Sunday, July 23, 2017

Walking with Jesus July 23, 2017

THIS SUNDAY, July 23 …

We continue our Pentecost series – “Walking with Jesus” – as together we make sense and meaning of his teachings for our lives.  This Sunday, we explore the parable of the “Wheat and the Tares.”

╬ “Where’d all these weeds come from?”
Many of those who follow Jesus are peasants, many farmers and tenants.  The symbolic elements in the parables he tells reflect this:  stories about food, provision, harvest and abundance resonate strongly with hungry people.  Jesus uses this wisdom to tailor his gospel to his hearers and speak to directly into their collective experience.  What symbols and images might he use – and might we use – to communicate God’s truth in contemporary culture?

“Polka Sunday.”  The Prayer of the Day and the Readings are below.  Let’s enjoy the richness of these diverse worship styles that bring a change of pace to our summer Sundays!

Blessings all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------------

Lord, in the world you love wheat and weeds fill your fields.  Help us to grow in your life-giving abundance.  Give us the wisdom to know, the strength to resist and the patience to endure all that would seek to spoil your harvest.  Amen.

READINGS ----------------------------------

First Reading:  Isaiah 44:6-8

6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.  7 Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them declare and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be.  8 Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it?  You are my witnesses! IIs there any god besides me?  There is no other rock; I know not one.

Psalm 86:11-17

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.
17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Second Reading:  Romans 8:12-25

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.  18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Gospel:  Matthew 13:24-30

24 He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' 28 He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29 But he replied, 'No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Parable of the Sower, July 16, 2017

My friends, this Sunday we move into our second Pentecost series for this year:  “Walking With Jesus”

We begin with one of his central teachings … the Parable of the Sower!

╬ “A sower went out to sow seed.”
One of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach is story-telling!  In parables and stories, Jesus uses elements from the everyday lives of people to reveal and communicate deep truths.  Agricultural stories capture the imaginations of agrarian people and turn the commonplace into rich, evocative symbols.  Sheep become communities of disciples.  A budding fig tree becomes the faithful people of God. And in the Parable of the Sower, seeds become the life-giving word of God, scattered across the land, seeking to root and grow and bring forth a harvest of righteousness.

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

We make this journey together, in the company of one another and the One who lights the path ahead1

Blessings to all,

- Pastor Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------------------------------

Lord, you sow your word in abundance.  Help it to find rich soil in us.  Help it to root and grow in us.  Bring forth an abundant harvest of your truth and goodness in us, that we might bless the world you love. Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Isaiah 55:10-13

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  12 For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Psalm 65:9-13

9 You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Second Reading:  Romans 8:1-11

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law — indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Gospel:  Matthew 13:1-9

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!" 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

take up your cross daily. July 9 ,2017

We continue in our series – Follow – with a dramatic exchange between Jesus and his disciples.

╬ “take up your cross daily”

In one of his most profound teachings on discipleship, Jesus asks those with him, “Who do people say that I am?”  They respond with the speculation – the “word on the street” – about this one who is creating such controversy.  But Jesus follows with an even more challenging question, one that rings in the air in our day and time: “Who do YOU say that I am?”  It is on this that everything else depends.  How we answer this question determines virtually everything else in the lives we lead.  Who will Jesus be for us?


Below are the Readings and the Prayer of the Day.


God’s blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------------------

Lord, you call us to name you and proclaim you in the midst of our lives.  Help us to hold to the truth of you and to follow as you lead.  Help us to live your way in the world. Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------------

First Reading:  2 Kings 23:1-3

23 Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.


Psalm 61:1-5

1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I;
3 for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
4 Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. 
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who revere your name.

Second Reading:  Acts 5:17-21,2732

17 Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18 arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, 20 "Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life." 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.  When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

Gospel:  Luke 9:18-26

18 Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" 19 They answered, "John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen." 20 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "The Messiah of God."  21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." 23 Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25 What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Peter Do you love Me July 2

LOOKING AHEAD to worship on July 2 …


We continue in our Pentecost series – “Follow” – with focus on Jesus’ invitation to Peter, and to all of us, to show our love in service, especially to the least and lost among us.

╬ “Do you love me …”
In a poignant moment in John’s Gospel, the Risen Christ engages Peter.  Three times he asks, “Do you love me?”  And Peter responds each time with, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Each time, the invitation from God in Christ is the same:  “Then feed my sheep, tend my lambs; come, and follow me.”  It is one of those stories of the “Gospel in microcosm” … the story of deliverance believers experience in Christ and the invitation to discipleship that flows naturally, in gratitude for grace.


Here is a bulletin cover image.  Sermon and Reflection slides are attached.  Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

On July 2, our ROCK High School Youth will just have returned from a mission trip to Laredo.  We will invite them in our sermon time to reflect on their experiences and this Gospel in the gathered community.

