Category Archives: Liturgy Letter Year A

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (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 cross of 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 fall into disobedience, God bestows His generous mercy upon us through Christ (Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

God’s Peace, Justice, and Salvation

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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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter- Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

God’s Mercy

Jacob deeply desired that God would bless him (Genesis 32:22-32). We can count on God to watch over those who love him with compassion and mercy (Psalm 17 and Psalm 145); Paul mourned that so many of the Jews did not acknowledge Christ (Romans 9:1-5). Jesus cares for our earthly needs and has power over all things, as evinced in the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21). -Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

Pursuing the Kingdom of God with Patience and Trust

Jacob suffered wrong and sacrificed much to win Rachel’s hand in marriage (Genesis 29:15-28). Wisdom and fulfillment are often the fruit of patient waiting and righteous pursuits (Psalm 128 and 1 Kings 3:5-12). These things may seem out of grasp, but we can still trust God to fulfill his covenant and bring about his purposes in the end (Psalm 105:1-11 and Romans 8:26-39), even in spite of human oppression and unfulfilled desires (Psalm 119:129-136). Followers of Christ are called to seek God’s kingdom with all the faith they have, wisely pursuing what will last (Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

God Keeps His Promises and Saves His Children

From the beginning, God has kept the covenant promises he made to His children and their offspring (Genesis 28:10-19a). He knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139) and through His greatness has offered us mercy and hope (Psalm 86). The Holy Spirit bears witness that we are God’s children through Christ (Romans 8:12-25). All of the creation is waiting for Christ to come again and eradicate the things that destroy life (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). We wait patiently in the midst of suffering because, as the children of God, we have hope.  

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

Almost Thew It All Away

Like Esau, our unrestrained appetites can lead us to throw away the things that are most important (Genesis 25:19-34). God calls us to be formed according to the desires of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-11). Our affections and will are softened by the word of God (Isaiah 55:10-13) and become fertile soil for life and joy (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) as we train ourselves to desire God’s ways (Psalm 119:105-112) and acknowledge our need for His forgiveness and blessing (Psalm 65:1-13).    

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The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

Rest, Provision, and Humility

God is good and raises up those who are humble (Psalm 145:8-14). He surprises us with companionship and the promise of future blessings (Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67). In the context of God’s care, we still struggle to be released from the burdens that we place on ourselves. We know better but are still prone to do the things that we shouldn’t do (Romans 7:15-25a). In the midst of these struggles, Christ invites us to serve him in humility. In his service, we find rest and strength for the journey (Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30).

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The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

God’s Promises

“Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac shows his complete confidence in God’s promises (Genesis 22:1-14). Although we sometimes question how long we will have to endure certain trials, we remember God’s past faithfulness and trust him to see us through them (Psalm 13 and Psalm 89). Therefore, we need to yield to God, who offers us eternal life, not giving into sin (Romans 6:12-23) and offering hospitality in God’s name to others (Matthew 10:40-42).”  -Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Commentary

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The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

 

Nothing to Fear: Called to Follow Christ

“We are offered living water and the assurance of God’s continuing love and protection (Genesis 21:8-21). Through baptism, we are crucified with Jesus and die to sin, resurrected to a new life (Romans 6:1b-11). We need not fear anything, for we are precious to God (Matthew 10: 24-39). We continue to ask him for help, guidance, and direction and pray he will preserve us from our enemies (Psalm 86 and Psalm 69).” –Thomas Oden 

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The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

 

Believing God’s Promises and Sharing God’s Grace

“Abraham was quick to recognize God, to be obedient to him and to believe his promises (Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7). We rejoice that through Christ’s death for our sins we have lasting peace with God (Romans 5:1-8). God’s goodness and love cause us to sing his praises (Psalm 100 and Psalm 116), and in gratitude, we therefore share the good news of God’s grace with others (Matthew 9:35-10:8)” Thomas Oden

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