Sunday, December 9, 2018

Cantata-Celebrate the Child Who is the Light

Worship on Sunday, December 9 …

We continue in our season of Advent series – “Waiting for the Light” 
click here to listen to the late service 

click here to listen to the early service 



Advent Worship with Musical Cantata
8:30 & 11:00 am

"Celebrate the Child Who is the Light"
                                                             by Tom Fettke
     
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: On those living in a land of deep darkness, a light has dawned...For unto us a Child is born, 
unto us a Son is given." 
                                                                         Isaiah 9:2,6

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Waiting for the Light-Hopefulness 12-02-2018



LOOKING AHEAD  to worship on Sunday, December 2 …

We enter into the season of Advent, beginning with our focus on the Gospel call to HOPEFULNESS! 

╬ Hope

Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops – at all –”  She captures the essence of this fluttering of the Spirit in the hearts of people of faith.  It is a force – at once fragile and gentle, but unwavering and unstoppable –  that ministers to our souls.  It speaks to us of goodness when all about seems threatening.  It speaks to us of persistence when despair gnaws at us.  It speaks to us of a light, growing brighter, when shadows crowd round us.  It is the song that accompanies us in the night, promising the dawn.  It is fitting that we begin our Advent journey here – in the place of hope – as we await the light that is coming.

 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached.

The New Year in the Kingdom of God has already begun as we enter into the season of Advent.  Blessings to you all, as we make our way together!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------
Creating God, we are unafraid and undeterred, for our hope is in you.  Our trust is in your grace, and your goodness.  Hope in you is a light that grows in us, leading us to the fulfillment of your promise of deliverance, redemption and peace.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Job 11:13-19
13 "If you direct your heart rightly, you will stretch out your hands toward him.  14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.  15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.  16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away.  17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.  18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.  19 You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid;
many will entreat your favor.

Psalm 33:1-5,18-22
1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who revere him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Second Reading:  Rom 8:18-25
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 12:15-21
15  Many crowds followed Jesus, and he cured all of them, 16 and he ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:  18 "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.  I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.  19 He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.  20 He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory.  21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope."


Sunday, November 25, 2018

King Jesus 11-25-2018

Worship on Sunday, November 25 …

Our Thanksgiving focus and the liturgical year culminate in the Feast of Christ the King! 



╬ King Jesus

Magi follow a star seeking the birthplace of the one born “king of the Jews.”  “Hail, king of the Jews … save yourself!”  becomes a taunt of derision.   We proclaim him this day “Christ the King” … even as he his crucified between two thieves.  Here on the cusp of a new year in the life of the church we once again celebrate “Christ the King.” Yet we come to understand that Jesus is a different kind of king.  He says things like, “the one who would be ruler of all must become the servant of all.”  The one who would “rule over all the kings of the earth,” clothes himself like a household slave and washes feet.  And he calls us to do likewise. 

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

At the turning of the year we celebrate the Kingdom of God and enter into the blessed time of Advent once again.  Blessings to you all, as we make our way together!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------
God of all, we proclaim your Son king in a world struggling with oppression and fear, injustice and violence.  Keep your Christ ever before us that his light and love might guide us as we seek his rule and reign in our lives, for the healing of the world.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Daniel 7:9-10,13-14
9 As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire.  10 A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence.  A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.  The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.  13 As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven.  And he came to the Ancient One  and was presented before him.  14 To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

Psalm 93
1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
2 your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!
5 Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.

Second Reading:  Revelation 1:4-8
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:  Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.  So it is to be. Amen.  8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Gospel:  Luke 23:33-43
33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" 38 There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."  39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Rejoice in all circumstances

Worship on Sunday, November 18 …

We continue in our Thanksgiving focus, with the calling of faith to Rejoice, in all circumstances, for the goodness of God! 
╬ “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice!”  Easier said than done?  Paul’s exhortation is to the struggling community in Philippi, a Roman military outpost, arguably one of the hardest places you could choose to do “church development.”  “Rejoice in all circumstances!”  Easy for you to say, Paul!  Until we know the whole truth … Paul writes this letter from prison!  He first gathered the community at Philippi and wants them to know that despite his imprisonment for preaching the Gospel, his joy and exuberance is undiminished.  Our calling takes us beyond songs and prayers of praise to live daily in gratitude, sharing the blessings of grace and compassion we have received, regardless of circumstances.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  
PLEASE NOTE – I’ve amended the Gospel reading for the day!!

Let’s give thanks together!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

God of life, we gather in praise and thanksgiving to you.  Lead us in living gratitude for the gifts of grace and blessing that flow in abundance from you.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Ezra 3:10-13
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David, king of Israel. 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:  "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever."  And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

Psalm 95:1-7
1 O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 9:10-15
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Gospel:  Mark 14:22-26
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." 23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.  24 "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. 25 "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."  26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Attitude of Gratitude

Worship on Sunday, November 11 … We focus on giving thanks, in all circumstances, for the goodness of God!






╬ Attitude of Gratitude! 
 Ana├»s Nin famously said, 
“We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.” 
 The way we approach the world has a lot to do with our experience of life. Paul encourages the early Christian community to approach all of life from a place of thankfulness, “giving thanks in all circumstances … holding fast to what is good.” (1Thess.5) He calls us, as people of faith, to focus always on what is good and honorable, just and true. (Phil.4) The intention here is not pie-in-the-sky self-delusion. Rather, it is to see the world as it is, but from a place of gratitude … gratitude for a loving God, for the gift that life is, and for the hopefulness of fresh possibility. Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. Let’s give thanks together! 
 - Pr. Brad Highum 
bhighum@abidinglove.org 

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

 Lord, inspire us by the power of your Spirit to see the world through eyes of hopefulness. Help us to engage life from a place of gratitude, giving thanks in all circumstances for your goodness, grace and love. Amen. 

 READINGS ---------------------------------------- 
 First Reading: 2 Chronicles 5:11-14 
11 Now when the priests came out of the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to their divisions), 12 all the levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kindred, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with one hundred twenty priests who were trumpeters. 13 It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever," the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. 

 Psalm 100 
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. 
2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. 
3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. 
5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:13-24 
13 Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 

 Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

For All The Saints - Nov 4, 2018

Worship on Sunday, November 4

We began our seasonal focus on Thanksgiving – “An Attitude of Gratitude” –  with the Festival Sunday of All Saints! 

For All The Saints!



In our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – we dive deep in understanding the fullness of self-giving love, even as it expresses itself in the lives of Christian martyrs.


╬ All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, is a day of remembrance.  In the life of the church it has traditionally been a time to celebrate the lives of people of faith who have passed into glory.  Scripture is clear in naming all the host of believers – especially those living today – as “saints.”  Paul says it is the “great cloud of witnesses” that are the saints of God.  So our celebration is expanded with remembrance of those who have gone before us, those of the living Body of Christ today, and the generations to come, as well.  Today we remember, we hallow, and we give thanks for this cloud of witnesses of which we are a vital part!

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

Looking forward to celebrating with you in a time of remembrance, of thanksgiving and of hope for the years to come!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------
God of every time and place, we give you thanks for the saints who dwell with you in light. We give you thanks for the saints who form the living Body of Christ in the world today, and we give you thanks for the saints who will live for you in the time to come.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 25:6-9
6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.  7 And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever.  Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  9 It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.  This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 34:1-8
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble.
7The angel of the LORD encamps around those who revere him, and delivers them.
8O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

Second Reading:  Revelation 7:9-10,15-17
9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.  16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Gospel:  John 3:11-21
11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.