Sunday, August 26, 2018

blessed with the gift of sabbath Aug 26, 2018


We are blessed to have Pr. Brad Fuerst, pastor of Lutheran Campus Ministry/UT preaching and presiding at Communion as we continue to explore our theme of Sabbath:  “Re-Engaging!”

╬ “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart!”  We have been blessed with the gift of sabbath, by the God of sabbath!  We have known what it is to dwell in the “chesed,” the blessing of God’s lovingkindness experienced in sabbath rest.  The challenge becomes holding to our identity as sabbath people as we resume our busy lives with their array of often conflicting demands.  The Jewish practice of phylacteries – little boxes of Scripture – as prescribed in Deuteronomy, emphasizes keeping God’s truth foremost in our minds and lives.  It comes down to balance.  Being God’s sabbath people in contemporary life means embracing the Martha as well as the Mary in us all.

Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

Pr. Fuerst will also bring our Children’s Message and will be leading a conversation about Lutheran Campus Ministry between the services in the Sanctuary.

Blessings to all!
- Pr. Brad Highum

Prayer of the Day:
Gracious God, as we emerge from times of Sabbath, go with us and remember in us the blessings we have received.  As we re-engage in busy lives and responsibilities, help us to remain centered and live in the balance we have learned in Sabbath. Amen.


First Reading:  Deuteronomy 6:1-9
6 Now this is the commandment — the statutes and the ordinances — that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2 so that you and your children and your children's children may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.  4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalm 111
1 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who revere him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever.  Holy and awesome is his name.
10 Reverence for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.

Second Reading:  Romans 12:1-2,9-21
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.  9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Gospel:  Luke 10:38-42
38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." 41 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lord over the sabbath Aug 19,2018

Worship on Sunday, August 19 …

We seek to make the practice of sabbath a living reality in our lives!

╬ “Sabbath was made for us!”  In Scripture, no sooner does God bless us with the gift of sabbath but people begin to get very legalistic about it. This loving invitation from God is translated into a commandment and a host of other law codes governing its proper application in the lives of the people.  Jesus confronts this legalism with a strong rebuke.  “Sabbath was made for people, not people for the sabbath!”  Sabbath is a spiritual discipline, instituted by God.  But it is meant to be practiced for our own well-being and for the sake of human community and all creation. 

 Below are the Readings and Prayer of the Day.

Let’s embrace sabbath, not as “one more thing to do,” but as the invitation to a fuller and more peaceful life as God intends!

Blessings all,
- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------------
God of life, we seek the blessings of balance and sufficiency in daily living.  Guide us into the practice of sabbath that it might become a place of restoration and renewal in our lives.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Exodus 31:12-18
12 The Lord said to Moses: 13 You yourself are to speak to the Israelites, saying: "You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."  18 When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Psalm 51:1-3,6-12
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore, teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Second Reading:  1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel:  Mark 2:23-28
23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?" 25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions." 27 Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Rebirth Aug 12,2018

Worship on Sunday, August 12

We continue our theme of Sabbath with a focus on the blessing of renewal, restoration and …


╬  “Wait for the Lord.”  You’ve heard people say it; perhaps you’ve said yourself.  Having rested after a time of protracted effort, struggle, exhaustion, recovery from illness … “I feel like a new person!”  This not just “something we say.”  It is a genuine experience of renewals and is  founded in a promise from God.  God ministers to us, body and soul, in times of sabbath rest that we might be refreshed and restored, quite literally “reborn.”  As God says through the prophet:  “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength … mount up like eagles … walk and not faint … run and not be weary!”  Sabbath is about rebirth!

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

We celebrate sabbath as a gift from God that restores us to life!

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------
God of life, in you is the invitation to rebirth. You embrace us in your ongoing act of creation and open the way to new life.  We give you thanks for the gift of Sabbath and the way in which you make all things new.  Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------------
First Reading:  Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Psalm 40:1-5,16-17
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you.  Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.
16 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the Lord!"
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer, O my God.

Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Gospel:  Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sabbath Rest - August 5, 2018

My friends, we continue this Sunday, August 5, with our Sabbath theme, focusing on Rest!

╬  Sabbath Rest!  Imagine what the world would be like if on a given night, everyone, everywhere, got a good night’s sleep.  A rested world would be a happier, more peaceful place; it just would be.  Rest – sabbath – as the Bible talks about it is more than just good sleep.  It is to separate ourselves from the daily routines and habitual paths of life.  It is not defined as sleeping or doing nothing, it is abstaining from the busy-ness and tasking, for a time, to devote ourselves to the One who gives us life and longs for our wholeness and well-being.  The invitation from God is, “Rest in me.”

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

I pray for you all to find these places of intentional rest in the embrace of God.  We can encourage this in one another, and all be the better for it!

Love and peace,

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------
Gracious God we give you thanks for your invitation to sabbath.  Help in the midst of life to find rest for ourselves in you.  Help us to live in balance, centered in your goodness and grace. Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------
First Reading:  Ecclesiastes 4:1-8
4 Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed — with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power — with no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; 3 but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.  4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from one person's envy of another. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.  5 Fools fold their hands and consume their own flesh.  6 Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind. 

7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 And though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Second Reading:  Philippians 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Gospel:  Mark 6:30-33
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.