Sunday, February 17, 2019

Light of the world 2-17-2019

Worship this Sunday, February 17 …

Our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World! – invites us to understand ourselves as the redeemed people of God, people on whom the redeeming light of God has shined in Christ Jesus.  We need to explore what that means!  




╬ “Redeeming Light!”

Redemption is a church word, a Biblical word, a faith word.  It’s also a cultural word, a moral word, and an economic word.  We use it a lot, for a lot of things.  But what does it mean?  What does it mean to redeem, and be redeemed, as the word is used in The Word, in Scripture and in the epiphany of God that comes into the world in Christ?  We discover, in fact, that redemption is a central role and function of the light of Epiphany.  We are invited to embrace this gift of grace, to dwell in it, to live in this light of redemption, and be made whole once more.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

In the words of the old spiritual, “Let it shine on, let it shine on, let the light from the lighthouse shine on me!”

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------
God of grace, shine your redeeming light into our lives, that we may be restored and made whole again in you.  And shine that light through us for the sake of the world your Son comes to save.  Amen.

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


First Reading:  Exodus 27:20-21
20 You shall further command the Israelites to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the light, so that a lamp may be set up to burn regularly. 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that is before the covenant, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a perpetual ordinance to be observed throughout their generations by the Israelites.

Psalm 27:1-4,11-13

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.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.  Wait for the Lord!

Second Reading:  Revelation 22:1-7
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 Nothing accursed will be found there any more.  But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4 they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.  6 And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place."  7 "See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Gospel:  Luke 11:33-36
33 "No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays."

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dying of the Light 2-10-2019

Worship this Sunday, February 10 …

In the joy of the focus of our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World! – we must inevitably engage those times when the light dims; those places in life – for us, for Jesus, for everyone – when shadows loom, and we experience the …   


╬ “Dying of the Light!”

There come times in every life when the light seems to fail.  When darkness looms around us, within us, and we find ourselves dwelling in shadow, once again.  It may result from things beyond our control, harsh circumstance, misfortune.  Perhaps it is our own failing that brings us into a place of darkness, chaos.  A sense of darkness can attend dramatic changes in our life, or the loss of someone or something we love.  Experiencing dark times is pervasive, maybe inevitable.  Jesus himself is not spared.  But there is a hope that glimmers, even in the shadows; a promise from God of a light no darkness can overcome.  Even in the darkest night, there is a light beyond. 




Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

Times of spiritual darkness will come.  How blessed we are not alone, but make the journey together, in the presence of the light that never fails!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------
Creating God, draw us close when the light seems to fail.  When darkness  threatens to overwhelm us, shine the light of your Christ all the stronger.  Call us forth from the shadows to walk in your light once more. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Job 18:5-8,18-21
5 "Surely the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of their fire does not shine.  6 The light is dark in their tent, and the lamp above them is put out.  7 Their strong steps are shortened, and their own schemes throw them down.  8 For they are thrust into a net by their own feet, and they walk into a pitfall.  18 They are thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world.  19 They have no offspring or descendant among their people, and no survivor where they used to live.  20 They of the west are appalled at their fate, and horror seizes those of the east.  21 Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God."

Psalm 139:1-12
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?  Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,"
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Second Reading:  1 John 2:7-11,15-17
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says, "I am in the light," while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.  15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16 for all that is in the world — the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches — comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.

Gospel:  John 12:27-36
27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say — 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" 35 Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light."

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Transforming Power of Light Feb 3, 2018

LOOKING AHEAD  to worship on Sunday, February 3…

Our Epiphany Series celebrates The Light of the World!  This week, we focus on how the light of Christ, shining in us, has the power to transform life for us and for others, especially those in need. 




╬ “Transforming Power of Light!”

Just as Jesus is revealed as the manifestation of God in the world, we are called to be manifestations of that light and grace, ourselves.  Today, Pr. Tim Anderson will share with us about the progress of our mission initiative in East Austin.  The work we are doing, in league with our Austin City Lutheran partner churches, has already made a material difference in meeting supplemental food needs in what is described as a “food desert.”  Now, with our new initiative in early childhood education, we are creating the potential for life-transforming education ministry at the most important time in young lives, and for families for whom quality programming has been beyond reach. 

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

It is good to celebrate with you in this season of Light!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Creating God, your light shines within us.  By the power of your Spirit, strengthen and encourage us to be light for your world.  To shine the light of your Christ into the lives of others, especially those who languish in the shadows.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 9:2-8
1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.  3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 13
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 and my enemy will say, "I have prevailed"; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Second Reading:  Acts 22:6-15
6 Paul said, "While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 8 I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' Then he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 I asked, 'What am I to do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.' 11 Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus.  12 "A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, 13 came to me; and standing beside me, he said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight!' In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. 14 Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; 15 for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard.

Gospel:  John 12:44-50
44 Then Jesus cried aloud: "Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47 I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49 for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me."

