God speaking through you. People will end up betraying even those closest to them, their own brothers and sisters, and having them killed. Parents will dob in their own children, and children will turn on their parents and send them to the gallows. People everywhere will despise you because of your association with me, but those who tough it out to the end will be brought home safe and sound. When people begin to kick you around in one town, clear out and make a fresh start in the next. You can take my word for it; you will not run out of options before the New Human arrives on the scene.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prior to the revision of the Lectionary in 1992, the 1st reading and the psalm that responded to it were chosen to link thematically with the gospel reading. After hearing the critique of those who said that the Hebrew Scriptures, from which the first reading is usually chosen, should be allowed to speak with their own voice rather than just add support to the gospel reading, the Lectionary was revised so that during Ordinary Time, the 1st reading runs in its own semi-continuous series, working through various books of the Hebrew Bible. The older themed series continues to be available as an alternative.

The weekly prayers offered here at LaughingBird Resources are based on the four readings above, and do not draw on the themed 1st reading and psalm.

The Israelites left their camp near the Red Sea and travelled into the Sinai desert, where they camped at the foot of the mountain. Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. The LORD spoke to him there and said:

“Give this message to the people of Israel.
‘You have all seen what I did to the people who kept you in slavery. And you have all seen how I swooped down like an eagle to rescue you from them and make you mine. So now this is the deal: if you live the way I tell you to live, and continue to be true to the alliance I have made with you, then you will belong to me and be my most cherished possession. Of course the whole earth belongs to me, but you will be a nation set apart and dedicated to me, serving as my priest in the world.’
Go now, Moses, and tell the Israelites what I have said.”

So Moses went back down the mountain and called together the Israelite tribal elders. He told them everything that the LORD had told him to say. The people of Israel were unanimous in their reply: “We will do everything that the LORD is asking of us.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

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


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 has been poured into our hearts
through your Holy Spirit given to us.

Nothing is too wonderful for you,
and with a word you brought all creation to birth.
You revealed yourself to our forebears, Abraham and Sarah,
sharing round the table with them
and promising them the fruit of their withered dreams.

The fulfilment of all your promises came in your child, Jesus,
who revealed your compassion for the people,
proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom
and healing the sick and the broken of all that afflicted them.
In the fullness of love he gave his life for us,
while we were yet lost in our sin,
but you raised him from the dead
and now through our faith in him, you justify us
and welcomed us to the table of grace.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We give you thanks for your Son, Jesus,
who revealed the depths of your love,
giving his life for us while we were yet lost in our sin,
and who now welcomes us to the table of grace
and pours your love into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for your love has been poured into our hearts
through your Holy Spirit given to us.

Nothing is too wonderful for you,
and with a word you brought all creation to birth.
You revealed yourself to our forebears, Abraham and Sarah,
and promised them the fruit of their withered dreams.

The fulfilment of all your promises came in your child, Jesus,
who revealed your compassion for the people,
proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom
and healing the sick and the broken of all that afflicted them.
In the fullness of love he gave his life for us,
while we were yet lost in our sin,
but you raised him from the dead
and now through our faith in him, you justify us
and give us access to grace.

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.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

God’s love for us is proved in this:
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,
freeing us from death’s grip,
and giving us access to grace
and peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

The Lord seeks willing labourers for the harvest.
Therefore go out into the world,
proclaim the good news of the nearness of God;
and call all who will hear to wholeness,
to life,
to holiness.

And may God pour love into your hearts;
May Christ Jesus open the way of grace to you;
And may the Holy Spirit work through all things
to build you up in endurance, character and hope.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Sermons will open in new tabs from our SYCBaps church website.

  1. God’s Hospitality
    A sermon on Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7; Matthew 9:35-10:23 & Romans 5: 1-8 by Nathan Nettleton
  2. Gratitude and Vows
    A sermon on Psalm 116 by Nathan Nettleton