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Recurring Event Event Series: Proper 22 – Year C

Proper 22 – Year C

5 October 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.

What a sad and lonely sight the city has become,
where once it was teeming with people.
Once she was the toast of all the world.
Now she is a has-been.
She was the queen of the nations.
Now she sweeps up after them.

She sobs her heart out every night.
Bitter tears fall like rain.
She who could pick and choose her lovers
now can’t find a shoulder to cry on.
Former friends don’t want to know her.
They join her enemies to stick the boots in.

Judah has been marched off into exile.
Nothing but grief and hard labour ahead.
She wanders like a refugee
with no place to call her home.
If she runs, they hunt her down,
and make her fate even worse than before.

Along the Jerusalem Road everyone is ruined,
for the festival crowds no longer pass that way.
The city gates are derelict.
The priests are in despair.
The young women live in fear.
The city lies raped and ransacked.

Her enemies now rule the roost,
living it up at her expense.
The LORD has abandoned her to her fate
because her offences just went on and on.
Her children have been carried off
as prisoners in enemy hands.

Daughter Zion is a wrung out rag,
all her life and beauty gone.
Her brightest and best are like lost cattle
starving in the desert.
They fled for their lives
and are now fainting from hunger and thirst.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

The reality I’m facing is like a bitter taste in my mouth.
Grief and deprivation poison my mind.

I can’t stop thinking about it over and over,
but every thought makes me want to die.

The one thing that gives me hope,
the one thing I keep reminding myself of is this:

Your love and loyalty never die, LORD.
Your generous mercy never runs dry.
They are created new every morning
and you are as trustworthy as the solid rock.

So I keep telling myself that you are all I need
and that I can still trust you to come through for me.

You are good to those who hang in there for you, LORD;
to those whose hearts continue to search for you.

The life for which you save us, LORD,
is worth patiently waiting for.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

In Babylon, sitting on the banks of the river,
we swapped stories of home
and cried and cried and cried.

Unable to sing,
we packed away our instruments unplayed.

The guards made a joke of our misery,
tormenting us with insults,
and demanding that we entertain them
with songs from our homeland.

But how could we sing your songs
in that godless place, LORD?

If I ever forget your holy city, LORD,
may my arms be turned into twigs and burned.

LORD, if I do not remember Jerusalem
and stand up for her no matter what,
may I be strung up by my toes
over a mosquito infested swamp.

LORD, do not forgive that rampaging army
for the way they destroyed your holy city;
for the way they shouted and cheered
as it crumbled and fell.

Damn those murdering mongrels to hell, LORD.
Reward anyone who pays them back
for what they did to us!

Reward anyone who rounds up their children
and kicks them to death!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Dear Timothy. This letter comes to you from me, Paul, a special ambassador of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to make it known that in Christ Jesus, life has been promised to everyone. I greet you as my beloved son, and wish you all the best – God’s love and peace and extravagant generosity.

I am so grateful for being able to worship God the way my ancestors did, and I am sure I am doing the right thing. I also feel incredibly grateful when I think of you, as I do in my prayers, both day and night. I remember our last tearful farewell, and I am desperately looking forward to catching up with you again. It will make me so happy! I have fond memories of your very real and down-to-earth faith. That quality seems to run in your family: I first saw it in your grandmother Lois, and then in your mother Eunice, and now, sure enough, it is alive in you too. That is why I want to remind you to keep fuelling the fire of the gift that God gave you when I placed my hands on your head and prayed for you. After all, God did not intend that we should be timid about our gifts. Instead, God gave them to us to be used with courage, love and self-discipline.

So then, don’t be embarrassed about the stories of our Lord, or about me being locked up for him. Trust God’s power to be there for you, and join me in putting your life on the line for the message of God’s all-embracing love.

God rescued us from a living death
and called us to live for God alone
We had not earned this;
it was simply God’s plan,
carried out with great generosity.

Even before time began,
God’s extravagant generosity was ready for us;
a gift prepared for us in Christ Jesus.

Now it is out in the open,
lit up for all to see:
Christ Jesus has appeared as our lifesaver,
wiping out death
and announcing the fabulous message
of a life that death cannot touch.

I have been given the job of broadcasting this message; of being an ambassador for it, and a teacher of it. The trouble I have been suffering comes as a consequence of the job, but I have no regrets. I’d do it all again, because I have entrusted myself to Christ and come to know him, and I have every confidence in his ability to see me through to the day when everything will be completed.

So remember all I have taught you – it is solid and trustworthy, and will guide you in living out the faith and love which are grounded in Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, take good care of the wonderful gift that God has entrusted to you.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Those who Jesus had chosen as his ambassadors approached him and said, “Make our faith grow bigger!”

But the Lord replied, “Faith is not something that is bigger or smaller. You only need faith the size of a poppy seed to be able to say to a huge tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would obey you.

