Sunday, June 25, 2017

Worship on June 25 …

Image result for missing something in lifeWe continue in our Pentecost series “Follow” as we engage the “stuff and things” in life that draw us from vital presence with God.

╬ “One thing lacking …”
Henry David Thoreau said the mass of people “lead lives of quiet desperation.”  He speaks to a longing, an empty place, unfulfilled in so many; the vast majority.  It is clear that this sense of incompleteness and unfulfillment plagues the “ruler” of Luke’s Gospel, as well.  He asks Jesus, “What must I do to truly live?”  Rather than a quick, pat answer, Jesus takes him through a process, along a journey that invites him from superficial notions and practices to a deep sense of the “one thing lacking” in his longing for wholeness.

Below are Readings and the Prayer of the Day.  PLEASE NOTE the change in the Psalm for the day!

God’s calling to follow truly is an invitation to freedom.  Let’s celebrate this in worship together!

Blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------------------
Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to everything that distracts us from the path; anything that conspires to come between us and your goodness.  Help us to follow you in the way and truth that leads to the heart of God.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Exodus 33:12-23

12 Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." 14 The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" 17 And the Lord said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."  18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."  19 And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  21 Then the Lord said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

Psalm 27:1-5

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh — my adversaries and foes — they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

4 One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 2:21-25

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.  22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."  23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel:  Luke 18:18-27

18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 20 You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.'" 21 He replied, "I have kept all these since my youth." 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 23 But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."  26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" 27 He replied, "What is impossible for mortals is possible for God."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Follow Me - June 18

Worship on Sunday, June 18 …

My friends, we launch fully into our series – “Follow” – which will explore Biblical and contemporary discipleship in the Pentecost season.
╬ “Follow Me!”  Pentecost is the time of the church.  Many regard the Day of Pentecost – when the followers of Jesus are filled with the inspiration of the Spirit – as the birth of the church.  We step across the threshold from the time of Jesus’ living ministry into the living ministry of the people of God, the Body of Christ in the world today.  The Spirit guides us to reflect deeply on all that God has revealed in Christ.  And we hear that singular calling that Jesus extends to us all … “Follow me!” 

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

Blessings to all as we enter into a the Season of Pentecost, a time to grow in discipleship … for each of us and for our community as a whole.

God’s peace to you,

- Pr. Brad Highum

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

God of bright new days, by the power of your Spirit, open our eyes to discover you at the center of the world.  Open our minds and hearts to live your grace and compassion.  Open our ears to hear your call to Follow.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 5:28-33

28 The Lord heard your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: "I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; they are right in all that they have spoken. 29 If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children forever! 30 Go say to them, 'Return to your tents.' 31 But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and

the ordinances, that you shall teach them, so that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess." 32 You must therefore be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn to the right or to the left. 33 You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are to possess.

Psalm 1

1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.  In all that they do, they prosper.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Second Reading:  Philippians 2:5-11

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.  9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel:  Mark 1:16-20

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."  18 At once they left their nets and followed him.  19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Holy Trinity Sunday June 11

LOOKING AHEAD to worship on June 11 … Holy Trinity Sunday!
╬ “One in Three in One.”
We stand at a threshold, once again; a new season in the ongoing revelation of God.  Pentecost has come.  Jesus has ascended.  The Holy Spirit has descended.  As Jesus’ living ministry ends, the people of God are Ordained – as the Body of Christ – to live out the Gospel, in our own lives and as a community of faith.  The Gospel of Jesus opens the way for the Gospel of the church.  As the Son returns to unity with the Father, the Spirit fills creation.  We are invited to embrace, and to experience, an understanding of God as Holy Trinity:  God revealed as Father // Son // Spirit. 

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.

It is a blessing to celebrate these festival Sundays with you and our whole Abiding Love community!

God’s love and peace to you,

- Pr. Brad Highum

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

God of creation, we long to know you, as you long to be known.  Draw us into the mystery of your being and reveal yourself in glory … Father, Son and Spirit.  Open us to experience you everywhere around us and at the deepest level of ourselves.  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 the Spirit of 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 8

1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 13:11-13

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Gospel:  Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Pentecost June 4

Worship on June 4 … Pentecost Sunday!
Watch on Facebook here

We move from our exploration of the I AM revelations of Jesus into a new season of focus on a living faith response to the Gospel:  centered in Christ’s call to “Follow!”  

╬ “The Day of Pentecost has come.”
In Jesus’ time, Pentecost is already an ancient celebration with profound significance and meaning for the Jews.   Commemorating the time of God’s revelation at Sinai, the people of Israel receive their calling:  to live in righteous obedience to God’s law.  In our Acts story today, we participate in a new revelation of God, blowing like a freshening breeze among the people, setting their hearts on fire.  And we receive the calling of the Gospel on our lives:  to live the way and truth God has revealed in Christ; to follow as he leads.