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Event Series Event Series: Proper 9 – Year C

Proper 9 – Year C

6 July 2025 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.

The commander of the Syrian army was a man named Naaman. Naaman was very popular with his king, because under his command, the LORD had given Syria a string of military victories. Although he was a great soldier and a highly decorated commander, Naaman suffered from leprosy. Naaman’s wife had a young Israelite girl among her servants who had come to Syria as a prisoner of war after a military raid. One day the girl said to her mistress, “If only your husband could meet the prophet who lives in Samaria. I’m sure he would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman spoke to the king about what the girl had said, and the king gladly gave him leave to go. He also provided him with a letter of referral, addressed to the king of Israel.

Naaman headed off, loaded up with money and expensive gifts of jewellery and fine clothing. Arriving in Israel, he delivered the letter to the king. It read, “The bearer of this letter is my trusted servant, Naaman. I have sent him to you to have his leprosy cured.”

When the king of Israel read the letter, he was beside himself with fear; tearing his hair out over what to do. “What does the king of Syria think he’s doing?” he shouted. “Does he think I’m God or something, that I can cure lepers at his request? It looks like he’s trying to pick a fight with me.”

News of this got to Elisha, the prophet of God in Samaria. He sent a message to the king saying, “Why are you tearing your hair out? Get a grip on yourself and send the man to me so that he can find out for himself that there is a real prophet in Israel.”

So Naaman and his whole entourage pulled up in the street outside Elisha’s house. Elisha sent an errand boy out to Naaman with a message, saying, “Go down to the Jordan River and wash yourself in it seven times. That will cure you and your skin will be as clean and clear as a child’s.”

Naaman felt deeply insulted and drove off in a huff, saying, “You’d think that for a man of my standing he could have come out and talked to me himself. I thought that he would at least stand and call on the LORD his God, and wave his hand over my skin to bring about the cure! What’s so special about their scummy Israelite river? Aren’t the two great rivers of Damascus much bigger and better? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?”

So he stormed off, seething with rage. But his servants spoke up and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something really difficult, you would have done it, wouldn’t you? So surely you have got nothing to lose but your disease if you do what he said and wash yourself in the river.”

So Naaman relented and, wading out into the Jordan River, he immersed himself seven times in the water, just as the prophet of God had instructed him. Sure enough, he was cured instantly, and his skin became as clear and healthy as a child’s.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

I’ll be singing your praises, every chance I get, LORD,
because you got me out of deep trouble
and spared me the gloating of my enemies.

I pleaded for help, LORD God,
and you stepped in and healed me.

They were nearly ready to pronounce me dead
but your brought me back, LORD;
you put me back on my feet
when I was about to be carried to the morgue.

So I’m singing your praises,
and I’m encouraging everyone to do the same;
to name you with joyful thanks.

We manage to get you angry at times,
but it blows over in a moment
because your mercy keeps on keeping on.
We may have an evening of bitter tears,
but by morning your mercy has us smiling again.

I was guilty of taking your goodness for granted;
I thought I had it made.
You had put me on top of the world
but I got all too full of myself.
You stepped aside – made me stand alone —
and I turned to jelly!

I realised how much I needed you, LORD,
and in my panic I begged you for mercy.

“What good is my blood to you?” I cried.
“How will it help if I’m in the grave?
Can a corpse sing your praises?
Will a gravestone publicise your goodness?
Give me another chance, LORD.
Please, LORD, bail me out one more time.”

And sure enough, you did, LORD.
You turned my tears to laughter;
you set my dragging feet dancing;
you dusted me off and dressed me up for a party.
So now I’m singing your praises
from the bottom of my heart,
and no one can shut me up!

