Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Trust and Obey
Seek the welfare of the place where you live (Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7). Trust in God’s power to heal in unexpected ways (2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c). Give thanks to the Lord for his power, love, and grace (Psalm 111/Psalm 66). He is faithful, even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:8-15). Just as the leper returned to thank God, so also we should thank God for his undeserved salvation (Luke 17:11-19).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Faith, Hope, and Love … in the Midst of Struggle
When times are tough (Lamentations 1:1-6) we are encouraged to remember God’s faithfulness (Lamentations 3:19-26) and to live by faith (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4). Don’t fret over evil people who prosper (Psalm 37:1-10). God’s people have been through seasons of exile (Psalm 137) but must not lose sight of their holy calling (2 Timothy 1:1-14). Demonstrate love and self-control while carrying out Jesus’ commandments with gratitude (Luke 17:5-10).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Christ Our Treasure
“We should not put our confidence in earthly wealth (Amos 6:1a, 4-7); rather, we should put our trust in the Lord who made heaven and earth (Psalm 146). Desiring to be rich often causes us to fall into temptation; contentment comes when we realize we have brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:6-19). In Jesus’ parable of the poor man Lazarus, we see that in light of eternity, wealth means nothing (Luke 16: 19-31).”
– Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Generous Faithfulness
Jeremiah cried out to God during times of grief and desperation (Jeremiah 8:18-9:1). The prophets teach us that humans are prone to trample the needy and ignore God’s law (Amos 8:4-7). God hears the cry of his people and promises to lift up the needy and bring life to those who suffer (Psalm 113). We are called to embrace the redemption offered through Jesus Christ, pray for everyone, and aspire to live quiet and peaceable lives (1 Timothy 2:1-17). Jesus teaches us to serve God faithfully by keeping our lives free from the love of money — pursuing honesty, generosity, and gratitude (Luke 16:1-13). 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Merciful God
Moses was bold in asking for God’s mercy (Exodus 32:7-14). David asked for God to cleanse him from sin (Psalm 51: 1-11). Many turn away from God and try to pretend that he does not exist (Psalm 14). But we must remember that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Turn to him and thank him for his mercy and grace (1 Timothy 1:12-17). He seeks those who are lost and rejoices in those who turn back to him (Luke 15:1-10). 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Pursuing the Way of Life
Like a potter molding clay, the Lord is sovereign over all nations (Jeremiah 18:1-11). Nothing can hide from God’s omnipresent and eternal being. He knows us more intimately than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18) and calls his people to turn their hearts toward him and delight in the way of life that he has revealed (Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Psalm 1). Like Paul, we should be advocates for the life and freedom of others (Philemon 1:1-1:21). Even when it is difficult, we are to follow Jesus Christ above all else (Luke 14:25-33). 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

A Humble Heart
God is the source of life (Jeremiah 2:4-13). He brings his people out of bondage and promises to satisfy them with good things (Psalm 81:1, 10-16). The righteous respond to God’s grace by living generously, with humility and a steady heart. They demonstrate repose in the face of evil and have nothing to fear (Proverbs 25:6-7 and Psalm 112). Christian love is marked by hospitality, sexual fidelity, and generosity (Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16). Jesus teaches his disciples to emulate his humility by giving special honor to those who are weak and poor (Luke 14:1, 7-14). 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Consuming Fire and Steadfast Love 
God often chooses the weak to proclaim his word (Jeremiah 1:4-10). He satisfies those who call out to him, acknowledges his faithfulness, and delight in his ways (Psalm 71:1-6 and Isaiah 58:9b-14). God is merciful and kind, slow to anger and steadfast in love (Psalm 103:1-8). His love and holiness inspire awe. His kingdom cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:18-29). Through Jesus God has demonstrated his desire to break chains of bondage and heal our infirmities (Luke 13:10-17).

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Celebrating Mary

Celebrating Mary, the Mother of God

This week many Christians will celebrate the role of Mary as the “God-bearer” or theotokos. Doctrinal beliefs concerning her nature and place within popular piety, vary greatly between Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox. However, all Christian traditions highly esteem her special place within the narrative of salvation history. The Council of Ephesus in 431 AD helped define Mary’s connection to the confession of Christ’s nature set forth in the Nicene Creed.

Feasts

Resources

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 2019 (Year C)

Fire of Judgment
“The fire of judgment and the water of baptism were symbols of Jesus’ compelling call to ministry; they still are. What one enflames, the other can quench. Jesus forecasts a time of division when households will be divided. Within the household of faith, baptism is the sacrament that binds us together; whatever our differences, we are still one. As the body of Christ, obey what Christ teaches and be reconciled one to another.” 

– Rev. James Kirk in When We Gather

Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19 and Psalm 82
Jeremiah 23:23-29
Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56

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