Sunday, February 16, 2020

Teach us to love and to serve Feb 16, 2020

Worship on Sunday, February 16 …

The central Epiphany revelation:  Jesus proclaims, “I am the way, the truth and the life!”  

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╬ Way, Truth, Life
“Prepare the Way of the Lord!” The early followers of Jesus referred to themselves as “people of the Way.”  They identified themselves as disciples of the Christ, the messiah of God.  Obeying Christ’s command, they ordered their lives and actions according to “The Way” revealed in the life of the One.  They understood that true discipleship is less a set of beliefs than it is a Way of being in the world, a Way characterized by the goodness and love, forgiveness and compassion embodied in Christ … a way and a truth that leads to life!

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

It is a blessing to dwell in these Epiphany revelations with all of you!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------
God of grace, your Son reveals to us the Way to live as your people in this world.  Make your Way our way.  Teach us to love and to serve, to forgive and to bless as he does.  Amen.

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

First Reading:   Isaiah 43:15-21
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.  16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, 17 who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: 18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.  19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  20 The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, 21 the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

Psalm 86:8-13
8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Second Reading:   1 John 4:7-21
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Gospel:   John 14:1-12
14 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."   8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Way, Truth, Life Feb 9, 2020

Worship on Sunday, February 9 …

The “Way, Truth, Life”  revealed in Christ involves several extended teachings from Jesus on what it is to live as his disciples.  Perhaps none is more widely known than the Sermon on the Mount.   

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╬ Blessed Are You

Jesus shares with his followers profound teachings on blessing.  The Beatitudes define what it means to live as the people of God, following the way and the truth revealed in Christ.  They speak to values and priorities that often contradict norms of the culture.  In the language of the Testament, the “makar” (Grk.) – the “blessed one” – is not the most favored, on whom fortune or circumstance has smiled.  Rather, one who is truly blessed has the Kingdom of God foremost at heart, and finds satisfaction in God –  independent of the world, regardless of circumstances.  This one, Jesus says, knows true blessing.  This one is free, indeed!

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

To live in Christ is to live in blessing!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------
Lord, take us to the mountain top.  Lead us out, onto a wide and level plain.  In all times and circumstances, teach us what it means to live your way.  Bless us with your truth, and with the wisdom and courage to embrace it.  Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------
First Reading:  Isaiah 60:1-6
60 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.  3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.  5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Psalm 112:1-9
1 Praise the Lord!  Happy are those who revere the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.

2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.

4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

5 It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.

6 For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.

7 They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.

8 Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

9 They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever

Second Reading:  Acts 13:44-52

44 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. 46 Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'"  48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. 49 Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Gospel:  Matthew 5:1-16

5 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.  14 "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Who Am I? Feb 2, 2020

Worship on Sunday, February 2 …


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As we continue to explore the “Way, Truth, Life”  revealed in Christ, we come to that pivotal question of faith:


╬ Who Am I ? 
In one of his most profound teachings on discipleship, Jesus asks those with him, “Who do people say that I am?”  They respond with the speculation – the “word on the street” – about this one who is creating such controversy.  But Jesus follows with an even more challenging question, one that rings in the air in our day and time: “Who do YOU say that I am?”  It is on this that everything else depends.  How we answer this question determines virtually everything else in the lives we lead.  Who will Jesus be for us?

 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

Our calling is to seek our true identity in Christ  A blessed Epiphany to you all!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

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

Lord, you call us to name you and proclaim you through the whole of our lives.  Help us to hold to the truth of you and to follow as you lead.  Help us to live your way in the world. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 9:2-8
1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.  3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 13
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!  Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

4 and my enemy will say, "I have prevailed"; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Second Reading:  Acts 22:6-15
6 Paul said, "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.

Gospel: Mark 8:27-38
27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.  31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." 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."

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Branches of the Vine Jan 26, 2020

Worship on Sunday, January 26 …


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As we continue with our Epiphany series – “Way, Truth, Life”  – we explore a central teaching about what it is to be rooted in God through God’s Christ.  


╬ Branches of the Vine

“I am the true vine!” Jesus uses images of vines and vine dressing – resonant in the life of the people – to reveal powerful truths about life in God.  They speak to us, as well, about living faithfully today … trusting ourselves to the ministry of the Vine Dresser; abiding in the One who is at once the source and unity of all people and all creation.  God’s invitation to us in Christ is simply to remain connected: “Stay connected to the vine,” Jesus says.  Remain rooted in the Source of all goodness and grace, and we will have life!

