Sunday, September 17, 2017

Scripture Alone 9-17-2017

Worship this Sunday, September 17 …

This Sunday, we begin the worship series that will lead us to our celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!

We will be focusing on the “Solas,” as they are called; the central tenets of faith and practice for Lutherans and the Reformed traditions.  We begin with “Sola Scriptura,” Scripture Alone!

╬ Sola Scriptura
As followers of Christ, we are “people of the book.” The Bible contains the word of God writ large in scripture, the written source of our beliefs and practices.  It is God-inspired with explicit and implicit teachings on our identity and calling as the people of God.  In the tradition of the Reformers, we proclaim Sola Scriptura – scripture alone – is authoritative in our lives, over against other forms of presumed authority.  In reality, it is so much more.  Scripture is our story; the story of people reaching toward God even as God reaches toward us, to know and be known. 

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

This is an exciting season for us all, and for our Lutheran and Reformed church sisters and brothers the world over.  Let’s also make it a time of uniting, with all believers, in what is at the center of all our belief:  the love of God in Christ Jesus!
Blessings all,  
- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------------------------- 
Creating God, your revelation in scripture is a gift of grace to us and we give you thanks.  Help us to grow deeper in its teachings and wisdom.  Help us to embrace its stories as our stories and to let it be our guide in daily living.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  2 Chronicles 34:29-33

29 Then the king sent word and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin pledge themselves to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel, and made all who were in Israel worship the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord the God of their ancestors.

Psalm 40:1-8

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.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear.  Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, "Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

Second Reading:  2 Timothy 3:10-17

10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

Gospel:  Luke 24:44-48

44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Go into the world Sept. 10, 2017

Worship on Sunday, September 10 … Rally Day!  Service Sunday!

Our series – Walking with Jesus – reaches its crescendo as the followers of Christ are sent out for the sake of the world.

╬ “Here am I, send me!”

Jesus invites us into a living response to the Gospel.  Disciples who have walked the journey of life and discovery with him are called to go forth as apostles … the “sent ones” of God.  Blessed by the revelation of God in Christ, followers become emissaries in service and care for all in need.  Shaped by this revelation, we are formed as the Body of Christ and sent for the sake of the world God loves.



Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

I look forward to celebratory worship and a day of service with you all!

Blessings,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

Lord, you have shown us the fullness of God.  You have led us on a journey of faith to discover the goodness of God in the very heart of ourselves. Send us now in faith and courage to bless the world in your name.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 6:1-8

1 I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:  "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." 4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"  6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!"

Psalm 107:1-9

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;
5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
7 he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

Second Reading:  Hebrews 2:10-18

10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,12saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you." 13And again, “I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I and the children whom God has given me." 14Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.16For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.17Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.18Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Gospel:  John 4:31-38

31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something."32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."33So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?"34Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.35Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.37For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kingdom of Paradox Sept. 3, 2017

WORSHIP ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 …

We come to a defining point in our series, Walking With Jesus.  Following Jesus as he goes about sharing God’s love, we have wrestled with his teaching in parables, we have seen more deeply into the miracles that attend his ministry.  Today, he forthrightly proclaims that God’s ways are not the world’s ways; that the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox in relation to the ways of the world.


╬ “My Kingdom is not of this world!”

Jesus is careful to differentiate the “kingdom” he comes to proclaim – the rule and reign of God – from the principalities and powers of the world.  The truth is, this “kingdom of heaven operates very differently from the way the world operates.  The values and priorities of life in this kingdom are different.  The definitions of power and success, of who is first and who is last in this kingdom, are not of this world.  Living in this kingdom, in the midst of the world, leads us straight into paradox … the truth that lies in contradiction.




The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

Blessings all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



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

Lord, teach us to order our lives according to your will.  Teach us your way of defining and valuing our lives, the lives of others and the world around us.  Teach us to live as Kingdom people in the midst of empire.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Jeremiah 15:15-21

15 O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.  In your forbearance do not take me away; know that on your account I suffer insult.  16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.  17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; under the weight of your hand I sat alone, for you had filled me with indignation.  18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?  Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.  19 Therefore thus says the Lord:  If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me.  If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth.  It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them.  20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord.  21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

Psalm 26:1-8

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.
4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.

Second Reading:  Romans 12:9-21

9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Gospel:  Matthew 16:21-28

21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." 23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."  24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?  27 "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Built on Rock - August 27,2017

“I want to walk as a child of the light.   
     I want to follow Jesus!”

╬  The words of this wonderful hymn frame the life of true discipleship.  We have heard Jesus’ call to “Follow,” the blessed invitation to make the journey of life in step with him.  In this Pentecost season – the time of the church – the people of God seek to live out all that Jesus has revealed about God … the way and the truth that leads to life.  The good news is that we don’t make that journey alone.  We go together, in the company of one another, filled with the Spirit and walking the path with the One who has come to make all things new.

