Monday, December 18, 2017

Splendor of the Lord!, December 31


Worship on Sunday, December 31 …
On this First Sunday of Christmas we gather in a single worship service at 9:30 am.

The audio will be ready after the service.
click here to listen to the service 


First Sunday of Christmas
Posted by Abiding Love Lutheran Church ELCA on Sunday, December 31, 2017

╬ Splendor of the Lord!


In the glory of the Christmastide we celebrate the long-awaited gift of God’s Christ: the anointed one, the deliverer, who comes to make all things new! “Worship the Lord in holy splendor,” the Psalmist proclaims. The One who is faithful is born anew into the world this day, and every day where faithful hearts are prepared to receive him. We give thanks to God for the re-birthing of the world, for Immanuel, “God with us,” and for the hope-filled days that lie ahead. 


Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

The blessings of the Christmastide be with you all!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org







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

God of all creation, you send your Son into the world that we might have life in his name. Help us to live in the glory of his birth, to share in his divine spirit, even as he comes to share our humanity. Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------
First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11

61 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Psalm 96:7-13
7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, "The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity."
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it.
12 Let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord;
13 He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27
25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Worship on Sunday, December 24 …

This year, the fourth Sunday of Advent falls on Christmas Eve Day!  We will celebrate in a single service at 9:30 am as we prepare for the evening Nativity gatherings.

╬ Glory in Humility!

The prophet proclaims that the Lord dwells not in rich palaces or elaborate temples, but in a tabernacle, a tent among a people wandering in the wilderness.  The angel of God announces that the messiah – the anointed deliverer – is born not in royalty and dynasties of power, but to a lowly, unwed provincial peasant girl.  The One God sends comes not to the halls of the high-born, but humbly … born in a stable, laid in a manger, because there was no room for him in places of wealth, privilege and security.  Forever after, the ongoing story of the Incarnation is one of glory shining forth in the humblest of circumstances.

click here to listen to the 9:30 am service 
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click here to listen to the 6 pm service 
click here to listen to the 8 pm service 

Nativity of our Lord 8 PM
Posted by Abiding Love Lutheran Church ELCA on Sunday, December 24, 2017

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.  PLEASE NOTE: I have shortened the First Reading considerably.

The time of waiting will soon be over.  The gift of Christmas is at hand!

Blessings to all,
- Pr. Brad Highum



bhighum@abidinglove.org


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

Gracious God, shape our hearts as the humble places wherein the glory of your Christ may be born.  With gladness and thanksgiving we prepare a place for him in the midst of life, in the midst of the world, at the center of ourselves. Amen.

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

First Reading:  2 Samuel 7:1-17

7 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." 3 Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you."  4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.

Psalm 89:1-4,19-26

1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:
4 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.'"
19 Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said: "I have set the crown on one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him;
21 my hand shall always remain with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him, the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him; and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!'

Second Reading:  Philippians 2:1-8

2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 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.

Gospel:  Luke 1:26-39

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be
impossible with God." 38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.


Worship on the Third Sunday of Advent, December 17 …

It is the Sunday of “Joy” in the Advent cycle, and the day on which we hear the prophecy of Isaiah and the testimony of John the Baptist!

╬ Make Ready!  
“The night is far gone, already the day draws near.” (Romans 13:12) This powerful encouragement from Paul captures all the expectancy and excitement as well as the longing and the waiting of Advent.  But more vitally, it calls forth an active response from all who will hear:  Prepare!  Make ready!  The night is waning fast; put on the armor of light!  It calls to mind the ancient testimony of Isaiah: “The glory of the Lord is about to be revealed.  Prepare the way of the Lord!”

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

click here to listen to the late service 
Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

It will be a joy to celebrate with you in worship as we prepare for the greatest of gifts that is coming in the Nativity!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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


God of all, open our minds and hearts to the new thing you are doing, that is about to spring forth in the midst of the world.  Engage us in your ongoing act of creation.  Help us to awaken, to prepare and to make a way in the wilderness for the coming of your Christ.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 40:1-11

40 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.  3 A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."   6 A voice says, "Cry out!"  And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. 9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah," Here is your God!" 10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Psalm 85:1-2,8-13

1 Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin.
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:  2 Peter 3:8-15

8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.  11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.  14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Gospel:  Mark 1:1-8

1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:  'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" 4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Song Heard 'Round the World 12-10-2017

Worship on Sunday, December 10.

It’s the second Sunday of Advent and we begin our series, “PEACE”
╬ Rend the Heavens!

Our Choir performed a musical cantata for both services.  The piece is by Joseph Martin and is called "The Song Heard 'Round the World" Thanks to all of the dedicate musicians that help make this possible.






Peace Choir Cantata
Posted by Abiding Love Lutheran Church ELCA on Sunday, December 10, 2017

click here to listen to the late service 


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


God of all creation, we give you thanks for the light that is growing in a darkened world.  Our hope and expectation grow as the time draws near for the birth of your Son.  We lift our hearts in songs of praise for this gift of love.  Amen.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Come Lord Jesus Dec 3, 2017

Worship on Sunday, December 3.

It’s the first Sunday of Advent and we begin our series, “Born This Day!”
╬ Rend the Heavens!

The prophet Isaiah gives voice to the anxious longings of a people struggling in the midst of life: “O, that you would tear open the heavens and come down!”  In a world where earthly empire vies with the kingdom God envisions, people cry out for an act of power that will make the very mountains tremble.  The season of Advent has come.  A time of waiting and watching and preparation has begun.  For a time, people of faith walk in darkness.  But a light is coming.  A new day is dawning, even now.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

I am grateful to be walking these days of Advent expectation and preparation with you all!

