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. 

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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

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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 
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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 
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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.