The Liturgical Christianity Portal

Bringing liturgical Christians together

A Testimony to Remember

This week, we remember the conversion of St. Paul. His conversion story is one to end all others, that’s for certain!

Acts 26:9-21 and Galatians 1:11-24 recount Paul’s dramatic conversion. Seeing the transformation from a persecuter to an eventual martyr is a thrilling turn of events.

It’s easy to think that these Road to Damascus stories only happened a long time ago. However, these types of conversions have happened throughout Christian history, right up to today.

From early converts from paganism to followers of modern religions who convert, complete changes of heart make up a large part of the history of Christianity. This important work of transformation still continues today.

The Church has had several Road to Damascus moments ever since the time of the Apostles. From Jewish believers who accepted the Gentiles to Christians of today who embrace outcasts, these conversion stories continue to shape our experiences as Christians.

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January 25, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Bless This House…Literally

On the Feast of Epiphany for some Christians and during the week following for others, it is traditional to bless the house in some way. Although we have already celebrated the Feast of Epiphany, I think this tradition is worth mentioning in its broader context.

Catholics have a tradition of asking God’s blessing on their homes, as well as anyone who will visit their home. This tradition is an open invitation to make Jesus a daily part of life.

Chalking the door with the letters C, M, B and the year. The initials stand for Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the three traditional wise men, or the initials for the Latin translation of “May Christ bless this house”. Traditional prayers follow.

In Episcopal churches, parishioners may ask their priest to bless their homes on Epiphany or in the week after. During the blessing, a special prayer is said for each room. Consider making one of these traditions part of your Christian life, and you’ll be glad you did.

 

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Finding a Place for Epiphany

Today, the Church celebrates Epiphany, which is also known as Little Christmas or Three Kings Day in some cultures. We might think about it as the holiday where gifts are sometimes exchanged instead of on Christmas or when we eat a King Cake, but there’s more to it than that.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, many had a myopic view of the influence the Messiah was to have had. For many, he would be a Redeemer to the Jewish people alone, but God had other plans, as God usually does.

The visit from the Magi, or wise men, dispelled that belief for the first time. These men (their exact number is unknown but traditionally considered three for the three gifts given) were Gentiles, and their desire to find and worship the Son of God signified how God’s plan of redemption was for all people.

When we pay close attention to the Bible readings for the Epiphany season, there is a common thread among most of them: Jesus’ interactions with Gentiles, many of whom were considered unclean. Reaching out to misunderstood religious minorities of the day with God’s message of salvation was just as important then as it is now.

Maybe¬† the most important thing we can take away from the message of the Epiphany is this: the good news is for all people – let’s not keep it to ourselves!

 

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts | | Leave a comment