Sunday, August 12, 2018

Rebirth Aug 12,2018

Worship on Sunday, August 12

We continue our theme of Sabbath with a focus on the blessing of renewal, restoration and …

 Rebirth!


╬  “Wait for the Lord.”  You’ve heard people say it; perhaps you’ve said yourself.  Having rested after a time of protracted effort, struggle, exhaustion, recovery from illness … “I feel like a new person!”  This not just “something we say.”  It is a genuine experience of renewals and is  founded in a promise from God.  God ministers to us, body and soul, in times of sabbath rest that we might be refreshed and restored, quite literally “reborn.”  As God says through the prophet:  “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength … mount up like eagles … walk and not faint … run and not be weary!”  Sabbath is about rebirth!

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

We celebrate sabbath as a gift from God that restores us to life!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------
God of life, in you is the invitation to rebirth. You embrace us in your ongoing act of creation and open the way to new life.  We give you thanks for the gift of Sabbath and the way in which you make all things new.  Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------------
First Reading:  Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Psalm 40:1-5,16-17
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you.  Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.
16 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the Lord!"
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer, O my God.

Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Gospel:  Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sabbath Rest - August 5, 2018

My friends, we continue this Sunday, August 5, with our Sabbath theme, focusing on Rest!


╬  Sabbath Rest!  Imagine what the world would be like if on a given night, everyone, everywhere, got a good night’s sleep.  A rested world would be a happier, more peaceful place; it just would be.  Rest – sabbath – as the Bible talks about it is more than just good sleep.  It is to separate ourselves from the daily routines and habitual paths of life.  It is not defined as sleeping or doing nothing, it is abstaining from the busy-ness and tasking, for a time, to devote ourselves to the One who gives us life and longs for our wholeness and well-being.  The invitation from God is, “Rest in me.”



The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

I pray for you all to find these places of intentional rest in the embrace of God.  We can encourage this in one another, and all be the better for it!

Love and peace,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------
Gracious God we give you thanks for your invitation to sabbath.  Help in the midst of life to find rest for ourselves in you.  Help us to live in balance, centered in your goodness and grace. Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------
First Reading:  Ecclesiastes 4:1-8
4 Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed — with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power — with no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; 3 but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.  4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from one person's envy of another. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.  5 Fools fold their hands and consume their own flesh.  6 Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind. 

7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

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;
3 he restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 And though I walk through the valley of death, 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 forever.

Second Reading:  Philippians 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Gospel:  Mark 6:30-33
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.



...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Remember and Recollect July 29, 2018

Worship on Sunday, July 29 …

We are pulling the theme of “remembrance” forward in our Sabbath sequence.  July 29 is a “5th Sunday” and we will have a “Celebrate America”-themed community meal following worship at 12:30. 

╬  Remember!  Sabbath is a time to remember … to remember who we are and whose we are.  To remember all of the blessings of our lives and all of the people who give life meaning.  To remember the ways we have been nurtured and guided, and the challenges in which we have grown further.  Sabbath is an invitation from God to “re-collect” our lives, literally to “re-member,” to re-assemble ourselves out of the often scattering and fragmenting experiences of daily living.  It is to hear, once again, the One who says, “You are my own, blessed and beloved.  My delight!”

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

I pray for a time of Sabbath for our nation, to remember our true identity and deepest convictions of compassion, justice and peace, for the sake of God’s world.

Blessings to you all, looking forward to celebrating with you!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------------
Gracious God we give you thanks for the gift of sabbath.  You bless us with a time for re-membrance, for re-collection, for re-connection.  Help us to live whole lives, centered in you, in remembrance of your goodness. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Numbers 15:37-41
37 The Lord said to Moses: 38 Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner. 39 You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and you shall be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.

Psalm 25:1-10
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Second Reading:  2 Peter 1:3-15
3 God’s divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.  12 Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, 14 since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Gospel:  Luke 22:14-23
14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" 23 Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Be Still - July 22, 2018 Mixed Blessing 25th Anniversary

Worship this Sunday … Mixed Blessings 25th Anniversary


My friends, we have launched into our second Pentecost series, focusing on Sabbath!  As in all things, we look to Jesus for light and guidance in times of confusion, frustration and fear.  In him we receive the invitation to center ourselves in God in the midst of busy, challenging lives.

Be Still!

The sheer volume of life is astounding, in every sense of the word:  the quantity of things that invite or demand our attention and the “noise level” that can create.  It is all a part of the active and complex lives we lead.  Yet it has the power to push us off center, to throw us out of balance; many times in the course of a day, sometimes for extended periods of time.  God’s invitation is to “shalom” – peace – even in the most chaotic times and circumstances.  We’re invited to balance and center ourselves in God, come what may.  In the voice of the Psalmist, God says, “Be still and know!”

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

AND …  it’s time to celebrate!  We will bless Mixed Blessings in worship for their 25 years of music and worship leadership at Abiding Love! 

