Sunday, May 27, 2018

Holy Trinity: A Love Story May 27,2018

Worship on Sunday, May 27 … Holy Trinity Sunday!

We stand at the threshold as the Time of the Gospel leads us into the Time of the Church.  We celebrate the entry into the Pentecost Season with the Feast of Holy Trinity.  And we engage all of this through the frame of our series focus:  The Power of Story.


╬ Holy Trinity: A Love Story!  The unfolding story of the Bible traces  the ongoing revelation of God in the midst of the world.  “In the beginning …” God is manifest in creation itself – the “first testament” of God.  God forms and blesses a people.  God reveals God-self in a person.  God in-dwells people, a spirit of fire within.  The story reveals God as Father // Son // Spirit.  But there is even greater power for the people of God as we enter into the story ourselves, embracing the active forces of these “persons” of Trinity:  participating in the ongoing-ness of creation, in embodying the goodness of God and co-operating with God in the transformation of the world!




The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

I look forward to worshiping with you on these festival Sundays!

God’s blessings and peace,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------
Almighty Creator and ever-living God:  we praise you, eternal Three-in-One, and we give you thanks, majestic One-in-Three.  Keep us steadfast in faith, guide us in this journey of life, and bring us into your presence, where you live in endless joy and love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 6:1-9
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, 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 29
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Second Reading:  Romans 8:12-17
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gospel:  John 3:1-17
3 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." 3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Spirit of Truth is Within Us, May 20,2018

Worship on May 20 … PENTECOST SUNDAY!


Pentecost

╬ The Spirit of Truth is Within Us!  Pentecost has been a festival of the people of God from ancient times.  For us, it has become a special celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God-self at the center of our being.  John’s Gospel proclaims that the Spirit of Truth abides with us and will be in us, revealing God’s wisdom in the midst of our lives.  It is a gift to be treasured and celebrated with each new day.  It is a gift to be shared.  And it is the power of the Spirit that gives us the language to share the grace and goodness of God with a wandering, searching world.



 Below are Readings and the Prayer of the Day.  NOTE that the Gospel reading has been amended for this Sunday.

We will celebrate together the gift of the Holy Spirit, in us, in our community and in the lives of our Confirmands who make their Affirmation of Baptism this day!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------
God of grace, we give you thanks for the gift of your self at the very center of our being.  May we be guided by the power and wisdom of your spirit as we seek to live your way in the world.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Acts 2:1-21
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:  17 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.  18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.  19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.  20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.  21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

Psalm 104:24-35
24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!  In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works —
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Praise the Lord!

Second Reading:  Romans 8:22-27
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel:  John 14:15-17, 23-27
15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 23"Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.  25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Living in the Promise, May 13,2018

LOOKING AHEAD to worship on Sunday, May 13 …

It’s the culmination of our Eastertide series, “Raised with Him,” AND it’s Mothers Day!

“Living in the Promise”

“When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”    - Colossians 2:12


╬   He is risen. He goes before you … Jesus’ followers can scarcely believe their senses as the resurrected Christ is revealed.  Yet from the tomb, to the upper room and fanning out across the land, the word goes forth:  He is risen indeed!  And we, too, have been raised to new life with him.  We are invited to live as the resurrected people of God.  That even greater things may be done in his name … that the whole world might come to know grace and goodness reborn!



The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

Let’s celebrate our Mothers during the Children’s Time and with some special music in the Offertory.

Blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


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

God of life, we are born anew in you each day.  Go with us through the days and seasons of our lives, and show us your will in all things.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Genesis 15:1,5-6

15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." 5 He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Psalm 27:1-4,11-14

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.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!


Second Reading:  Ephesians 1:15-23

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel:  John 14:11-22

12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.  15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.  18 "I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them."



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Returning to the Father May 6, 2018

Worship on Sunday, May 6, 6th Sunday of Easter…

I and our ALLC representatives will be at the Synod Assembly, electing a new Bishop.  Pr. Tim Anderson will be preaching and presiding as we continue with our series, “Raised With Him.”  Tim will be focusing on Jesus’ ascension as a pivotal time early in the life of The Way, calling forth the vocation of Jesus’ followers as the Body of Christ.

