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

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

Allegiance and Praise to God 

The glory and holiness of God are outside of our human capacity to comprehend (Exodus 33:12-23). In spite of this, our Creator has revealed his love for us and deserves our allegiance and praise (Psalm 99 and Psalm 96). We should turn away from idols and serve the living God, who is sovereign over all of the creation (Isaiah 45:1-7). Earthly authorities deserve our respect but are fleeting in comparison to the scope of God’s rule (Matthew 22:15-22).  

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

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

Confession, Prayer, and Praise

“God allows us the chance to intercede for others through prayer (Exodus 32:1-14). We come to him confessing our sins and praising him (Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23), putting aside our anxieties and setting our minds on Christ (Philippians 4:1-9) and recognizing the promise of eternal life with God (Matthew 22:1-14).”   Thomas Oden in the “Ancient Christian Devotional

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

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

The Beauty of Righteousness and Faith in Christ

God gave the law through Moses so that we would learn to honor Him as the true God, and find rest and freedom living according to His word (Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20). We can see that God created the universe by looking at the beauty of His creation and meditating 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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The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost 2017 (Year A)

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

Trusting God’s Provision: Living in Humility, Faith, and Service

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

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

God’s Generosity

“We praise God and meditate on his glorious works (Psalm 145: 1-8 and Psalm 105:-16, 37-45). We may suffer for Christ’s sake (Philippians 1:21-30), but we know that God will be generous with us, beyond what we deserve (Matthew 20:1-16). There is no need we have that God will not provide (Exodus 16:2-15).”
-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional  

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Holy Cross Day 2017

Today celebrates the cross as a symbol of Christ’s triumph over death. The history behind this day can be traced back to the time of Constantine. Holy Cross Day is celebrated on September 14th because it was on this day in 335 A.D. that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was dedicated in Jerusalem.

Lectionary Readings for Holy Cross

The Sign of the Cross

Many Christian traditions use the sign of the cross as a physical act of prayer that brings to mind Christ’s sacrifice and the continuing call to discipleship. This practice has a rich history. Here is an extended quote from James Keifer explaining its historical and biblical significance:

Sign of the Cross“Tertullian, in his De Corona (3:2), written around AD 211, says that Christians seldom do anything significant without making the sign of the cross. Certainly, by his time the practice was well established. Justin Martyr, in chapters 55 and 60 of his First Apology (Defence of the Christian Faith, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius and therefore written between 148 and 155 AD), refers to the cross as a standard Christian symbol, but not explicitly to tracing the sign of the cross as a devotional gesture… Continue reading Holy Cross Day 2017

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

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

God’s Care, Mercy, and Forgiveness

“The Lord protects his people; just as he brought them safely out of Egypt (Exodus 14:19-31), so he will care for us. We praise God for his justice, healing, mercy, and love (Psalm 103:1-13 and Psalm 114), knowing that as Christians, we must consider the feelings of others (Romans 14:1-12). In the same way, God has forgiven us much, we are to forgive others with generosity (Matthew 18:21-35).” -Thomas Oden  

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

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

Walking Together on Paths of Righteousness

“The power of Christ’s precious blood is seen in the Passover, as are other symbols of the faith (Exodus 12:1-14). We pray for God to help us better understand his instructions so we can wholeheartedly walk in the right paths on our spiritual journey (Psalm 119:33-40). We pledge to confront in love our fellow Christians who fall away from the faith in some way (Matthew 18:15-20). We cast off the works of darkness to walk in the light of love (Romans 13:8-14).” -Thomas Oden  

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