I ask that two songs be included in worship that day: 

Gathering Song:  Let Us Go Now to the Banquet (ELW#523)
Song of the Day:  You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore (ELW#817)

Blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum

bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------------------------------

Lord, you meet us in the midst of life and invite us to place our faith and our trust in you.  You invite us to name our love for you and then you invite us to express it in the world you love.  Lead us, Lord, and we will follow. Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Exodus 13:17-22

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, "If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt." 18 So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle. 19 And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, "God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here." 20 They set

out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. 
3 He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Second Reading:  Acts 12:6-11

6 The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 The angel said to him, "Fasten your belt and put on your sandals." He did so. Then he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me." 9 Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."


Gospel:  John 21:15-17,19

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. 19 After this he said to him, "Follow me."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Worship on June 25 …

Image result for missing something in lifeWe continue in our Pentecost series “Follow” as we engage the “stuff and things” in life that draw us from vital presence with God.

╬ “One thing lacking …”
Henry David Thoreau said the mass of people “lead lives of quiet desperation.”  He speaks to a longing, an empty place, unfulfilled in so many; the vast majority.  It is clear that this sense of incompleteness and unfulfillment plagues the “ruler” of Luke’s Gospel, as well.  He asks Jesus, “What must I do to truly live?”  Rather than a quick, pat answer, Jesus takes him through a process, along a journey that invites him from superficial notions and practices to a deep sense of the “one thing lacking” in his longing for wholeness.

Below are Readings and the Prayer of the Day.  PLEASE NOTE the change in the Psalm for the day!

God’s calling to follow truly is an invitation to freedom.  Let’s celebrate this in worship together!

Blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum

bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------------------
Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to everything that distracts us from the path; anything that conspires to come between us and your goodness.  Help us to follow you in the way and truth that leads to the heart of God.  Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Exodus 33:12-23

12 Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." 14 The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" 17 And the Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."  18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."  19 And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  21 Then the Lord said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

Psalm 27:1-5

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh — my adversaries and foes — they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

4 One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 2:21-25

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.  22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."  23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel:  Luke 18:18-27

18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.'" 21 He replied, "I have kept all these since my youth." 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 23 But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."  26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" 27 He replied, "What is impossible for mortals is possible for God."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Follow Me - June 18

Worship on Sunday, June 18 …

My friends, we launch fully into our series – “Follow” – which will explore Biblical and contemporary discipleship in the Pentecost season.
  
╬ “Follow Me!”  Pentecost is the time of the church.  Many regard the Day of Pentecost – when the followers of Jesus are filled with the inspiration of the Spirit – as the birth of the church.  We step across the threshold from the time of Jesus’ living ministry into the living ministry of the people of God, the Body of Christ in the world today.  The Spirit guides us to reflect deeply on all that God has revealed in Christ.  And we hear that singular calling that Jesus extends to us all … “Follow me!” 

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

Blessings to all as we enter into a the Season of Pentecost, a time to grow in discipleship … for each of us and for our community as a whole.

God’s peace to you,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------

God of bright new days, by the power of your Spirit, open our eyes to discover you at the center of the world.  Open our minds and hearts to live your grace and compassion.  Open our ears to hear your call to Follow.  Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 5:28-33

28 The Lord heard your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: "I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; they are right in all that they have spoken. 29 If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children forever! 30 Go say to them, 'Return to your tents.' 31 But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and

the ordinances, that you shall teach them, so that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess." 32 You must therefore be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn to the right or to the left. 33 You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are to possess.

Psalm 1

1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.  In all that they do, they prosper.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Second Reading:  Philippians 2:5-11

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.  9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel:  Mark 1:16-20

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."  18 At once they left their nets and followed him.  19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Holy Trinity Sunday June 11

LOOKING AHEAD to worship on June 11 … Holy Trinity Sunday!
╬ “One in Three in One.”
We stand at a threshold, once again; a new season in the ongoing revelation of God.  Pentecost has come.  Jesus has ascended.  The Holy Spirit has descended.  As Jesus’ living ministry ends, the people of God are Ordained – as the Body of Christ – to live out the Gospel, in our own lives and as a community of faith.  The Gospel of Jesus opens the way for the Gospel of the church.  As the Son returns to unity with the Father, the Spirit fills creation.  We are invited to embrace, and to experience, an understanding of God as Holy Trinity:  God revealed as Father // Son // Spirit. 

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

It is a blessing to celebrate these festival Sundays with you and our whole Abiding Love community!

God’s love and peace to you,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------------

God of creation, we long to know you, as you long to be known.  Draw us into the mystery of your being and reveal yourself in glory … Father, Son and Spirit.  Open us to experience you everywhere around us and at the deepest level of ourselves.  Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Genesis 1:1-5

1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Psalm 8

1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 13:11-13

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Gospel:  Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."