    “I am ascending to my Father and your Father,
    to my God and your God."   - John 20:17

╬   Returning to the Father! Early on that first day, as Mary recognizes the risen Christ at the tomb, he tells her, “Do not hold onto me, for I have not yet ascended to my father.”  The mystery of the Ascension is celebrated in Scripture and in the life of the church 40 days after the Resurrection (May 10 this year).  We commemorate Christ’s promised return to the father, but something more, as well:  we who have been raised to new life with Christ enter into our vocation as the people of God, the Body of Christ in the world today. 



The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

Praying blessings upon you all,



- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


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

Creating God, as your Son returns to unity with you, we give thanks for the gift of the Way, the Truth and the Life that leads us forward into new days!  Amen.

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

First Reading:  2 Kings 2:9-14
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you." Elisha said, "Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit." 10 He responded, "You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you;  if not, it will not." 11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, "Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.  13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, "Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?" When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

Psalm 47
1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.

2 For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.

3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.

4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

5 God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.

8 God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.  For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.


Second Reading:  Acts 1:1-11
1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Gospel:  Luke 24:44-53
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. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.



Sunday, April 29, 2018

Be reconciled 4-29-2018

Worship on Sunday, April 29 …

In our “Raised with Him” series, we turn our focus to the encounter between Peter and the risen Christ at the shore of Galilee.

“God reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”    - 2 Corinthians 5:18

╬   A new creation!  It is in this passage from second Corinthians that Paul proclaims it: “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” Yet if we stop there, we miss the all-important “Therefore …” of this powerful teaching:  In doing this, God is reconciling the whole world to God-self in Christ,  AND … giving us the ministry of reconciliation as Christ’s “ambassadors!”  Just as Jesus is reconciled with Peter at the lakeshore today, we who have been raised with Christ have been raised to a ministry of reconciliation … to reconcile with God a creation grown distant and estranged.

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

We who have been raised and reconciled have been called to be ambassadors for Christ in a new creation!

Blessings all,
- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org




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


God of life, work your wisdom and will in us.  Bring about that change in us and in the world that reconciles us all to you!  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 25:6-9

6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.  7 And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; 8 he will swallow up death forever.  Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.  9 It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 30:4-7,10-12

4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
7 By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!"
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 3:13-19

13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,

Gospel:  John 21:4-19

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No." 6 He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.  9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.  15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go." 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Unless I see April 22, 2017

Worship on Sunday, April 22 …
We continue with our series – Raised with Him – as we focus on the interplay of faith and doubt in the lives of believers.



╬ “Unless I see …”

People through the ages have been critical of Thomas.  This one refuses to believe unless he sees the marks of Christ’s passion, unless he engages them physically!  Doubting Thomas!  “He of little faith.”   And yet the story of Thomas becomes instructive for all of us about the ways in which questioning and doubt seem to come hand-in-hand with the faith that God invites us into.  As people living in the light of the Resurrection, what does it mean to be faithful?  And how are we to deal with the doubt that accompanies us on the journey of faith? 


The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

God’s blessings of faith and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

God of life, as we walk with you into new days, help our faith to grow and deepen.  Guide us and teach us through our shared experience and the power of your Spirit to hold to our faith in you.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 12:2-6
2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.  3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.  5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.  6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 146
1 Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,

6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free;

8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.  Praise the Lord!

Second Reading:  1 John 1:1-10
1 We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — 2 this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us — 3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.  5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Gospel:  John 20:19-31
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."  24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."  26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." 28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."  30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

You Shall Be My Witnesses April 15, 2017

Worship on Sunday, April 15 …

On this Third Sunday of Easter we continue to explore what it means to be “Raised With Him,” focusing today on the disciples’ experiences in the Upper Room.  We will be blessed to have Pr. Tim Anderson preaching and presiding with us this day!