You are my God, LORD,
and I’m eternally grateful.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

My friends, by God’s gift you are spiritual people, so if there are any among you who have fallen into some sin, the rest of you should gently help them to get back on the right track. Guard yourselves against being sucked into the same mistakes, because no one is immune to sin. If others are struggling, don’t be slow to get your hands dirty and help out. Pitching in to help is the only thing that measures up to the instructions and example that Christ left us. If you think it’s beneath you, you’ve fallen for your own publicity. Make a proper assessment of the value of your own contribution by taking a good hard look at yourself and asking how your work compares to your actual potential. Don’t go getting full of yourself simply because your efforts look more impressive than someone else’s. Everyone is responsible for pulling their weight according to their own ability, not according to someone else’s ability. Those of you who have been well trained in God’s ways are therefore expected to contribute generously to the common life of the community that has taught you, sharing all the good things that have been formed within you.

Don’t be conned into thinking you can play God for a sucker. What you put into life determines what you’ll get back. If your investments are all in your own selfish impulses, they’ll pay out a dividend of degradation and misery. But if you invest yourself in the ways of the Spirit, your investment will yield rich dividends of life without limit, guaranteed forever by the Spirit. So let’s see that we never get tired of doing the right thing. If we don’t lose patience, but stay in for the long term, we will be richly rewarded. Let’s take every opportunity, then, to contribute our energies to making the world a better place for everybody. And as a starting point, let’s especially care for our co-workers in the community of faith.

Take note: I am writing here in large letters with my own hand. Those who are trying to force you into adopting their customs of circumcision and the like are only after an easy way to impress everyone with their own importance. They haven’t got the guts to risk the consequences of standing firm and saying that the cross of Christ is the be all and end all. They talk big about the circumcision law, but they don’t obey the whole law any more than we do. They are concerned only about those laws that they will be noticed for. They want you to accept circumcision so that they can boast of you as proof of their superior convert rate. God help me if I ever boast of anything other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of the cross, the world is a dead thing to me, and I’ve died to it and become completely unresponsive to its attempts to lure me into going along with its self-serving ways. The fact is that it doesn’t make the least bit of difference whether you are circumcised or not. The one thing that is of ultimate importance is the new creation that God is making of us! For all of you who accept this and live by it, you are the the true chosen people of God, and I pray that the riches of God’s peace and mercy will be yours.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Taking charge, Jesus selected a large group of his followers – as many of them as there were nations in the world – and sent them off in pairs as advance parties into all the towns and districts he was planning to pass through.

He gave them the following instructions: “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. Now, on your bikes! And keep your eyes open, because on this job you will be like children swimming among the sharks. Travel light and live simply – no carting luggage around and no wasting time swapping travel stories with everyone you bump into on the road. If anyone invites you to stay in their home, pray openly for God to bless their household with peace. If they are peace-loving people, they will benefit from your prayer. If they are not, you haven’t lost anything. Stay in the same house until it’s time to move on. As workers, you’ve earned your keep, so eat and drink whatever your hosts provide, and don’t go fussing about dietary customs. No shopping around for a better place!

“If you arrive in a town and the locals welcome you, be gracious guests and accept their hospitality, whether their food appeals to you or not. Heal anyone in the town who is sick, and announce that the culture of God is close at hand among them. If you arrive in a town and the locals refuse to welcome you, then stand in the main street and say, ‘We are scratching your name off our map because of what you have done. The culture of God has come within reach right here, but you’ve shut it out.’

“Whoever listens to what you have to say is listening to me. Those who give you the cold shoulder are giving me the cold shoulder, and if they’re giving me the cold shoulder they are doing the same to the One who sent me.”

So off they went in pairs, the whole group of them, and when they returned they were ecstatic. “Lord,” they said, “when we called the shots on your authority, even the demons fell into line!”

Jesus replied, “Yes, I was watching, and I saw the satan knocked off his perch and fall out of the sky like a bolt of lightning. You see, the world is full of snakes and sharks, but I have given you the ability to stand against them, and against all the power of the enemy, and they can do you no real harm. All the same, the most exciting news for you is not that evil will give way to you, but that your names are on the books in the pay office of heaven.”

©2001 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.

Celebrate! Shout with joy
all you who love Jerusalem.
All you who have shed tears over her,
it is time to share her joy.
Now you can snuggle in close to her,
and be nourished at her comforting bosom.
You can drink deeply
from her wonderful breasts.

