getting out the WORD - the 4th sunday after epiphany PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Compassionate God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. Bring wholeness to all that is broken and speak truth to us in our confusion, that all creation will see and know your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."

Mark 1:21-28

the DEVOTION...
There's nothing wrong with a little confidence. Standing tall! Head high! Looking life in the eye! After all, that's a big part of believing. "A living, daring confidence in god's grace," Luther calls it! But over the years, I've come to appreciate a little humility, as well. Like Paul's advice to the church, about working out their salvation with fear and trembling.

As Christians, it's easy to become a little too full of ourselves. Sanctimonious. Self-righteous. Pointing fingers. Looking down on. After all, we are the church, aren't we? Called! Gathered! Enlightened! Holy! Then, just a couple of dozen verses into the gospel, there's this...

Jesus has been baptized, tempted. He's called his first followers. Now, he enters the synagogue, wows the congregation, and this man stands up! "Who do you think you are," he asks. Not an outsider, not one of "them," but one of "us!" And here in the synagogue, of all places! The first opposition to Jesus' message appears in the midst of the very people you'd think would - should - know better! Sure, it's good to be confident. But a little fear and trembling? That's not bad, either!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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