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Event Series Event Series: Proper 10 – Year A

Proper 10 – Year A

12 July 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.

This is the story of the children of Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham, and he was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel and the sister of Laban – Arameans from northern Syria. Despite many years of trying, Isaac and Rebekah were unable to get pregnant, so Isaac prayed to the LORD for help. The LORD granted his request, and Rebekah fell pregnant. Her pregnancy was so difficult that it seemed as though there was a war going on in her womb and she felt like she would be better off dead. In desperation she went to ask the LORD what was going on, and the LORD said to her:

“You are going to have twins who will grow into two nations;
two peoples who will always be at each other’s throats.
The firstborn will have brute strength on his side,
but he will end up serving the younger one.”

Sure enough, when the time came for her to give birth, she delivered twins. The first one was such a hairy baby that he looked like he was wrapped in a red rug. They named him Esau. His brother followed him out of the womb with his hand holding tightly on to Esau’s heel. They named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when his sons were born.

As the boys grew up, Esau proved to be the rugged outdoors type; a skilled bushman and hunter. Wild game-meat was Isaac’s favourite food, so Esau’s hunting skills made him the favourite with his father. Jacob, on the other hand, was the quiet type who spent most of his time around the home, and he became his mother’s favourite.

One time when Esau came in from the bush, he was famished, and he found Jacob cooking up a pot of lentil stew. “Give me a plate of that red stuff,” Esau said to Jacob. “I’m starving to death!” (That’s how he got his nickname, “Edom” or “Red”.)

Jacob said, “You are not getting any of this until you sign over to me your privileges and inheritance as the firstborn.”

Esau said, “What good is my inheritance to me when I’m about to starve to death?”

Jacob said, “Sign on the line first.”

So Esau put pen to paper and signed over to Jacob the privileges and inheritance that were his as the firstborn. Then Jacob served him up a meal of bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank, and then got up and went about his business as though his birthright had meant absolutely nothing to him.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton Laughingbird.net

What you say, LORD, lights up the track in front of me
so I can see where to put my feet.

I am committed to doing what you say is right;
I’ve given my word and signed on the line.

I have been put through the wringer here, LORD;
put me back on my feet, just as you promised.

I am giving you the credit for everything, LORD;
accept my gift and teach me how to do things your way.

Even though my grip on life is shaky,
I never forget what you have taught me.

Ruthless thugs are always trying to derail me,
but you have shown me the right track and I’m sticking to it.

Your guidance is a rich heritage for my future;
it has put a smile on my face forever.

My mind is fixed on following your directions,
come what may, forever.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

For those who are now united to Jesus the Messiah, all records of wrongdoing and any outstanding punishments have been cancelled. When life is lived in union with Jesus the Messiah, a new power is unleashed within us - the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s power replaces and sets us free from the old system of rules and regulations that kept us locked into a deadly cycle of guilt and punishment. The old system, which was handed down from Moses, was incapable of freeing us from the cycle of guilt, because it could not compete with the drive of our selfish impulses. But God has done what the old system could never do. God’s own Son was sent to sort out the whole tragic mess. Becoming just like us, with the same body and so prone to the same desires and impulses, he quashed the power that sin held over us. That means that it is now possible for us to live the kind of lives that the old legal code was wanting to produce, because instead of being driven by our own selfish impulses, our actions are now inspired by the Spirit. Those whose lives are driven by their own selfish impulses are so preoccupied with their own gratification that they can’t appreciate anything beyond themselves. But those who allow the Spirit to shape their lives are opened up to a whole new world of the Spirit’s concerns and activity. Preoccupation with gratifying your own selfish impulses is a downward spiral into living death. But a mind open to the Spirit is an open door to the fullness of life and peace. Clearly then, a mind that is fixated on self-gratification is hostile to God. Such a mind will not, and can not, respond positively to anything God asks of it, and so those who are locked into their own selfish impulses are incapable of getting the thumbs-up from God.

But you are not locked into such impulses. You are now living in union with God’s Spirit, and the Spirit has moved in and become the life-force within you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Messiah at work within them does not, in fact, belong to him at all. But if the Messiah has taken up residence within you, then, even though your bodies will die from the after-effects of sin, the Spirit has put you on the right track and you will have life. If the Spirit who lives in you is the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead, then you can rest assured that this same Spirit will raise your bodies out of death and into a life that is lived to the full in union with the Spirit of the Messiah.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

After telling everybody that he regarded only those who do things God’s way as his true family, Jesus left the house and went and sat on the beach. He was soon crowded out by people wanting to hear more of what he had to say, so using a boat as his platform, he taught the crowd gathered on the beach. One of the many stories he used to illustrate his points went like this:

“Listen up! When it was time to plant the crops, a farmer spread the seeds widely across the farm. Some of the seeds fell on the tracks, and the birds made a meal of them in no time. Other seeds fell on ground where the topsoil was shallow and there was nothing but rock underneath. They sprouted quickly enough, but because they were unable to put down roots, they didn’t survive when the heat of the sun hit them. Other seeds fell where the weeds were out of control, and being unable to compete with the weeds, they were soon strangled to death. But there were other seeds that fell on good soil and went on to produce an bumper harvest: some reproducing themselves a hundred times over, and others at least sixty or thirty times over. Don’t miss what I’m saying. If you’ve got ears, use them!”

