Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I am The Way of the Lord - May 28

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

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

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

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I am the good shepherd May 21

Worship on May 21 -  I AM  The Good Shepherd

╬ “My own know me!” 

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

click here to listen to the late service 
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

I AM Light - May 14

Worship on Sunday, May 14 …

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

╬ “The light of the world.”

John’s Gospel begins with a re-telling of the magisterial creation story of Genesis.  In the beginning is I AM.  This source and ground of all being speaks light and it shines forth in the darkness.  As we learn in John’s account – in this ongoing revelation – this light that shines has particularity, has identity, has “personhood.”  It is the logos – the Word – the full and complete revelation of the nature and wisdom of God.  In this light is life, John says.  And this life becomes the light of all humanity.  Jesus has much to teach us about God and God’s revelation in him.  “I am the light of the world,” he says; heresy to some, rich blessing to others.  And then he says something all the more audacious … “You are the light!”

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

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

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

- Pr. Brad Highum

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

God of all creation, you speak and light shines.  May that light be life for us, life to be lived in the light of your Christ.  Shine in him, shine in us, shine for the world to see.  Amen.

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

First Reading:   Genesis 1:1-5

1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Psalm 36:5-10

5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!  All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

Second Reading:   Ephesians 2:13-22

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

Gospel:   John 8:12-20

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, "You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid." 14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf." 19 Then they said to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

4th Sunday of Easter: I AM – Vine

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

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

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

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

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

First Reading:   Hosea 14:4-7

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

Psalm 80:7-15

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

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

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:1-9

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

Gospel:   John 15:1-9

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