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


Creating God, a new season of life has come.  You call us to watchfulness. You call us to prepare. You call us to look forward in hope.  Walk with us in these Advent days as we await the One you are sending into the world.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 64:1-9

64 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence — 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil — to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!  3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.  4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.  5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.  But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.  6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.  We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.  7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.  9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever.  Now consider, we are all your people.

Psalm 80:1-7,17-19

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!  You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
2 Stir up your might, and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel:  Mark 13:24-37

24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  26 Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.  28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Christ the King Nov 26,2017

Worship on Sunday, November 26 …

We come to a threshold in the church calendar.  The Feast of Christ the King celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of a new one in the life of the church. 

╬ Christ the King

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

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

 click here for Childrens Sermon Audio Only


The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

Happy thanksgiving, happy new year, and welcome to Advent!
- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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


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

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

First Reading:  Daniel 7:9-10,13-14

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

Psalm 93

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

Second Reading:  Revelation 1:4-8


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

Gospel:  Luke 23:33-43

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Give Thanks Nov. 19,2017

Worship on Sunday, November 19 …

We continue in our series, “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart”
╬ Give Thanks!

“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord!”  It’s a celebration.  By God’s grace, the long night of exile is over.  The people have returned to re-establish themselves in the land of God’s promise.  Ezra describes the triumphant moment when the foundation is laid for the re-building of the Jerusalem temple and the people burst forth with songs of thanksgiving!  We proclaim in our liturgy that “it is our duty and delight that we should everywhere and always offer thanks and praise” to God.  But our calling extends further.  It takes us beyond songs and prayers of praise to live daily in gratitude, sharing the blessings of grace and compassion just as we have received them.
  
Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s prayer, “Wow!  Thanks!  How Can I Help?” gives shape and meaning to prayer and life in thankful response to the Gospel!  Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

God’s blessings and peace to you all,

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

We offer our praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord, God of life.  All of creation shows forth the wonderous work of your hand.  Lead us in living gratitude for the gifts of grace and blessing that flow in abundance from you.  Amen.

READINGS --------------------------------------- 
First Reading:  Ezra 3:10-13

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

Psalm 95:1-7

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

Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 9:10-15

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

Gospel:  Mark 14:22-26

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Giving Thanks Nov 12, 2017

Worship on Sunday, November 12 …

My friends, we continue in our seasonal focus on Giving Thanks!

╬ Seeing the World!

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

Here is a bulletin cover image.  Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached.  The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

I am grateful every day to share in ministry with you!

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

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

First Reading:  2 Chronicles 5:11-14

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

Psalm 100

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

Second Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5:13-24

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

Gospel:  Luke 17:11-19

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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

All Saints Nov 5th, 2017

Worship on All Saints Sunday, November 5 …

We enter into our Season of Thanksgiving:  “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!”

╬ All Saints!

All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, is a day of remembrance.  Historically in the church it was a time to celebrate the lives of saints of the faith who had gone to glory.  Their spiritual presence among the living at this annual festival has given rise to all kinds of folk traditions and customs.  But Scripture is quite clear in naming all the vast host of believers – especially those living today – as the “saints.”  Paul says it is the “great cloud of witnesses” that are the “holy ones,” the saints of God.  So our celebration is expanded with remembrance of those who have gone before us, those of the living Body of Christ today, and the generations to come, as well.  Today we remember, we hallow, and we give thanks for this cloud of witnesses of which we are a vital part!

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

Blessings to you, to all the saints … those who have gone before us, and those yet to come!

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


God of all creation – lord and giver of life –  today, even as your goodness and grace are remembered in us, we remember all of those who have gone before us.  Bless the ones through whom the gift of life has come to us.  And bless us to be a blessing to all the generations that follow.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 5:12-16

12 Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work — you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.  16 Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Psalm 34:1-8

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


Second Reading:  Revelation 7:9-10,15-17


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

Gospel:  Luke 6:20-31

20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:  "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.  "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24 "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.  27 "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Semper Reformanda Oct 29,2017

Worship on Sunday, October 29 …

My friends, the day of celebration has come:  the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation!

╬ Semper Reformanda!

Today is a milestone in the life of the church and people of faith the world over.  It is a threshold moment as we stand in the light of our tradition and look ahead into the promise of coming days.  It is a time for remembrance and a time for prophecy, as well.  From the vantage of the present, we give thanks to God for the long and often arduous road that has led us to this day.  And we give thanks to God for shining light on the path ahead, in uncertain times.  One thing is certain:  change!  It has attended the journey at every turn thus far and is a continual calling as we go forward … Semper Reformanda! … always reforming!”

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

I look forward to festival worship with our community, and all the future holds as we go forward together!

God’s blessings and peace,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

 click here for Sermon Audio Only

 click here for Childrens Sermon Audio Only

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

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come!  Give us strength and courage to embrace the opportunities of new days.  You, who have walked the road with us in times past, lead us forward in the way of your Christ.  Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------
First Reading:  Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt — a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Psalm 105: 1-10

1 O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
5 Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,

6 O offspring of his servant Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He is mindful of his covenant forever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,

Second Reading:  Romans 3:19-28
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For "no human being will be justified in his sight" by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.  21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.  27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Gospel:  John 8:31-36
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?"  34 Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.