Monday, October 8, 2018

loving God with all our STRENGTH

Worship on Sunday, October 7 …

Our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – brings us to loving God with all our STRENGTH!

╬  “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” - Ephesians 6:10-11 

When Jesus calls us to love, it is to love with our whole being.  That includes not only our spiritual, mental and emotional capacities, but also our sheer strength and physicality.  Our strength – the gifts and abilities, the physical power we wield – is a vital part of this whole response.  In addition to the wisdom and creativity and passion for God’s calling, there is the embodying, the “enfleshing” of that calling.  Strength addresses the “doing” of what God is about.  But strength is more than just muscle and sinew; it is conviction, character and commitment to justice, as well.  Sometimes it is defending the poor and the powerless.  Sometimes it is patient endurance.  Today we engage strength in all its forms, as it is manifest in us, and as it flows into us from God.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

I look forward to our gathering and worship together!

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------
God of all, you call us to love with our whole selves.  Our bodies, our strengths and capacities are gifts from you and we give you thanks.  Teach us to express your love in all that we say and do.  And help us to find our true strength in you, the source of all life and goodness, as we follow the One you send to lead us into new days, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 40:25-31
25 To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One.  26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:  Who created these?  He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.  27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"?  28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.  30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 84:4-12
4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!
9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.
10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:20-31

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.  26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

Gospel:  Luke 21:29-36
29 Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  34 "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."