The scope and meaning of God’s authority
Collect: Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Deuteronomy 18:15-20 . . . Moses encourages the people to listen to God’s prophet and thus heed God’s word.
Psalm 111 . . . The Path of Virtue
1 Corinthians 8:1-13 . . . Paul explains that true obedience to the law will be balanced by love and compassion.
Mark 1:21-28 . . . Jesus demonstrates his divine authority by healing a man with an unclean spirit.
Sermon The Rev. Rachel May, Pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon called “Even the Demons” based on the Gospel text from Mark 1:21-28. She says, “You’ve been there. Someone–maybe it’s you–grows quiet at the supper table because they don’t feel like they know enough to join the discussion. For all the noise out there, there are still some things you and I don’t talk about because the second we try, we feel well outside our wheelhouse.” Exorcism, for example. What do we know about that? And why, in this modern world, would it matter?