The Liturgical Christianity Portal

Bringing liturgical Christians together

What I Want for Lent is an Attitude Adjustment

A lot of the Daily Office readings for The Episcopal Church this season are from the prophet Jeremiah. There’s a good reason why he’s known as “the weeping prophet.” He lived during a time of tribulation for Israel, tried to turn people back to God when they weren’t much willing to listen and is also believed to have authored Lamentations.

In our day, a lot of people would consider Jeremiah’s words to be depressing. It might even be suggested that he needs an attitude adjustment. However, it’s both those who heard his original words and those of us who read them today who really need a change of heart.

We often resist God’s will for us in our everyday lives. No matter whether it’s getting into that confrontation you were really trying to avoid or putting off things that we know are important, it’s too much of a part of our lives.

As we continue on towards Resurrection Day, let’s commitment ourselves to using this time to change our thinking. If our behavior is estranging us from God and others, it needs to change. Pray for the daily strength you need to overcome all sin.


March 7, 2013 Posted by | Christian Living | , , | Leave a comment

Giving to Others for Lent

One popular spiritual practice that many people adopt during Lent is giving something up and donating the money that is available to charity. There are several variations on this.

Some might eat a bowl of rice in place of a full meal, donating the money saved to a charity that fights hunger. Two readers on my CelticAnglican’s Ramblings blog give up beverages other than water. One of them donates the saved money to a charity that provides clean water to people in Third World areas without a safe water supply.

Another good discipline involves donating to groups that help Christians in persecuted companies. This can easily be combined with praying for a different country, region or need during each of the 40 days.

We should always remember that such practices aren’t about who gives up the most or who gives the most money. Instead, it should be about turning our focus to God and living out our faith in a world that truly needs Divine Love. When we put God’s kingdom and righteousness first, things are better for all of us.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Christian Living | , , | Leave a comment

Are We Still Seeking Jesus?

One thing that I often think of around Epiphany, even though it’s generally marketed as a Christmas product, is a pin that says Wise Men Still Seek Him. It’s a simple statement, but easily remembered.

A lot of people, I think, get too caught up in deliberating about whether there were actually 3 wise men (indeed, I know of one person who argues very vehemently that there weren’t). What’s more important, I think, is that they were Gentiles, and God broadened the tent, so to speak, in leading them to Christ.

However, we would do well to remember that seeking isn’t just for people outside the Church community. We may talk about seeker’s classes or seeker’s services for people outside or new to our parishes. Yet, a little bit of healthy seeking doesn’t hurt those of us who are involved in the Church, either.

When we get to a point where we cease to be learners of God’s ways, that’s when we’re limiting ourselves in what we can do as Christ’s Body. We should, of course, do what we can to help inqirers and new Christians. Yet, we should never lose our sense of wonder in what God has done for us and continues to do for us, either.

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Christian Living, Holidays/Feasts | | Leave a comment

Come and See

A nice video from the Fathers of Mercy, with helpful info for all of us

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , | Leave a comment

The Importance of Quiet Prayer

Sometimes, it seems like everything about life is manic. There are deadlines to be met, things to do around the house that really can’t wait and people we need to see.

Short of cloning ourselves, there are relatively few things that can be done about work demands. Family obligations also can’t be tossed aside, either. We can’t control the mad pace our world works at, but we can do something about how we manage our time.

Times for quiet, solitary prayer may be just what’s needed for some of the worst demands life can throw at us. Taking some time for just yourself and God is an ancient monastic tradition that can benefit us, too. Work your alone time into breaks at work or in between household duties.

Prayer doesn’t necessarily have to be made for specific petitions, either. Spend some time using some of the cherished prayers of the Christian tradition, or thank God for the blessings of the day. Sometimes, all we need is an opportunity to just talk to God about our fears, troubles and hopes.

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , | Leave a comment

Awesome Things – Share Yours!

Everything here doesn’t have to be 100% about theology all the time. Obviously, we all have important things, events and people in our lives that we like to share about. Episcopal deacon Deborah Sharp Loeb, a writer for The Geranium Farm, started to compile a list of “Awesome Things” early this spring. Here, people can share about awesome things, no matter how big or small.

I’m adding a few, and hope you’ll want to share your “Awesome Things” as well.