“Think about this: If you employ someone to be you servant, full-time, you expect him to do what you pay him for, don’t you? If he comes in from a day working your land or shearing your sheep, you are not going to tell him to put his feet up while you run his bath and fix his dinner are you? Instead you will tell him to take his boots off, fix your supper, and wait on your table until your meal is over. After that, you’ll let him knock off and fix his own meal. You don’t pin a medal on him for just doing what he’s paid for, do you?

“So remember that it is the same with you. When you have done what is required of you, don’t go expecting anyone to put your name up in lights. Instead say, ‘We are nothing special. We were just doing our job,’ and leave it at that.”

©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.

My name is Habakkuk and I am a prophet. I went to God seeking an explanation for the way things are.

For crying out loud, LORD!
How long will it be before you listen?
How long do I have to scream blue murder
before you come to the rescue?

Why do you make me witness so much evil?
Why am I forced to see such things?
Everywhere I look: violence and carnage,
fighting and madness on every side.

Law and order are out the window.
Justice is a joke.
The corrupt ride roughshod over decent people,
and twisted laws protect them as they do.

So what have you got to say, LORD?
I’m not budging from this spot until you answer.
I’m going to stand right here, all eyes and ears,
until you respond to my complaint.

Then the LORD answered me, saying:

Get the vision down in writing
in words that everyone can understand,
and get it to the publishers on the double.

The vision I have made known is still true.
When the time is right, what it speaks of will happen.
It may seem to be taking its time in coming,
but hang in there. It will happen.
You can count on it.

Some people won’t have a bar of it
because they are all spineless fluff;
but those who are fair dinkum live by it
with enduring courage and integrity.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Because of you, LORD, we don’t stress over corruption;
we don’t get jealous when crime seems to pay.
Those who live off ill-gotten gains will have their day;
they’ll wither like cut flowers in a hot north wind.

We put our trust in you, LORD, and do what’s right.
You give us our own land, and keep us safe and content.
Our greatest delight comes from knowing you, LORD,
and you delight in giving us what our hearts desire.

We have set our minds on following your ways, LORD;
our trust is in you, and we know you’ll back us up.
It will be as clear as day that we made the right choice;
you’ll make it perfectly obvious that our cause was justified.

We wait in your presence, LORD,
in stillness, quietness, patience.
We don’t waver when others profit from corruption;
we don’t regret our choice when others get away with murder.

Trusting in you, LORD, we can let go of vengeful anger.
We can relax and not get sucked into taking the law
into our own hands.
We can trust you to kick out the crooks, LORD,
and to hand the land over to those who staked their lives on you.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers

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.

We do indeed give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you saved us with a holy calling
for the sake of the life that is in Christ Jesus.

Before the ages began, your grace was at work,
bringing all things into being according to your purpose.
You pledged your steadfast love to your people,
and even when they were in exile and suffering
your mercy was there new every morning.

In Christ Jesus you revealed the fullness of your grace,
and came among us sowing seeds of faith and love.
When he was betrayed by his friends
and killed by his enemies,
you abolished death and raised him to life.
Though we have done no more than we ought,
you have honoured every seed of faith,
and with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us,
you rekindle our gifts and empower us with love.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We thank you that though we have done no more than we ought,
you have honoured every seed of faith,
and with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us,
you rekindle our gifts and empower us with love.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you thanks and praise, O God,
for you saved us with a holy calling
for the sake of the life that is in Christ Jesus.

Before the ages began, your grace was at work,
bringing all things into being according to your purpose.
You pledged your steadfast love to your people,
and even when they were in exile and suffering
your mercy was there new every morning.

In Christ Jesus you revealed the fullness of your grace,
and came among us sowing seeds of faith and love.
When he was betrayed by his friends
and killed by his enemies,
you abolished death and raised him to life.
Though we have done no more than we ought,
you have honoured every seed of faith,
and with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us,
you rekindle our gifts and empower us with love.

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.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Through Christ Jesus we are saved,
not according to our works but by God’s purpose and grace,
for the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
and the mercies of God never come to an end.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Go now, relying on the power of God.
Guard the good treasure God has entrusted to you
and hold firm to the teaching of the apostles.
Remember one another in your prayers
and continue to offer yourselves for the gospel.

And may God give you grace, mercy and peace;
May Christ Jesus lead you into life and faith;
And may the Holy Spirit live within you
and rekindle good gifts within you.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Sermons

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

  1. Faith you can take for granted
    A sermon on Luke 17:5-10 by Nathan Nettleton
  2. The Power of the Broken
    A sermon on Lamentations 1.1-6, 3.1-33; Psalm 137 & Luke 17.5-10 by Garry Deverell
  3. For crying out loud, Lord!
    A sermon on Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 by Nathan Nettleton
  4. You can’t earn it
    A sermon on Luke 17:5-10 by Nathan Nettleton
  5. Spirits of Love and Fear
    A sermon on 2 Timothy 1:1-14 by Nathan Nettleton
  6. Head Smashing Rage
    A sermon on Psalm 137 by Nathan Nettleton