Suspending Weekly Newsletter

Friends and supporters,

It’s hard to believe that is has been over 4 1/2 years since I started curating resources for the Liturgy Letter Newsletter. I want to express how much I have appreciated your support. I hope it has been a helpful resource for worship planning and spiritual formation.

From the beginning, this project has been a labor of love, personal spiritual discipline, and an expression of my love for scripture, liturgy, music, and the church. My life and employment situation has changed and I am no longer able to balance these responsibilities with the time and energy it takes to curate and publish this resource on a weekly basis. I reluctantly feel the need to suspend weekly Liturgy Letter updates, but I still hope to write occasional posts here on liturgyletter.com.

My sincere thanks to all of those who subscribed to the weekly e-mail and expressed financial support through Patreon.

There are many ways in which the vision of the Liturgy Letter Newsletter can be continued and improved in the future, but for now I need a respite.

Please know that all previous posts/newsletters are archived here at liturgyletter.com, which will continue to be active.

Grace and peace,

Philip

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

The Cornerstone of Righteousness

God gave the law through Moses so that we would find life by living according to His word (Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20). We are called to contemplate the beauty of God’s creation and meditate on his words (Psalm 19). God has provided salvation for us in spite of our unfaithfulness (Psalm 80:7-15). In response, we are called to live in faith, knowing that our righteousness is only found in Christ (Philippians 3:4b-14). He is the only sure foundation for a fruitful life (Matthew 21:33-46).

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Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Transgression, Humility, and the Faithfulness of Jesus

Cry out to God and remember what he has done. Listen to his promises, trust him, and live according to his ways (Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16). God is gracious to provide for our needs, even when we complain and are undeserving (Exodus 17:1-17). In gratitude, we turn from our own concerns to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:1-13). Through faith and trust, we bow in humility to take Jesus at his word, accepting his authority and divinity (Matthew 21:23-32). 

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Provision and Forgiveness

God provided life, protection, and guidance for those he brought out of bondage in Egypt (Ex. 14:19-31 & Ps. 114). There is none other like him, majestic in holiness (Ex. 15:1-11, 20-21) and abounding in steadfast love and forgiveness (Ps. 103:1-13). Joseph sought to emulate God’s merciful character by extending forgiveness to those who had tried to harm him (Gen. 50:15-21). In the same way, Jesus teaches his followers to forgive others generously (Matt. 18:21-35). Jesus is Lord, therefore, bear with those who are weak in faith (Rom. 14:1-12).

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Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Sin, Salvation, Service

In the Passover, Christians remember how God’s deliverance of Israel extends to all the world through the blood of Christ (Exodus 12:1-14). God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:7-11), but calls all people to praise him and delight in his commands (Psalm 149 and Psalm 119:33-40). Those who walk in righteousness seek to cast off the works of darkness and pursue the light of love (Romans 13:8-14). Believers are called to participate in Christ’s ministry by appropriately confronting sin (Matthew 18:15-20). 

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Turning Toward Holiness

God is more holy than we can imagine or comprehend (Exodus 3:1-15). He has graciously revealed himself and called us to trust him. We respond in gratitude by choosing to walk in truth and love (Psalm 26). Remembering God’s faithfulness and promises (Psalm 105 & Jeremiah 15:15-21), we pursue love, joy, and patience in the midst of our adversaries. Like Jesus, we are to take up our cross and overcome evil with good (Romans 12:9-21). Jesus’ rebuke of Peter reminds us that God’s ways are often counterintuitive to our ways. We follow Jesus by turning from evil and choosing to love God (Matthew 16:21-28).  

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Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Our Deliverer

God provided deliverance for his people by raising up Moses to lead them out of Egypt (Exodus 1:8–2:10). He demonstrated steadfast love and care (Psalm 138) and saved those who seemed destined for destruction (Psalm 124). God’s promise of salvation in the past continues to be fulfilled in the present through Jesus Christ (Isaiah 51:1-6). He is the Messiah and Son of the living God (Matthew 16:13-20). In gratitude, followers of Jesus are exhorted to humbly serve the body of Christ by offering themselves as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-8).

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Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude

After many years, Joseph is given the opportunity to reconcile with his brothers. This profound act of forgiveness prefigures the forgiveness offered by Christ (Genesis 45:1-15). God has been gracious to us (Psalm 67). In gratitude, we pursue unity with others; especially believers (Psalm 133). God wants us to avoid hypocrisy, cultivate pure hearts, and demonstrate a humble faith (Matthew 15:10-20, 21-28). Even though we are prone to fall into disobedience, God bestows His generous mercy upon us through Christ (Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32).

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Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (Year A)

Pulled from the Pit

The story of Joseph has many parallels with the life of Christ (Genesis 37:14-, 12-28). As Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers, so Christ was crucified by His own, descended into the dead, and was resurrected so that we might live. This is good news and we must tell others (Romans 10:5-15)! The life, death, and resurrection of Christ have fulfilled the allusions we find to him in the Old Testament (Psalm 105). He is the embodiment of peace, salvation, and justice (Psalm 85). Like Joseph and Peter, we need not fear when we are sinking. He has promised to be with us and will help us when our faith is weak (Matthew 14:22-33).

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Augustine on Psalm 145

“The framework of creation, this most perfectly ordered beauty, ascending from lowest to highest, descending from highest to lowest, never broken, but tempered together of things unlike, all praises God. Wherefore then doth all praise God? Because when thou considerest it, and seest its beauty, thou in it praisest God. The beauty of the earth is a kind of voice of the dumb earth…And this which thou has found in it, is the very voice of its confession, that thou praise the Creator. When thou hast thought on the universal beauty of this world, doth not its very beauty as it were with one voice answer thee, ‘I made not myself, God made me’?”

-St. Augustine