  • Sunsets that are photo-worthy after a hot day
  • The scent of recently-fallen rain, especially when flowers are in bloom
  • The sight, smell, and feel of freshly-fallen snow
  • Autumn leaves that turn to brilliant colors
  • Finding a few dollars in a jacket you’d forgotten about
  • Seeing somebody’s unique, restored vintage car going down the street
  • Having horses on the next property visit at your fence

Remember, even a small blessing is still a blessing 🙂

August 11, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , | Leave a comment

Yes, a Thank You Does Help :)

Most of us spend at least part of our time in the service of others. Although they’re important jobs, it’s not just those who are in the ordained ministry, the medical profession, academic community or the military who serve (to name just a few examples). In our own way, each of us does something for others.

This is especially important for members of the Christian community. Many “ordinary” lay people perform taks that may not seem important at a first glance, but do serve some major purpose. Examples:

  • Lay readers who lead services in the absence of a priest or pastor, a lifesaver where supply clergy are hard to come by.
  • Hospitality coordinators, who may often have to put together mercy meals for a grieving family on short notice.
  • Greeters or welcoming ministry volunteers, whose warm welcome may decide whether a visitor returns or not.

Many perform different forms of service in the context of a church community. No matter whether the responsibility is big or small, everyone needs a little bit of encouragement sometimes. A prayer ministry I volunteer for has volunteers specifically devoted to encouraging the rest of the team. While nobody absolutely has to be a “full-time Barnabas”, thanking others or otherwise letting them know that their ministry is helping does a world of good.

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , | Leave a comment

What Ministry Is and Isn’t

The concept of ministry is one that can be hard to grasp. In some denominations, “ministry” is treated as something only for those who feel called to ordination. Others have such a very high view of ministry that they believe there’s no distinction between lay and ordained ministers. What is a healthy balance?

  • Technically speaking, a baptized Christian IS a minister. The term is often interpreted to mean “servant”, which is how a follower of Christ should see his/herself. Obviously, not all ministers are clergy.  It’s most appropriate to refer to clergy as deacons, priests/pastors/presbyters or bishops.
  • In most denominations, there are some functions reserved strictly for clergy. For example, most require clergy to perform non-emergency baptisms, to preside over a communion service, and provide Last Rites or the equivilant.
  • There are many lay ministries available. Examples of ministry functions some laypeople may perform include preaching sermons or homilies, leading prayer services, assisting at communion and visiting with the sick.

In short, ministry is something that isn’t reserved strictly for those with the title of priest or pastor. What lay ministry might you be called to?

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , | Leave a comment

What’s This Long Season All About?

After Trinity Sunday, churches that keep the liturgical year will find themselves in the Pentecost season, which is called Ordinary Time in some denominations. (In traditionalist Anglican churches using the 1928 BCP, Sundays are counted after Trinity Sunday). Many of the Gospel readings read on Sundays have an emphasis on Jesus’ parables and other teachings.

An interesting analogy occured to me.  The Pentecost season typically starts in late spring or early summer, ending in late fall. It kind of puts you in mind of growing crops, then harvesting them at a time that’s not too far removed from the start of Advent.   

In many ways, the Christian life is all about growth. We grow in love towards each other (or at least try to with God’s help), we grow in our Christian walk, and grow in whatever our respective vocations and ministries. The growing period never stops as long as we’re alive.

With most of the fanfare associated with the Christian feasts being stopped for a time, maybe this season would bve a good time for some reflection. What is God calling us to do? How can we best do it?

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Called: Is It a Privilage?

We hear a lot about people being called. Maybe it was in the form of Joe being called to the priesthood, Beth being called to the diaconate, or Sally being called to found a religious order. A lot of times, it’s less dramatic. You may feel called to be a lector, teach Sunday School or sing in the choir. Being called isn’t rare by any means.

Having a calling or vocation is often associated with theological greats like the Apostles. Throughout Easter season, we’ve been reading about their special calling. As Pentecost nears, this is a time to reflect on their particular gifts and talents that they were given.

One important thing to know is this: you don’t have to “be someone” to have a special calling. Every Christian has some type of special ministry or calling – you just might not know exactly what it is yet. Taking some time to reflect on what that calling might be is an idea that you should consider.

What might God be calling you to in your life? Feel free to share any special thoughts that you have about Christian vocations.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Christian Living | , , , , | Leave a comment