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The Way of Jesus

Discussion in 'Liberal Christianity DIR' started by dsaly1969, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. dsaly1969

    dsaly1969 Member

    Feb 26, 2013
    I have my own personal practice based in an appreciation of historical Christian liturgy and Franciscan tradition combined with a belief in the priesthood of all believers and an inclusive / progressive outlook. I'm looking for constructive feedback. Thanks!

    The Way of Jesus

    1. We believe that Jesus offers salvation to all through his Life, Death, and Resurrection to those who freely accept this gift. We must die to the old self or old man (aka the ego) and be born again as a new creation (child) in Christ.

    2. We believe the only rule of the New Covenant is His New Commandment of Love: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). As per the New Commandment taught by Jesus Christ, we should try to love others (and ourselves), no matter their as much as God loves us. We are not called to judge or condemn others, but to welcome them in an inclusive embrace no matter their ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, religious persuasion, etc. If we did this, we would be living in Zion (the Kingdom of God here on Earth). We should reject any doctrines, teachings, or interpretations which would contradict the New Commandment or would try to exclude certain groups of others from the all-embracing grace of God.

    3. We experience God as Father (transcendent - masculine aspect), Holy Spirit (Mother - immanent – feminine aspect), and Christ as the Divine Child. We experience the Trinity as a Divine Family. The Blessed Virgin Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so she could be a proper vessel to bear Jesus, the Son of God.

    4. The Holy Spirit is our primary form of guidance today while the Bible is a secondary source of guidance. According to the Book of Acts, Jesus said we would receive ongoing guidance through the workings of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 10:20, John 14:16-17, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7, John 16:13, Acts 2:33, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:26, Ephesian 1:13-14, Galatians 4:6, Galatians 5:18, Galatians 5:22-23, 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, 1st Corinthians 6:19, 1st Corinthians 12:1-11). The Bible is a record of human interactions and understandings of God. It is not meant to be a science or history textbook, nor is it to be used as a weapon to judge, condemn, or belittle others.

    5. We believe in the priesthood of all believers (1st Peter 2:5, 1st Peter 2:9, 1st Timothy 2:5, Revelation 5:10, 1st Corinthians 4:1) and that church (ecclesia) is not limited to a building, but is the body of all believers (Ephesians 1:22-23, 1st Corinthians 12:13, 1st Corinthians 12:27). We celebrate a simplified form of the Liturgical Calendar developed by Christian tradition: All Saints'/All Souls Day (Nov. 1-2), Advent and Christmas, Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord (Feb. 2), Lent and Easter, Pentecost (May 20), Feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24), Feast of St. Clare (August 11), Feast of St. Francis (Oct. 4).

    6. While we believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-17, Galatians 2:16), we practice water baptism by immersion (Luke 3:16, John 1:29-33, Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:35-38, Romans 6:3-6, 1st Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27) to publically demonstrate our entrance into the Body of Christ, and a communion of bread and wine (or juice or water) as a public declaration of continuing faith (Matthew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:14-20).

    7. We believe the future of the Christian faith will be outside the walls of the institutional churches as we have come to know them. In this day and age, it is important to live out our faith in the world through the freedom of grace, with a commitment to an inclusive and welcoming understanding of the Gospel, and a commitment to peace and justice for all. We see the examples of St. Francis and St. Clare to be great models. We utilize liturgical elements from the historical Christian tradition of St. Francis into a simple format useable by either an individual or a group.
    Liturgy of the Way of Jesus:

    Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi

    (Stand in the center, facing East, with arms raised up in greeting.)

    “Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

    Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

    Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.”

    (Move towards the East if possible, and make the Sign of the Cross in front of you.)

    “Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and fair and stormy, all weather's moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.”

    (Turn around and face the West. Move towards the West if possible, and make the Sign of the Cross in front of you.)

    “Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water, So useful, humble, precious and pure.”

    (Turn around and face the South. Move towards the South if possible and make the Sign of the Cross in front of you.)

    “Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.”

    (Turn around and face the North. Move towards the North, and make the Sign of the Cross in front of you.)

    “Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”

    (Turn around and face the East.)

    “Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial. Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.

    Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will. No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, and serve Him with great humility. Amen.”

    Confession of Sin

    Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

    Apostles’ Creed

    “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”

    Readings from the Revised Daily Lectionary

    (usually First Reading from Old Testament, Psalm, sometimes Second Reading from the New Testament, a reading from the Gospel)

    Simple Communion of Bread and Wine (optional)

    Read one of the following: Matthew 26: 26-30, Mark 14: 22-24, or Luke 22: 14-20. Then make the Sign of the Cross over the small piece of bread (or cracker) and drink of wine (or juice or water), and then consume them.

    Read the New Commandment

    “Jesus left us with one Commandment to follow in His New Covenant.”

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

    Short Period of Reflection on the Spirit

    This is a short period of silent meditation. Some suggested techniques include the mental recitation of the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.) or Centering Prayer.

    Lord’s Prayer

    “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, now and forever. Amen.”

    Prayer of St. Francis

    “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.”


    “Preach the Gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words. Go in peace”

    (Make the Sign of the Cross.)
  2. Karolina

    Karolina Member

    Nov 18, 2019
    Seeker who worships at Catholic Church
    It sounds uplifting. I wouldn't mind participating in a worship service the way you describe it here, although my personal theology is different and still-evolving.