Speaking to his closest followers later, Jesus said:

“Don’t miss the point of my story about the farmer sowing seed. When people hear the message of the new culture and it means nothing to them, the evil one swallows up what was sown in their hearts before they can give it a second thought. It is just like the seeds sown on the tracks. What about the seeds sown in the shallow topsoil with rock below? This is like the people who hear the message and latch on to it with great enthusiasm. But they are too shallow to put down any decent roots, so they don’t last long. As soon as the message they have accepted attracts any heat, their enthusiasm wilts and they are gone. And what about the seeds which were sown among the weeds? This is just like the people who get the message but it can’t compete with all the other agendas that have taken over their lives. Their real priorities – being noticed and getting ahead – quickly strangle the message and nothing comes from it. But what about the seeds which were sown on good soil? Now we are talking about the people who hear the message and really take it to heart. It bears fruit in their lives and the harvest of good is multiplied, a hundred times over in some people; and at least sixty or thirty times over in others.”

©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.

This is what the LORD says:

Everything I say has a powerful purpose;
no empty words ever pass my lips.
My words are like drops of rain in the cycle of nature:
wherever they fall they give life;
they replenish, renew and nourish life,
and then the earth gives them back and they start again.
My words always achieve their purpose;
they flourish where I plant them,
they nourish all who feed on them.

My Word will bring peace
and you will come home with great celebration.
The trees will line the road, clapping and singing;
the mountains will rain down ticker tape as you pass.

Where the saltbush struggled,
a redgum will take root and grow;
where noxious weeds ruled,
native orchids and daisies will bloom again.
The wilderness in all its glory will stand like a monument,
like a permanent sign of the LORD’s rich goodness.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

You deserve all the credit we can give you, O God.
We will gather on your holy mountain
and make good on all we have promised you.

You are the one who answers prayers
and everyone on earth will turn to you.
When we are weighed down by our guilt,
you wipe away the record of our wrongs.

What a privilege it is to be among your chosen ones;
to be invited to live in your presence.
Everything we could want is provided
here in your sacred temple.

You take action in awesome ways, O God;
you step in and rescue us when we call.
You are the answer to the hopes of people everywhere,
in every land and across the seas.

You rolled up your sleeves
and lifted the mountains into place.
You tamed the angry seas,
silencing both roaring waves
and frenzied crowds.

From one end of the earth to the other,
everyone is mind-boggled by what you do.
Dawn and sunset join their voices
as all the earth shouts for joy.

You tend the earth like a garden,
enriching the soil and keeping it watered.
Your rivers never run dry, God,
and the fields you have plowed
yield a bumper harvest to feed your people.

You level the uneven ground
and nourish the soil;
you water it with softening showers
and set the seeds growing and flourishing.

The year is crowned with a bumper harvest
and everything you touch is bursting with life.

Wilderness fields erupt in flower,
mountains and hills pour forth joy;
paddocks are clothed with healthy flocks,
barren land is ablaze with golden grain.

All of them shout for joy;
all the earth breaks into song.

©2001 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 Word is our heritage
and your ways are the joy of our hearts forever.

You created the earth and planted it freely,
bringing forth an abundant harvest of life.
Through Moses and the prophets,
you gave us our Word
to be the birthright of all your children.

You sent your child, Jesus the Christ, among us
in the likeness of sinful flesh,
to teach us to walk according to your Spirit
and to deal with the sin
that constantly struggles to come to birth and rule over us,
dividing us and robbing us of the joy of living.
When he was killed by those who are hostile to you,
you raised him from the dead
and sent your Spirit to us,
giving us life and sowing within us
an abundant harvest of peace and righteousness.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We give you thanks for your Son, Jesus Christ,
who came among us in the likeness of sinful flesh,
to deal with the sin that divides us,
and to sow within us
an abundant harvest of peace and righteousness.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for your Word is our heritage
and your ways are the joy of our hearts forever.

You created the earth and planted it freely,
bringing forth an abundant harvest of life.
Through Moses and the prophets,
you gave us our Word
to be the birthright of all your children.

You sent your child, Jesus the Christ, among us
in the likeness of sinful flesh,
to teach us to walk according to your Spirit
and to deal with the sin
that constantly struggles to come to birth and rule over us,
dividing us and robbing us of the joy of living.
When he was killed by those who are hostile to you,
you raised him from the dead
and sent your Spirit to us,
giving us life and sowing within us
an abundant harvest of peace and righteousness.

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

The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
has set us free from the law of sin and death.
Therefore there is now no condemnation
for you who are in Christ Jesus.

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

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Go now into the world in the light of Christ.
Do not let the fear of troubles
or the lures of comfort and honour
prevent God’s word taking root deep in your heart and mind.
Walk according to the ways of the Spirit
for the ways of the Spirit are life and peace.

And may God sow in you the seeds of an abundant harvest;
May Christ the Word be a lamp for your steps;
And may the Holy Spirit give life to you - body and soul.

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. Flesh on the Mind
    A sermon on Romans 8: 1-11 by Nathan Nettleton
  2. The Mysteries of the Kingdom
    A sermon on Matthew 13.1-23 by Garry Deverell
  3. The Parable of the Seeds
    A sermon on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by Roslyn Wright
  4. Seasons and Seeds
    A very short reflection on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by Alison Sampson
  5. Coming back for a second serving
    A testimony and reflection on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by Steven Wong
  6. Jesus Fails Business School
    A sermon on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by Nathan Nettleton
  7. Concentrate on the sowing – regardless!
    A sermon on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by John Fowler
  8. A Sower went out to Sow
    A sermon on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 by John Sampson