The Liturgical Christianity Portal

Bringing liturgical Christians together

We Remember: The Maryrs of Lyons

Learn more about Blandina and Her Companions, The Martyrs of Lyons

Martyrdom is never nice to hear about, but Jesus never promised a trouble-free life. While most of us will not have to pay the ultimate price for our beliefs, following Christ isn’t always easy today, either. Our world sees a lot of conflict, unrest and violence that makes peace seem like a far-off dream. We would do well to remember that we are always called to be witnesses. When we stop caring about the world’s troubles and fail to speak out in the name of Christ, our witness suffers. Let’s always remember the courage of our ancestors in the faith.

Almighty God, who gave your servants Blandina and her companions boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in
us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint-Martin Ainay Crypte

Advertisements

June 2, 2016 Posted by | Saints and Feasts, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

No, These Weren’t Yours to Begin With

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem2982

One of the more interesting exchanges I had on my other blog started off innocently enough with me stating why I didn’t believe God sanctioned polygamy for Christians. Online discussions being what they are, it soon devolved into my being accused of being “no student of Scripture” for not agreeing with one commentator about their assertion that Christians were to follow the Levitical law.

In short, I had pointed out that polygamy was something that the Bible did not specifically condemn because of the cultural context, but was not sanctioned as an example to follow either, and pointed out a couple of examples of other practices that are no longer accepted within Christianity. The commentator took exception to this, asserting that Christians were still to follow the Law.

I think it’s easy for some to get caught up on Jesus’ statement that he did not intend the abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17-20), without considering his fulfillment and what it meant. What does that really mean for us?

  • Jesus did not invalidate the Law during his earthly ministry, however, he did institute a covenant of grace (Romans 6:13-14)
  • Jewish teachers in both Biblical times and today never saw the Law as being for Gentiles. In fact, many believe that only the laws given to Noah are applicable for non-Jews. (Gen. 9:8-17)
  • Early Christians leaders did not impose the Law on Christians (Acts 15)

We are under the law of grace – thanks be to God!

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Apologetics, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

A Good Place to Start

Maerten van Heemskerck - Christ Appearing to St Peter on the Sea of Tiberias (Bowes Museum)

How often do stories include a line about starting at the beginning? How often do hit TV shows open with a character presumably going back to the beginning?

Starting at the beginning, or getting back to the basics, is a theme that also crops up in the Bible. Jesus’ appearance in John 21:9, though it is post-Resurrection, ironically starts where he first called the disciples.

Going back to where you were before God called you at the point you are in your life can be a very scary thing. Although remembering where we were when we decided to heed Jesus’ call makes us grateful for what we turned away from, remembering the past can give us a clearer picture of the future.

Christianity has taken so many twists and turns over the centuries that it often seems as though common ground is difficult to find. Ages-old controversies about the nature of the Godhead now take their place alongside controversies over worship styles and the use of sacraments in an increasingly digitized world.

One thing to bear in mind: many of today’s controversies likely would have befuddled Jesus’ earliest followers. Your mileage may vary, but I think they would have rejected anything that eclipsed Jesus as Lord, reduced honored traditions as stale, rigid laws, denied the importance of those who had gone before, or that tought any group of people was unworthy of ministering to.

Creedal Christianity, at its best, gets back to basics while providing adaptability for a world that constantly changes. What more could we ask for today?

April 10, 2016 Posted by | Christian Living, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

So Many Tempations, So Little Time

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

In Honor of Upcoming Shrove Tuesday…

The author of this is totally unknown to me, but provides a bit of levity before we launch into Lent (which is early this year:

All God’s Children are shriven toda-ay
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
No more Shroves for days and da-ays
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
Forty days is not so long
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!
Burn your Shroves, you can’t go wrong
A-A-A-A-A-le-i-loo-oo-yah!

February 4, 2016 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

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.

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

Out Into the World

Today, the Episcopal Church and many churches throughout the Anglican Communion remember Channing Moore Williams, an early missionary to Japan and China. When we hear of the impact of missionaries such as these, it makes us remember that spread the Gospel is all about behaving selflessly.

In Luke 10:1-9,  Jesus sends the disciples on a mission to preach the Good News with literally the clothes on their back. Although there is no reason to believe this is a command for those who proclaim the Gospel today to become vagrants, we can glean that Jesus expects us to trust God and the ability to provide in our endeavors.

What I like to call “pop Christianity” today would have us believe that spreading the Good News involves sending large sums of money to “teachers” who live lavish lifestyles. Their fruits are obvious when you see the large numbers of people both in the US and abroad who live in poverty.

However, the apostles and many saints ranging from St. Basil down through Channing Moore Williams and others who have succeeded them not only ministered to souls, but people’s physical needs. We worship a God who became incarnate to bring full restoration and reconciliation to us – body, soul and spirit.

Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord this Advent and Christmas!

December 2, 2015 Posted by | Saints/Important People, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The Cup That Truly Matters

Chalice (PSF)

A simple, paper cup has caused at lot of controversy among some Christians with the start of the retail holiday season. The red cup that coffee chain Starbucks is using has angered some Christians upset over its lack of designs associated with Christmas. This has prompted a movement of people making it a special point to give their names to baristas as Merry Christmas so that the phrase will appear on the cup.

Sometimes, I think that, in the effort to “put Christ back in Christmas”, many Christians are forgetting one thing: the retail world’s celebration of the holiday’s has nothing to do with “Christ’s Mass” and everything to do with making money. The real enemy isn’t those who celebrate different holidays, but greed and commercialism that even many who profess Christ get caught up in.

One thing that I find ironic is how many Christians are unaware of or forget that most of what the world tells us is part of the Christmas season isn’t actually part of it at all. Most of the anger directed at what greeting store clerks use or how stores advertise their products takes place during Advent, not the actual Christmas season.

Sometimes retailers and others may take things a little too far, as in holiday trees instead of Christmas trees. However, where is the outrage over the fact that much of Christianity essentially allows the secular world to dictate the terms of the holiday’s celebration? If we must “take back Christmas”, maybe we need to consider it in the context of universally celebrating the traditional seasons – after all, isn’t that part of beng in the world, but not of the world?

The image above serves as a reminder that Christmas has its meaning in the Mass – one of the most important ways in which the Incarnate Christ makes himself known to us. It’s not about how much stuff you baked, whether the dog’s present is wrapped, or whose house you’re having dinner at. It’s about whether we honor the humble birth of Our Lord and bring his message of peace and reconciliation to a world that needs it.

November 11, 2015 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts | , | Leave a comment