Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Creation

Looking ahead to worship on January 1

Our focus will be A New Creation

╬ New Beginnings

We stand on the cusp of a new year.  It’s a “new moon” moment; a hinge point in the unfolding story of our lives and the continuing story of God’s great work of creation.  The joys and the hardships of times past trail behind us.  And, by grace, we’re given the gift of new beginnings.  We gather to celebrate this First Sunday of Christmas – this New Year’s Day – to step forward with great hope and expectation into the time ahead.

Here is a bulletin cover image, Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached.  The Prayer of the Day and the Gospel Reading (the only reading for the day) are below.  We are working on a little different Order of Service for our single worship gathering on Jan. 1, at 9:30.

Looking forward to celebrating with you!

- Pastor Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------------------------------
God of new beginnings, we greet you at the dawning of a new day.  You who have led us on the journey thus far, go with us in the time to come.  Shine light on the path ahead and lead us in the way, the truth and the life that leads to you!  Amen.

READINGS --------------------------------------------------------
Gospel:  Luke 2:22-40

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."  33 And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed —  and a sword will pierce your own soul, too." 

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

First Sunday of Christmas

December 25, 2016, 9:30 AM
First Sunday of Christmas

We gather as the family of faith to welcome the Christ child!  In his birth is the fulfillment of the prophets, the fulfillment of God's covenant and the full flowering of God's promise ... that in him all creation will be born anew.  We sing Glory to God in the highest, and give thanks to God for the light no darkness can overcome.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

Christmas Eve Services at Abiding Love Lutheran Church

Saturday, December 24
4:00 & 6:00 pm
Child-friendly worship - Christmas Story
Carols,Communion & Candlelight

Saturday, December 24
 8:00 pm
Carols, Communion & Candlelight

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Worship on Sunday, December 11 …  

╬ Joy!

In this season of hope and anticipation we are invited to experience profound joy.  Not to be confused with cheerful disposition, genuine joy stems from a far deeper sense of the goodness of God and God’s will for the wholeness of creation.  We are invited to dwell in the joy of the Lord and to find our strength there.  True joy is one of the paradoxes of faith.  Even in the darkest of times and the hardest of circumstances we can hold to the promise of this joy that springs from God.  We discover that in God, suffering is never ultimate; Joy is!  We can rejoice with the Psalmist that “weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning!”  (Psalm 30:5)

We look forward to Rev. Norb Firnhaber joining us in worship this Sunday to bring us a message of Joy!

Here is a bulletin cover image.  Sermon and Reflection slides are attached.  The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.  Note:  we have selected a Luke Gospel text for our theme, a change from our original worship plan.

Blessings and the true Joy of the season to you all!

- Pastor Brad Highum

The following links will work after Sunday Dec 11th, 2016
Prayer of the Day ______________________________________________

God of grace, teach us true joy in this season.  As we await the coming of your Christ, help us to live in the joy of your love and goodness.  Let your joy lift our hearts above the circumstances of life and give us the strength to live faithfully with you.  Amen.

Readings _________________________________________________

First Reading:  Isaiah 35:1-10

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.  3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear!  Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you."  5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.  For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.  8 A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 146:5-10

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.  Praise the Lord!

Second Reading:  James 5:7-11

7 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10 As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 

Gospel:  Luke 2:8-12

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see —  I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." 

Friday, December 2, 2016


Second Sunday in Advent … Season of Peace!

╬ Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Jesus says.  At Jesus’ birth, the voices of angels ring in the heavens singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill among all people.”  Hebrew Testament proclaims “Jehovah-Shalom;” the very name of God is ‘peace.’ But Scripture also rails against those who deal falsely saying, “ ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace!” (Jeremiah 6:14).  Real and lasting peace remains both the greatest hope and the greatest challenge for humanity.  And peace will not be achieved passively, will not come about on its own.  Jesus blesses peace-makers for they are, he says, “the children of God.”  And all creation is waiting with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.  

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings:  

We come together as the people of God to commit ourselves to peace in our time, to peace in God’s world.

Blessings all!

- Pastor Brad Highum

The following links will work after Sunday Dec 4th, 2016
PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------------------------------- 
God of peace, make us peacemakers.  Guide us in the way of peace.  Call us forth as your children, to live peace, so that all the world might come to know your Great Shalom … a world ordered according to your goodness, grace and peace.  Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------------------------------------
First Reading:  Isaiah 11:1-10

11 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.  He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.  6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth.

Second Reading:  Romans 15:4-13

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name"; 10 and again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people"; 11 and again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him"; 12 and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope."  13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel:  Luke 1:67-79

67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:  68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, 70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,71 that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant,73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.78 By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."