╬ “Built On Rock!”
Jesus’ questions hang in the air: “Who do people say that I am?”  “Who you say …?” And Peter’s stunning profession rings out … “Christ!” … “Messiah” … Son!  Peter names God’s redeeming work embodied in Christ:  the revelation of God the Son, incarnate, with us.  And what’s more, on the power of this revelation – the divine act of coming among us, as one of us – we can build gather a community of faith against which no power of chaos or destruction can prevail.  



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

God of life and all creation, you give us the ultimate gift of yourself, incarnate in Christ.  May we draw strength for living from this bedrock of our faith and embrace our calling as your people in this time and place.  Amen.



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

First Reading:  Isaiah 51:1-6

1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord.  Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.  2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. 3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.  4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.  5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.  6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.

Psalm 138

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. 
3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. 
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Second Reading:  Romans 12:1-8

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.  3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Gospel:  Matthew 16:13-20

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sheep Among Wolves - Aug 20,2017

Worship on August 20, 2017

We continue “Walking With Jesus” in this Pentecost season of understanding and growing deeper, and we add rich elements of Celtic worship to the day!

 “sheep among wolves”
The image of a sheep can be an unattractive one to the people of God.  Yet Jesus knows, as he sends his followers forth in mission, that they are vulnerable in a world that operates according to its own values and expectations.  And he knows this full-well, having personally experienced its potential for resistance and rejection.  Yet he has no desire for them, or us, to become victims.  Rather, he cautions us to be wise in the ways of the world, shrewd in our dealings and mindful of wolves that lurk among the lambs.


click here to listen to the late service 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Come to me = August 13,2017



Worship this Sunday, August 13 …

My friends, as we continue Walking With Jesus in this Pentecost season, we are invited into truly fantastical stories of powerful and transforming experiences the disciples have – and we, too, can have – as we make this journey together.

╬ “Come to me”
To walk with Jesus – to experience the journey of faith in the company of Jesus – is to enter into miracle territory.  It is a place of healing and deliverance. It is a place of growing deeper and wiser.  It is a place of enduring and overcoming.  Scripture speaks in the language of miracles to teach us the transcending and transforming power that God.  It is a power that is operative in faith, that overcomes fear and teaches us that in God, all things are possible.

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

I have missed you and look forward to our worship together!

Love and all good things,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

click here to listen to the late service 
 click here for Sermon Audio Only

 click here for Childrens Sermon Audio Only

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

Lord, we receive your invitation to walk with you through the days and seasons of our lives.  Grant us strength and hope to persist in the journey of discipleship.  Grant us the spirit that overcomes fear.  Grant us joy in your presence.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  1 Kings 19:9-18
9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.  Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."  11 He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away." 15 Then the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."

Psalm 85:8-13

8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Second Reading:  Romans 10:5-16

5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that "the person who does these things will live by them." 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 "or 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."  14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Gospel:  Matthew 14:22-34

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."  28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

You feed them! August 6, 2017

“ You feed them! ”
Worship and Sermon: August 6, 2017

Pentecost 9 – Pr. Tim Anderson
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ----- -- -- -- -- ------ -- -- -
Abiding Love Kids: Pr. Tim will provide a children’s message
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ---- ---- -- -- ---- --- -- -
Series focus:
╬ “I want to walk as a child of the light.
I want to follow Jesus!”
╬ The words of this wonderful hymn frame the life of true
discipleship. We have heard Jesus’ call to “Follow,” the
blessed invitation to make the journey of life in step with him. In this Pentecost season – the time of the church – the people of God seek to live out all that Jesus has revealed about God… the way and the truth that leads to life. The good news is that we don’t make that journey alone. We go together, in the company of oneanother, filled with the Spirit and walking the path with the One who has come to make all things new.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Focus for the Day:
╬ “You feed them!”
It’s growing late. The place is desolate. The crowd is huge, and hungry. The followers of Jesus encourage him to send the people away so that they can find food for themselves. Instead, Jesus says, “You feed them!” The disciples have little to offer … if only they had a little bit more. Yet in their willingness to share, something miraculous happens. And as the story unfolds, we see a progression in the ministry Jesus is calling forth: from him, to his followers, and out, to a world in need.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

PRAYER OF THE DAY -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 
Lord, as we walk with you through the days and seasons of our lives, teach us generosity of spirit. Teach us that the blessings that flow in abundance from God to us are meant to be shared, for the sake of the world you love. Amen.
READINGS -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 
First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-5
55 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to
me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. 

Psalm 145:8-9,14-21
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. 14 The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. 17 The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry, and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

Second Reading: Romans 9:1-5
9 I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit — 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5 to them belong the
patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for
themselves." 16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." 17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." 18 And he said, "Bring them here to me." 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and
gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.