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

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 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

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

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

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

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."