Tom Hokanson says the song list include: 

  1. Love Carrier 
  2. Best of Friends 
  3. All Together 
  4. Salt and Light 
  5. What We've Come Here For 
  6. Seek First 
  7. We Believe in God
  8. Where Do I Go? 
  9. Hope Set High
  10. Let the Flames/Shine Jesus Shine
  11. May the Lord
  12. I Will Call Upon the Lord
  13. We Are Marching




- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------
Lord of life we look to you.  Help us to know your presence in all weathers, in all the joys and challenges of life.  Help us to hold you in view when life becomes chaotic.  Help to live our lives, centered in your goodness. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Exodus 20:8-11
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work — you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God!  I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth."
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Second Reading:  Galatians 5:16-25
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Gospel:  Mark 4:35-41
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Sunday, July 15, 2018

renewal and refreshment July 15,2018

Worship on Sunday, July 15 …

We begin a new series focused on Sabbath, finding renewal and refreshment in the midst of life.

“In the Beginning …”


╬  “Remember the Sabbath!”  It’s one of the primary and central commandments given to a wayward, wandering people as God begins to form them in community.  Sabbath is the invitation to balance and sufficiency in the face of striving and desire.  It is the gift of presence, peace and renewal in a complex and often chaotic world.  Sabbath is a practice of healing and wholeness which God seeks for each and all.

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

I’m really looking forward to exploring this theme with you and our whole community!

 Blessings of sabbath to you all,



- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



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

Lord of life, help us to grow deeper in our understanding of sabbath, as you proclaim it for the well-being of the world. Help us to be diligent in our practice of sufficiency, peace and wholeness in you. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Genesis 1:26-2:3
26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."  27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.



Responsive Reading:  Ecclesiastes 2:24-3:8
2:24 There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God;
25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
26 For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping. This is vanity and a chasing after wind.
3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Second Reading:  Hebrews 4:1-11
4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "As in my anger I swore, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4 For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." 5 And again in this place it says, "They shall not enter my rest." 6 Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he sets a certain day — "today" — saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."  8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9 So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10 for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.   32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.  35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 38 He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

To be a person - July 8, 2018

Worship on Sunday, July 8 …

We bring our focus on The Power of Story to a conclusion with an exploration of:  “The Gospel According To …”

╬  “To be a person,” said the Danish writer Isak Dineson, “is to have a story to tell.”  And to be a Christian is to experience our story illuminated by the revelation of God in Christ.  You have a story that is uniquely your own, even as it is informed and framed by your faith.  It is, in itself, a “gospel.”  It is the “good news” as it has been experienced by you, in your journey.  It is the Gospel of Your Life and it is the greatest gift of faith you have to offer the world.

Below are Readings and the Prayer of the Day.

You know, I could hang with this topic for a while; it’s been a rich conversation and congregational response has been strong.  But I look forward to us moving on to “Sabbath,” as well.  There will be more to say about “story” as we go.



Blessings all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------
God of all, you write your gospel on our hearts and invite us to live from there.  May our lives reflect the ongoing revelation of your grace and goodness for all the world to see. Amen.

READINGS ------------------------
First Reading:  Genesis 32:22-32
22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me." 27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed." 29 Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Psalm 40:3-5,9-10
3 God has put a new song in my mouth — Praise to our God; many will hear it and will trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed are the ones who make the Lord their trust, and do not respect the proud, nor turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are your wonderful works which you have done; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, you yourself know.
10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your lovingkindness and your truth from the great assembly.

Second Reading:  Acts 22:3-21
3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.  6 "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. 16 And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'  17 "After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw Jesus saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' 19 And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.' 21 Then he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"

Gospel:  Mark 8:34-9:1

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 9 1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Worship on Sunday - July 1, 2018

Worship on Sunday, July 1 …  as we continue to explore the power of story in sharing and nurturing faith, we turn our attention to a vital role each of us is called to:  sharing the story of the Gospel in our own way, in our own place and time.

╬ Always be ready to share the hope that is within you! (1 Peter 3:15)  It is a part of our calling, as people of faith, the share the truth as God has revealed it to us.  To witness, to testify, to prophecy … to share the Gospel, especially with those who have not heard.  That can be challenging enough, but it is all the harder to do that important work of evangelism in a decidedly “short-attention-span” culture.  Could you do it, with a sparsity of language, ultimate impact in, say, seven words?


Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.


Blessings to all!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------
God of all, your Word is life. Teach us to share the greatest of stories … the love story you are telling the world in your Gospel of redemption, healing and peace. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Numbers 11:24-30
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.  26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!" 29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!"

Psalm 57:5,6-11
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.  Let your glory be over all the earth.
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.  I will sing and make melody.
8 Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awake the dawn.
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.  Let your glory be over all the earth.

Second Reading:  Acts 1:1-11
1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Gospel:  Luke 1:1-4
1 Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.