You Shall Be My Witnesses
These days following the crucifixion of Jesus are challenging and fearful for his disciples.  Those closest to him are in hiding in the “upper room,” the last place they gathered with the Lord before his terrible arrest and trial and execution.  Yet even in this place Christ makes his presence known to them, encouraging them, calling them to rise above fear.  And he sends them, calling them forth to share the message of God’s grace and deliverance.  Calling them to proclaim God’s resurrecting and redeeming power, made a new reality in Christ as they have been raised to new life with him.




Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below, 

Special thanks to Pr. Tim for his ministry with us, and to all of you as we celebrate in the Eastertide!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

God of life, as we have been raised with Christ, call us forth to proclaim this truth and to live as your resurrected people for the sake of the world!  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 43:1-3
43 Now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Psalm 32:1-2,6-11
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you — unless you have come to believe in vain.  3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them — though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

Gospel:  Luke 24:36-49
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.  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. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Sunday, April 8, 2018

With Us On the Road - April 8, 2018

Worship on Sunday, April 8 …

We move forward in our Eastertide focus - “Raised With Him” – engaging the Emmaus Journey as a place of revelation and presence with the Risen Christ!



╬ With Us On the Road
It’s early, on the first day.  Two little-known followers of Jesus travel together, talking about all that has happened; the tumultuous, terrifying events of recent days.  The death of the one they thought might be “The One.”  Another joins them, unrecognized.  And a journey back, becomes a journey forward, into new days, into resurrected life as we are raised with him.

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

We live in the blessing of the Eastertide, making our way together in the company of the One!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



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

God of new days, we give you thanks for the gift of your Christ, and the gift of resurrection we share in him.  Bless us with the gift of your presence on the journey, as we make our way together.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  1 Maccabees 3:6-11,19-25

6 At daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor and swords such as they desired. 7 And they saw the camp of the Gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry all around it; and these men were trained in war. 8 But Judas said to those who were with him, "Do not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge. 9 Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them. 10 And now, let us cry to Heaven, to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our ancestors and crush this army before us today. 11 Then all the Gentiles will know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel."  19 Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills. 20 They saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp, for the smoke that was seen showed what had happened. 21 When they perceived this, they were greatly frightened, and when they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle, 22 they all fled into the land of the Philistines. 23 Then Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they seized a great amount of gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great riches. 24 On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven — "For he is good, for his mercy endures forever." 25 Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

Psalm 114
1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2 Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
5 Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 1:22-25
22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of  perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever."  That word is the good news that was announced to you.

Gospel:  Luke 24:13-35
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" 19 He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." 25 Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.  28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Raised With Him 4-1-2018

Easter Sunday Service - 8:30 and 11:00 


╬   The empty cross.  The empty tomb.  He is not here. He is risen. He goes before you … Jesus’ followers can scarcely believe their senses as the resurrected Christ is revealed.  Yet from the tomb, to the upper room and fanning out across the land, the word goes forth:  He is risen indeed!  His faithful, enduring presence is made known to his disciples and to the wider world.  And we, too, are raised with him, to live our lives as the resurrected people of God.

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------------------------------- 
God of grace, in the resurrection of Christ you have put to death forever anything that can separate us from you.  In raising your Christ as Lord of Life, you have raised us to live resurrected lives in him.  Open our eyes to see him in the midst of the world.  Open our hearts to receive him as your gift of light and love for a world in need.  Amen.
  
 Blessings all! 
- Pr. Brad Highum bhighum@abidinglove.org

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Maundy Thursday & Good Friday 2018

Holy Week
Celebrating Easter
  
Maundy Thursday, March 29
7:00 pm: Youth-Led Worship with Holy Communion


Good Friday, March 30
7:00 pm: Worship: Who is This Upon the Cross?

Saturday, March 31
9:00 am: Egg Hunt, Abiding Love Activity Center
Toddlers through 5th grade are invited to celebrate
the season with games, activities and an egg hunt. 

Easter Sunday, April 1
8:30 and 11:00 am: Worship with Holy Communion
Gather in the narthex at 8:20 and 10:50 am for Flowering the Cross.

9:45 am: Easter Brunch
Breakfast casseroles will be provided. 
Please bring fruit or pastries to share. Bring your items 
to the Activity Center kitchen by 9:00 am, Sunday, April 1