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

Stay connected!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------
God of creation, you are the well-spring and source of all life.  Help us to discover ourselves rooted and growing in you.  Help us to bear fruit as  branches of the vine of life, through which you bless all the earth:  Jesus Christ, our savior and lord.  Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------
First Reading:   Hosea 14:4-7
4 I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.  5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.   6 His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.  7 They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Psalm 80:7-15
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.

11 It sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see.

15 Have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted.

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:1-9
3 And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? 4 For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?  5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9 For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.

Gospel:   John 15:1-9
15 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Follow Me Jan 19, 2020

Worship on Sunday, January 19 …


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As we continue with our Epiphany series – “Way, Truth, Life”  – we turn our focus to the invitation to discipleship, as Jesus says,  

╬ Follow Me “Come and see.”  “Follow me.”  “Take up your cross daily!”  These are invitations from the One who came to reveal to us the fullness of God and to invite us into living witness to the Gospel.  Faith is born upon the journey of life.  And it grows deeper with each bend in the path.  Jesus’ loving invitation is to make the journey together, in the fellowship of believers and in the company of the One God sends to reveal the way, the truth and the life.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

In waking to the manifestation of God in Christ, we hear our calling!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------
God of bright new days, by the power of your Spirit, open our eyes to discover you at the center of the world.  Open our minds and hearts to live your grace and compassion.  Open our ears to hear your call to Follow.  Amen.

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

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 5:28-33
28 The Lord heard your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: "I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you; they are right in all that they have spoken. 29 If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children forever! 30 Go say to them, 'Return to your tents.' 31 But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you all the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances, that you shall teach them, so that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess." 32 You must therefore be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn to the right or to the left. 33 You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are to possess.

Psalm 1
1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.  In all that they do, they prosper.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Second Reading:  Philippians 2:5-11
5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.  9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel:  Mark 1:16-20
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."  18 At once they left their nets and followed him.  19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Way, Truth, Life Jan12,2020

Worship on Sunday, JANUARY 12 …

We begin our Epiphany Series … “Way, Truth, Life” with the traditional focus on Jesus’ baptism. 



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╬ Way, Truth, Life

As the prophets foretold, "They shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us." (Matthew 1:23) Yet Jesus comes among us not only as “God with us” but as one of us, in every respect.  He enters fully into human experience.  He says that his baptism by John fulfills God’s righteousness in him just as he calls for the fulfillment of God’s righteousness in all people.  Today, we embrace our baptismal heritage as the beginning of a path of revelation and spiritual growth … the first step along The Way!

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.   

Happy New Year to you all as we enter into the wonder of Epiphany!

Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------
Creating God, in the waters of baptism you claim us as your own.  Help us each day to renew and refresh ourselves in the water of life.  Set us free to live as your people and to proclaim in all the world the gift of life that is your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 42:1-9

1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.  2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.  4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.  5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:  6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.  8 I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them. 

Psalm 29
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.

4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

11 May the Lord give strength to his people!  May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Second Reading:  Acts 8:14-17
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel:  Mark 1:1-13
1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:  'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'"  4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."  12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Story of the Magi Jan 5,2020

 Worship on Sunday, January 5, 2020!

It’s the Second Sunday of Christmas and we stand at the threshold of Epiphany!  In keeping with tradition, we focus on the story of the Magi.

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╬ That the World May Know

As the celebration of the Christmastide continues, we lift our eyes to the greater work God is doing in making known the Incarnate One who has come into the world.  In coming to honor the one born king, dignitaries from outside the tradition reveal to us the breadth of God’s vision:  that from humble beginnings the world may come to know God’s Christ, and through him the One God, Lord of All.

 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

“So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.”  ~ 1 Kings 8:60

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------
Creating God, shine your light this day throughout creation.  Let all come from near and far to celebrate the gift of the Christ and to share the good news of life and deliverance he brings. Amen.

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

First Reading:  Isaiah 9:2-7
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.

4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 96
1 O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6 Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9 Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, "The Lord is king!  The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity."

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12 let the field exult, and everything in it.  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13 before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Second Reading:  Romans 15:4-13
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name"; 10 and again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people"; 11 and again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him"; 12 and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope."  13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel:  Matthew 2:2-12
2 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" 7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.