This is what the LORD says: 

I will make Jerusalem prosper like river in flood.
The world’s riches will overflow their banks
and pour into her.

Jerusalem shall nurse you like a newborn;
hold you in her arms and bounce you on her knee.

I will comfort you there
like a mother comforting her own child.

When you see all this, your hearts will burst with joy.
Even your bodies will feel rejuvenated,
like grass springing up in the Autumn rains.

It will be clear to all that I, the LORD, am taking sides;
favouring those who serve me
over those who oppose me.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

All the earth should shout joyfully to you, God;
singing your praises;
giving you the glory you deserve.

The things you have done are awesome, God!
When you take action,
your enemies cringe in fear.

You are worshipped all over the earth;
everywhere people sing your praises
and speak your name with honour.

We want to publicise everything you have done, God,
for what you have done among us is awesome.

You made a dry path through the middle of the sea;
you took us safely through the river on foot.
There on the other side, we celebrated your goodness
and declared you to be our mighty ruler forever.
Your eyes are always open, watching the nations;
let pretentious rebels be warned!

If only everyone would honour you, God,
and fill the world with the sound of your praises.
You are the one who sustains our life
and keeps our feet on the right track.

©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 you have raised us up as a new creation
and written our names in the book of life.

You created the earth in your goodness
and its plentiful harvest feeds your creatures.
Through the law and prophets you revealed yourself
as the God who heals us and makes us whole.

When we had sown the seeds of destruction,
you sent your child, Jesus, among us
to sow seeds of peace,
bearing our burdens
and immersing us in your healing waters.
When he was rejected and nailed to the cross,
the world was crucified to us,
and us to the world.
You pulled him back from the place of the dead
and robed him in glory.
Now you send us as labourers into the harvest,
to proclaim your nearness,
and to reap eternal life in your Spirit.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We thank you that you have raised us up as a new creation,
written our names in the book of life,
and sent us as labourers into the harvest,
to proclaim your nearness,
to immerse people into your healing waters,
and to reap eternal life in your Spirit.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for you have raised us up as a new creation
and written our names in the book of life.

You created the earth in your goodness
and its plentiful harvest feeds your creatures.
Through the law and prophets you revealed yourself
as the God who heals us and makes us whole.

When we had sown the seeds of destruction,
you sent your child, Jesus, among us
to sow seeds of peace,
bearing our burdens
and immersing us in your healing waters.
When he was rejected and nailed to the cross,
the world was crucified to us,
and us to the world.
You pulled him back from the place of the dead
and robed him in glory.
Now you send us as labourers into the harvest,
to proclaim your nearness,
and to reap eternal life in your Spirit.

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.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Our God is an awesome God,
whose anger passes quickly
and whose mercy lasts a lifetime.
Rejoice then, for your names are written in heaven.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Go now, and proclaim that the reign of God is near.
Travel lightly, but bear one another’s burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Work for the good of all,
avoid temptation,
and pray that God will send more labourers into the harvest.

And may God give you mercy and peace;
May Christ Jesus give you power over all that would harm you;
And may the Holy Spirit produce within you
a rich harvest of joy and life.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


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

  1. Mission Insignificant?
    A sermon on Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20 by Nathan Nettleton
  2. Keep it simple, Stupid
    A sermon on 2 Kings 5: 1-14 by Nathan Nettleton
  3. Too Simple to Bother
    A sermon on 2 Kings 5: 1-14 by Nathan Nettleton
  4. Crucifying the Domesticated Gospel
    A sermon on Galatians 6:1-16 by Nathan Nettleton
  5. God’s Dream
    A sermon on Galatians 6:1-16 by Paul Dekar
  6. Go in Peace
    A sermon on 2 Kings 5: 1-14 & Galatians 6: 1-16 by Ian Cook
  7. Taking Pride in the Cross of Jesus Christ
    A sermon on Galatians 6:1-16 by Garry Deverell
  8. Bringing Satan Crashing Down
    A sermon on Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20 by Nathan Nettleton
  9. Questions on Mission
    A sermon on Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20 by Michael Wood


6 July 2025