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Light of the World Jan 27, 2018

LOOKING AHEAD  to worship on Sunday, January 27…

As we continue with the focus of our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World! – we turn our attention to God’s invitation in Christ to live in the light that now shines in the world.  The light that is the life of all people has come!



╬ “Live in the Light!”

Light is the first Epiphany – the first manifestation of God – in creation.  Forever, we have known it as illumination of the place we are and a guide for the way forward.  In their wilderness wanderings, the people of God relied on God’s promise to lead them, like a pillar of fire in the night. God’s invitation to people, throughout history, is to live in the light … the light revealed in the Son, the light in the center of our being, the light that shines in creation all around us, that no darkness can overcome.

 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

It is good to celebrate with you in this season of Light!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------------------------
Creating God, you surround us in light.  May your light be our guide as we make this passage of life together.  May your light be our hope, our sustenance and our destination. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Nehemiah 9:9-19
9 "Almighty God, you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10 You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go. 13 You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and you made known your holy sabbath to them and gave them commandments and statutes and a law through your servant Moses. 15 For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.  16 "But they and our ancestors acted presumptuously and stiffened their necks and did not obey your commandments; 17 they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them; but they stiffened their necks and determined to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and you did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had cast an image of a calf for themselves and said, 'This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,' and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud that led them in the way did not leave them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night that gave them light on the way by which they should go.

Psalm 97:1-4,9-12

1 The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
9 For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10 The Lord loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Second Reading:  1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Gospel:  John 8:12-20
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, "You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid." 14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf." 19 Then they said to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Let there be light! Jan 20, 2019

Worship on Sunday, January 20…


We delve into the focus of our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World!  as we unpack the Genesis advent of light and the cosmic prologue to John’s Gospel.  The light that is the life of all people has come into the world!

╬ Let there be light! 

John’s Gospel begins with a re-telling of the magisterial creation story of Genesis.  In the beginning is I AM.  This “source and ground of all being” speaks light and it shines forth in the darkness.  As we learn in John’s account – in this ongoing revelation – this light that shines has particularity, has identity, has “personhood.”  It is the logos – the Word – the full and complete epiphany – manifestation –  of the nature and wisdom of God.  In the One is life, John says.  And this life becomes the light of all humanity … a light no darkness can overcome.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

It is good to celebrate with you in this season of Light!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

Creating God, you speak and light shines.  May that light be life for us, life to be lived in the light of your Christ.  Shine in him, shine in us, shine for the world to see.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Genesis 1:1-3,19
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 a wind from 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.  14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Psalm 36:5-9
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!  All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Second Reading:  Ephesians 5:8-15
8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light — 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake!  Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."  15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise.

Gospel:  John 1:1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.  6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Baptism of our Lord Jan 13

Worship on Sunday, January 13…


We move forward, in a new year, and in our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World!  On the first Sunday after Epiphany, we traditionally celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord!

╬ Baptism of our Lord!

As the prophets foretold, "They shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us." (Matthew 1:23) Yet Jesus comes among us not only as “God with us” but as one of us, in every respect.  He enters fully into human experience.  He says that his baptism by John fulfills God’s righteousness in him just as he calls for the fulfillment of God’s righteousness in all people.  Today, we embrace our baptismal heritage as the beginning of a path of revelation and spiritual growth, following the One who has come as light into the world!

 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

What is the date of your baptismal birthdaty?

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------------
Creating God, in the waters of baptism you claim us as your own.  Help us each day to renew and refresh ourselves in the water of life.  Set us free to live as your people and to proclaim in all the world the gift of life that is your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 43:1-7
1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. 4 Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; 6 I will say to the north, "Give them up," and to the south, "Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth —
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

Psalm 29
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!  May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Second Reading:  Acts 8:14-17
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel:  Luke 3:15-17,21-22
15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."  21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Epiphany,2019

Worship on Sunday, January 6 …

Finally, The Feast of Epiphany falls on a Sunday!  We celebrate the dawning of a new year, the “manifestation” of God in Christ, and the visit of the Magi to honor the One who has been born “king of the Jews.”  We begin our Epiphany Series – The Light of the World! 

╬ Epiphany! The word Epiphany means “manifestation,” something made real, revealed or made known in the world around us.  It also denotes something that takes place within us:  a sudden, striking realization, an intuitive perception or insight into essential meaning.  In this season of Epiphany, we explore the revelation and transforming insights that come to us in the “manifestation” of God in Christ Jesus.  He is born into the world as a light shining into the shadow places of life.  Yet even as we come to know him as the Light of the World, he calls forth the light of God that is in each of us to shine for the world to see.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

I am excited to begin a new year of worship and celebration with you all!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------
Creating God, shine your light this day throughout creation.  Let all come from near and far to celebrate the gift of the Christ and to share the good news of life and deliverance he brings. Amen.

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

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
60 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.  3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.  5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Psalm 72:1-7,10-14
1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
12 For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.


Second Reading:  Ephesians 3:1-12
3 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God's grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Gospel:  Matthew 2:1-12
2 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" 7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.