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."