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