Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday Of Advent 2019 (Year A)

Behold, the Hope of the World
“The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of Christ (Isaiah 11:1-10), who will defend the afflicted and crush the oppressor (Psalm 72:1-7). In light of the Savior’s arrival, John the Baptist calls us to repentance (Matthew 3:1-12). We praise God for his marvelous deeds (Psalms 72:18-19). Because of Christ, the root of Jesse, we have hope for the future through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:4-13).”

– Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Sunday of Advent 2019 (Year A)

Keep Watch and Walk Towards the Light
“Scripture tells us that we are forgiven! It calls us to walk in the light of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1-5), to pray for peace (Psalm 122) and to keep watch for Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36-44), putting aside our deeds of darkness and living in the light (Romans 13:11-14). In this season of Advent, we celebrate the Child who is the Light. We thank God for the forgiveness of sins and reaffirm our desire to walk with the Lord.” 

– Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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FREE 2019/2020 (YEAR A) ONE-PAGE LITURGICAL CALENDAR

Artist Barbara Lyon has created an original 2019/2020 (Year A) one-page Christian liturgical calendar for use in church and home. Her delightful visuals are appealing to all ages. She has given permission to distribute this calendar freely and encourages individuals and families to print and hang in a prominent place.

Download with dates and descriptions
Download with dates

Here is a brief statement from the artist about this year’s calendar:

“Lately, I’ve been contemplating the theme of gardens in the Bible. It all began in a garden, where we walked with God. We had to leave and we continue to wait and work to duplicate the life we felt there. So, this year’s calendar ends at the beginning, an angel guarding a tree. And we begin our way around until we can return. 

Advent is marked by the dead stump of Jesse, with the smallest of shoots appearing, a growth of light out of darkness. Epiphany is this light coming into the whole world, into mountains and deserts, grassy places and stony places; in the most unlikely of places the light of the world began as the smallest of shoots, in a powerless baby.  

For the growing time and Lent this year I picked the parable of the Good Shepherd. This is the time when we hear God’s voice and learn to follow him. Lent leads us into the desert places where death waits. But the Good Shepherd does not run away when the wolves come. He stands in between the wolves and his sheep, walking into death for us. 

For Eastertide this year I was contemplating the angel who stood between us and the garden and the golden angels embroidered on the curtain that keeps us from the Holiest place where God’s presence rests with his people. When it is torn we will come into God’s presence once more. The image I chose to illustrate is inspired by the first verses of Ezekiel 47, where Ezekiel is shown the temple, restored and whole, and the river flowing out from the temple bringing new life to stagnant pools. Along this river fruit grows in abundance, nourishing creatures and people, and bringing healing to all the nations. Even as we wait for the redeemed Earth we can be the people who are a river of life coming into the world, outpouring from God’s presence with his people. 

Ascension is marked by a cloud, when Jesus carried a piece of humanity into God’s presence. Pentecost is marked with fire, when Jesus sent a piece of divinity to live within us. 

Trinity Sunday flows outward in this image, with arms overlapped in mission to spread life, health, and beauty into all creation. Ordinary time is marked by the beauty of wildflowers, reminding us of the diversity in beauty and gifts we offer the world, that we are clothed as lovely as these. Also, it reminds us that we are but grass, and though this place will remember us no more, one day we will be restored to each other in an abundant and flowering new creation.

Blessings on you as you begin your journey anew. 
Barbara Lyon”

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Christ the King 2019 (Year C)

Our King, Our Refuge

God is the true shepherd who gathers his flock under the righteousness of Jesus (Jeremiah 23:1-6). He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46). Jesus provides light in the darkness and rescues his people from their enemies (Luke 1:68-79). The King of the Universe has reconciled all things to himself through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:11-20). Like the criminal that was crucified beside him, he remembers those who humble themselves, acknowledges his holiness, and call upon him in faith (Luke 23:33-43). In him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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

Stand Firm in the Hope of Glory

We look forward to Christ’s second coming (Mal 4:1-2a) and the promise of new heavens and earth (Isaiah 65:17-25). God is our salvation (Isaiah 12) during times of judgment (Malachi 4:-12a) and has done marvelous things worthy of praise (Psalm 98). In anticipation of future glory, we should continue working hard and doing what is right (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13). Stay alert during times of persecution and confusion. Stand firm in the confidence that God will protect and care for his people (Luke 21:5-19). 

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

Eternity and Resurrection
“We know that our Redeemer lives (Job 19:23-27a)! We walk in the paths of righteousness, always kept close by the Lord in “the shadow of his wings” (Psalm 17:1-9). We give thanks to him (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17) and look forward to being resurrected and living with him (Luke 20:27-38).” 
– Thomas Oden, in Ancient Christian Devotional

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

Walking the Talk
We should do good, seek justice, defend the fatherless and care for the widow (Isaiah 1:10-18). We confess our sins and give thanks that God fogives us (Psalm 32:1-7), pray that we will be worthy of God’s calling (2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12) and are thankful that Christ came to save the lost (Luke 19:1-10).
– Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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

Pursue God with Humility and Faith
God promises to restore and save his people (Joel 2:23-32 and Psalm 65). We are prone to wander from God (Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22), but through Jesus Christ, he saves us and gives us the strength to walk in faith (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18). Humble yourself before the Lord (Luke 18:9-14) and long for his presence (Psalm 84:1-7). 

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

Persistence
The Lord’s covenant love will follow his people, even as they experience judgment and brokenness (Jeremiah 31:27-34). They are called to persistently meditate on the law of God (Psalm 119:97-104) and courageously seek his blessing (Genesis 32:22-31). Look to God for help and protection (Psalm 121). Continue to pursue God’s truth in times of apostasy, struggle, and suffering (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5). Cry out to God for justice day and night (Luke 18:1-8).

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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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