Sunday, July 15, 2018

renewal and refreshment July 15,2018

Worship on Sunday, July 15 …

We begin a new series focused on Sabbath, finding renewal and refreshment in the midst of life.

“In the Beginning …”

╬  “Remember the Sabbath!”  It’s one of the primary and central commandments given to a wayward, wandering people as God begins to form them in community.  Sabbath is the invitation to balance and sufficiency in the face of striving and desire.  It is the gift of presence, peace and renewal in a complex and often chaotic world.  Sabbath is a practice of healing and wholeness which God seeks for each and all.

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below. 

I’m really looking forward to exploring this theme with you and our whole community!

 Blessings of sabbath to you all,



- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org



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

Lord of life, help us to grow deeper in our understanding of sabbath, as you proclaim it for the well-being of the world. Help us to be diligent in our practice of sufficiency, peace and wholeness in you. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Genesis 1:26-2:3
26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."  27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.



Responsive Reading:  Ecclesiastes 2:24-3:8
2:24 There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God;
25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
26 For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping. This is vanity and a chasing after wind.
3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Second Reading:  Hebrews 4:1-11
4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "As in my anger I swore, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4 For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." 5 And again in this place it says, "They shall not enter my rest." 6 Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he sets a certain day — "today" — saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."  8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9 So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10 for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.   32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.  35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 38 He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

To be a person - July 8, 2018

Worship on Sunday, July 8 …

We bring our focus on The Power of Story to a conclusion with an exploration of:  “The Gospel According To …”

╬  “To be a person,” said the Danish writer Isak Dineson, “is to have a story to tell.”  And to be a Christian is to experience our story illuminated by the revelation of God in Christ.  You have a story that is uniquely your own, even as it is informed and framed by your faith.  It is, in itself, a “gospel.”  It is the “good news” as it has been experienced by you, in your journey.  It is the Gospel of Your Life and it is the greatest gift of faith you have to offer the world.

Below are Readings and the Prayer of the Day.

You know, I could hang with this topic for a while; it’s been a rich conversation and congregational response has been strong.  But I look forward to us moving on to “Sabbath,” as well.  There will be more to say about “story” as we go.



Blessings all,

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------
God of all, you write your gospel on our hearts and invite us to live from there.  May our lives reflect the ongoing revelation of your grace and goodness for all the world to see. Amen.

READINGS ------------------------
First Reading:  Genesis 32:22-32
22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me." 27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed." 29 Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Psalm 40:3-5,9-10
3 God has put a new song in my mouth — Praise to our God; many will hear it and will trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed are the ones who make the Lord their trust, and do not respect the proud, nor turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are your wonderful works which you have done; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, you yourself know.
10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your lovingkindness and your truth from the great assembly.

Second Reading:  Acts 22:3-21
3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.  6 "While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 8 I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' Then he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 I asked, 'What am I to do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.' 11 Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus.  12 "A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, 13 came to me; and standing beside me, he said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight!' In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him. 14 Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; 15 for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.'  17 "After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw Jesus saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' 19 And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.' 21 Then he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"

Gospel:  Mark 8:34-9:1

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 9 1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Worship on Sunday - July 1, 2018

Worship on Sunday, July 1 …  as we continue to explore the power of story in sharing and nurturing faith, we turn our attention to a vital role each of us is called to:  sharing the story of the Gospel in our own way, in our own place and time.

╬ Always be ready to share the hope that is within you! (1 Peter 3:15)  It is a part of our calling, as people of faith, the share the truth as God has revealed it to us.  To witness, to testify, to prophecy … to share the Gospel, especially with those who have not heard.  That can be challenging enough, but it is all the harder to do that important work of evangelism in a decidedly “short-attention-span” culture.  Could you do it, with a sparsity of language, ultimate impact in, say, seven words?


Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.


Blessings to all!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------
God of all, your Word is life. Teach us to share the greatest of stories … the love story you are telling the world in your Gospel of redemption, healing and peace. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Numbers 11:24-30
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.  26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!" 29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!"

Psalm 57:5,6-11
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.  Let your glory be over all the earth.
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.  I will sing and make melody.
8 Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awake the dawn.
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.  Let your glory be over all the earth.

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 1:1-4
1 Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.