07 February 2021 is the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
Today’s virtual service has Mark 1:29-39 as the Gospel text which forms the basis of Rev. Geoff McKee’s sermon.
The Lectionary texts are: Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-11, 20c; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; and Mark 1:29-39. These are contained within Geoff’s video service, below, along with prayers and the sermon. As usual, Kath Robertson has selected an appropriate hymn to conclude this post.
The sermon considers the story of how Jesus healed many people in a short burst of activity, including Simon’s mother-in-law, and then disappeared off on his own for a period – to the extent that the disciples had to go searching for him. In a world currently afflicted not only by a viral pandemic but also other more insidious conditions such as workplace burnout and stress, what can we learn from Jesus’ behaviour in this section of Mark’s gospel about prioritisation of tasks and taking care of our own well-being?
The main scripture for today
Mark 1:29-39 (New International Version)
Jesus Heals Many
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
This peaceful hymn, based on Psalm 46:10, encourages us all to be still and silent before the Lord. If we stop what we are doing and acknowledge our Lord and Saviour, we will know and feel His presence every day in our lives. Shalom.