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.