Category Archives: Easter

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventh Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

The Ascended Christ Sends His Spirit and Makes us One

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower his followers until his return (Acts 1:6-14). This promise gives us the strength to pray and follow God, even in the midst of suffering and anxiety. These things may last for a little while, but we are encouraged to stand firm knowing that Christ himself has prayed for us (1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11). Though orphans, he has promised us a home (Psalm 68: 1-10; 32-35). He has granted us eternal life and the fellowship of other believers, even while we wait (John 17:1-11).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Sixth Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

We Are God’s Offspring

The true God has been revealed to the whole world through the life and death of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:22-31). Because Jesus is Lord, we are blessed, even when we suffer (1 Peter 3:13-22). God cares for us and listens to our prayers, so we offer our gratitude and confess what he has done for us (Psalm 66:8-20). We find freedom and take joy in his commandments through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

We are not promised an easy life and may even suffer for our faith (Acts 7:55-60). Call out to God in the midst of shame and confusion, trusting in God’s steadfast love (Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16). Jesus is the cornerstone of salvation who was rejected on our behalf. Through Him, we have received mercy so that we may proclaim the mighty acts of him who has called us out of darkness into light (1 Peter 2:2-10). He is the way, truth, and life who has promised to prepare a place for us in the presence of the Father (John 14:1-14).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

Shepherd of the Sheep

Jesus is the gate to salvation (John 10:1-10). He is the guardian and shepherd of our souls (1 Peter 2:19-25). Those who follow and know his voice are called to patiently endure suffering and pray for abundant common life (Acts 2:42-47). Take comfort, God watches over his children and will lead them through death and into safety (Psalm 23).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

Astonished Hearts, Opened Eyes, Enlightened Minds

God has heard the cry of his people (Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19) and ransomed them from futile ways through the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:17-23). Repent, and be baptized (Acts 2:14a, 36-41). Jesus is risen and has revealed himself to those who had lost hope. He is the Messiah. The Suffering Servant whose blessed body was broken and given to those whose eyes were opened. They were astonished that he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13-35).

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Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere! – Melito, Bishop of Sardis (180 A.D.) on the Resurrection

The Lord clothed himself with humanity,
and with suffering on behalf of the suffering one,
and bound on behalf of the one constrained,
and judged on behalf of the one convicted,
and buried on behalf of the one entombed,
rose from the dead and cried out aloud:

“Who takes issue with me? Let him stand before me.
I set free the condemned.
I gave life to the dead.
I raise up the entombed.
Who will contradict me?”

“It is I”, says the Christ,
“I am he who destroys death,
and triumphs over the enemy,
and crushes Hades,
and binds the strong man,
and bears humanity off to the heavenly heights.”

“It is I,” says the Christ.
“So come all families of people
adulterated with sin,
and receive forgiveness of sins.
For I am your freedom.
I am the Passover of salvation,

I am the lamb slaughtered for you,
I am your ransom,
I am your life,
I am your light,
I am your salvation,
I am your resurrection,
I am your King.
I shall raise you up by my right hand,
I will lead you to the heights of heaven,
there shall I show you the everlasting father.”

He it is who made the heaven and the earth,
and formed humanity in the beginning,
who was proclaimed through the law and the prophets,
who took flesh from a virgin,
who was hung on a tree,
who was buried in earth,
who was raised from the dead,
and ascended to the heights of heaven,
who sits at the right hand of the father,
who has the power to save all things,
through whom the father acted from the beginning and for
ever.

This is the alpha and omega,
this is the beginning and the end,
the ineffable beginning and the incomprehensible end.
This is the Christ,
this is the King,
this is Jesus,

this is the commander,
this is the Lord,
this is he who rose from the dead,
this is he who sits at the right hand of the father,
he bears the father and is borne by him.
To him be the glory and the might forever.
Amen.

Melito (Bishop of Sardis) in On Pascha, St. Valdimir Press, 2001, pg. 65-67

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday of Easter 2020 (Year A)

Faith in the Risen Son of God

Jesus Christ has risen from the dead (Acts 2:14a, 22-32). Therefore, God is always before us. He has the power and authority to save us from the curse of death and show us the path of life (Psalm 16). Through Jesus, we have been given new birth into a living hope, as we wait in faith, for the promise of salvation to be fully revealed (1 Peter 1:3-9). Jesus has sent his Holy Spirit to guide us on our journey toward the consummation of our faith. Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have come to believe (John 20:19-31).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Seventh Sunday of Easter / Ascension Day 2019 (YEAR C)

Life Through Jesus

Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for casting out unclean spirits in the name of Jesus. In their suffering, they exhibited joy and trusted God. God saved them. As a result, the jailer and his household believed in Jesus and were baptized (Acts 16:16-34). We can rejoice because this same God, revealed through Jesus, is above all other gods (Psalm 97). He will come again in power and offers life to all that come to him (Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21). Until that time, Jesus desires his children to walk together in unity and love (John 17:20-26). 

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Sixth Sunday of Easter 2019 (Year C)

Presence, Power, and Peace

Through the Holy Spirit, God opens hearts to have faith in Jesus and be baptized into His name. Like Lydia, we should share God’s grace with our own households and offer our resources to those in need (Acts 16:9-15). Throughout history, God has blessed His people and made known His salvation to all the earth (Psalm 67). He has promised to completely restore all of Creation (Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5). Until that day, Jesus Christ has left us with the hope of his return and has promised the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:23-29). While on earth, Jesus demonstrated his power to heal and restore (John 5:1-9). We praise God for opening the way of salvation through Jesus and wait in the light of His resurrection.

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