Sunday, January 28, 2018 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany / Lectionary 4 Introduction
In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses, who will speak for God; in Psalm 111 God shows the people the power of God’s works. For the church these are ways of pointing to the unique authority people sensed in Jesus’ actions and words. We encounter that authority in God’s word, around which we gather, the word that trumps any lesser spirit that would claim power over us, freeing us to follow Jesus.
Prayer of the Day
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. Amen.
First Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Today’s reading is part of a longer discourse in Deuteronomy, an updating of the law for the Israelite community as the people wait to enter the promised land. Here Moses assures the people that God will continue to guide them through prophets who will proclaim the divine word.
Psalm: Psalm 111
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Ps. 111:10)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Paul is concerned about how some Corinthian Christians use their freedom in Christ as license to engage in non-Christian behavior that sets a damaging example to other, impressionable, believers. Christians have a responsibility to each other that their behavior does not cause a sister or brother to sin.
Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
The story has barely begun, and already the battle is joined. Jesus sides with humanity against every force that would bring death and disease. These forces recognize Jesus and know what his power means for them. This, however, is only the first fight. The war will go on much longer.