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

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

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."

Pentecost June 4

Worship on June 4 … Pentecost Sunday!
Watch on Facebook here

We move from our exploration of the I AM revelations of Jesus into a new season of focus on a living faith response to the Gospel:  centered in Christ’s call to “Follow!”  

╬ “The Day of Pentecost has come.”
In Jesus’ time, Pentecost is already an ancient celebration with profound significance and meaning for the Jews.   Commemorating the time of God’s revelation at Sinai, the people of Israel receive their calling:  to live in righteous obedience to God’s law.  In our Acts story today, we participate in a new revelation of God, blowing like a freshening breeze among the people, setting their hearts on fire.  And we receive the calling of the Gospel on our lives:  to live the way and truth God has revealed in Christ; to follow as he leads. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I am The Way of the Lord - May 28

Worship on May 28 -  I AM  The Way of the Lord

The early followers of Jesus referred to themselves as “people of the Way.”  They identified themselves as disciples of the Christ, the messiah of God.  Obeying Christ’s command, they ordered their lives and actions according to “the Way of the Lord.”  They understood that true discipleship is less a set of beliefs than it is a Way of being in the world, a Way characterized by the goodness and love, forgiveness and compassion embodied in Christ … a way and a truth that leads to life!

We ourselves are people of the Way … called to live and love and serve in the example of Christ.  Let’s celebrates that and dedicate ourselves in worship to our true identity in Christ!

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

I am the good shepherd May 21

Worship on May 21 -  I AM  The Good Shepherd

╬ “My own know me!” 

In one of the most widely known of the “I AM” revelations, Jesus draws upon the agrarian imagery of the people … the shepherd, guarding and guiding the flock.  It is an image that God reveals through the prophets, as in Ezekiel: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep.”  It is also an image that also resonates with the tradition of David – the Shepherd King.  Today, Jesus powerfully interprets this rich image and tradition in his own person, his life and ministry.  “I am the Good Shepherd,” he says; the One who comes that we might have life and have it in fullness

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I AM Light - May 14

Worship on Sunday, May 14 …

As we continue to explore the “I AM” statements of Jesus in John’s Gospel, we turn our attention to the profound image of LIGHT.

╬ “The light of the world.”

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 revelation of the nature and wisdom of God.  In this light is life, John says.  And this life becomes the light of all humanity.  Jesus has much to teach us about God and God’s revelation in him.  “I am the light of the world,” he says; heresy to some, rich blessing to others.  And then he says something all the more audacious … “You are the light!”

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

You are the light of the world!  Let it shine!

- Pr. Brad Highum

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

God of all creation, 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 1:1-5

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 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.

Psalm 36:5-10

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.
10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

Second Reading:   Ephesians 2:13-22

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

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, May 7, 2017

4th Sunday of Easter: I AM – Vine

Sunday May 7, 2016   "I AM – Vine"
╬  “I am the true vine!” 
Jesus uses images of vines and vine dressing – resonant in the life of the people – to reveal powerful truths about life in God.  They speak to us, as well, about living faithfully today … trusting ourselves to the ministry of the Vine Dresser; abiding in the One who is at once the source and unity of all people and all creation. 

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

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

God of all creation, you send your Christ as the true vine that keeps us connected with you and one another.  Help us to find our strength, our sustenance and our calling in staying connected to the true vine.  Amen.

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

First Reading:   Hosea 14:4-7

4 I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.  5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.   6 His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.  7 They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Psalm 80:7-15

7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see.
15 Have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted. 

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:1-9

3 And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? 4 For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?  5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9 For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.

Gospel:   John 15:1-9

15 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.