Sunday, January 31, 2021

Time in the Word - Epiphany 5

Time in the Word
 February 1-6, 2021
Preparation for next week, The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Healing for a Suffering Humanity

Sunday’s  readings give the seamy side of life. Life can be rough and tough. Suffering, hardship, and adversity are facts of life. This is illustrated in the prayer offered in the Introit for the week. The Gospel tells us of Jesus healing physical and mental diseases resulting in “Every one is searching for you.” (v.37)  Paul becomes all things to all men in whatever condition they are in – “those under the law,” “outside the law,” and “weak” in order to win them for Christ. In Epiphany we see the glory of God in Christ as the healer of suffering humanity. 

Collect for Epiphany 5O Lord, keep Your family the Church continually in the true faith that, relying on the hope of Your heavenly grace, we may ever be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Morning Prayer Reading Schedule

February  1 Monday 88 Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter
February  2 Tuesday 89 Jesus heals a woman
February  3 Wednesday   Chapel
February  4 Thursday 90 Jesus raises a widow’s son
February  5 Friday 91 The faith of a Centurion

Catechism Review: "What is the Sacrament of the Altar?" & "Where is this this written?"

Daily let pray-

Sunday – For the joy of the resurrection among us; for the fruit of faith nourished by the Word and Sacraments

Monday- For faith to live in the promises of Holy Baptism; for one’s calling and daily work; for the unemployed; for the salvation and well-being of our neighbors; for schools,, colleges, and seminaries; for good government and for peace;

Tuesday – For deliverance against temptation and evil; for the addicted and despairing, the tortured and oppressed; for those struggling with sin.

Wednesday – For marriage and family, tht husbands and wives, parents and children lives in ordered harmony according to the Word of God; for parents who must raise children alone; for our communities and neighborhoods.

Thursday – For the church and her pastors; for teachers, deaconesses, and other church workers; for missionaries and for all who serve the Church; for fruitful and salutary use of the blessed Sacrament of Christ’ body and blood.

Friday – For the preaching of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the spread of His knowledge throughout the whole world; for the persecuted and oppressed; for the sick and dying. 

Saturday – For faithfulness to the end; for the renewal of those who are withering in the faith or have fallen away; for receptive hearts and minds to god’s Word on the Lord’s Day; for pastors and people as the prepared to administer and receive Christ’s holy gifts.

Monday, 01  February 2021Psalm 13:3–5; antiphon, Psalm 13:6—This psalm of David reflects the believer’s trust in the Lord to deliver him from the tribulations of this world. When we are in misery, the psalm encourages us with the good news that the Lord has accomplished the salvation of those who trust in Him (v. 5). Our response, then, is reflected in the antiphon: I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Tuesday, 02 February  2021Psalm 147:1–11—This is a song of praise to the greatness of the Lord, who manifests His greatness not just in mighty works, such as determining the number of stars, and giving them all their names, but especially because of His steadfast love which causes Him to heal the brokenhearted and lift up the humble. For this reason, it is no chore to sing praises to Him, but it is good to sing praises to our God, for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

Wednesday, 03 February 2011Isaiah 40:21–31—This is part of a larger section in which the Lord directs Isaiah to Comfort, comfort My people (Isa 40:1) with the good news of forgiveness of sins. This portion tells us that nothing can stand in the way of the Lord and His plan of salvation. He brings those who would oppose Him to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. There can be no doubt that He will accomplish that which He promises, for the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary. When our human frailness would cause us to despair, we take comfort that He gives power to the faint and that they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.

Thursday, 04 February 2021—1 Corinthians 9:16–27—St Paul boasts, not of himself, but of the Gospel. What a privilege it is for him, and all of us, to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus! He cannot but go out to all—Jew, Gentile, weak, strong—and proclaim the forgiveness that belongs to all men through the merits of Christ.

Out of divine necessity Paul preaches, and to win people to Christ he identifies with them.  In this chapter Paul defends his ministry against those who condemn him for not taking pay from his churches, for”the laborer is worthy of his hire.” Paul was economically independent by working as a tent-maker. Paul explains that he preaches out of necessity, for he was called to preach. He performs out of this commission and not for monetary remuneration.  This had made him free from being obligated to men and made him free to be all things to all men in the hope of winning them to Christ. 

Friday, 05 February 2021Mark 1:29–39—The Epiphany—manifestation— of our Lord continues as Jesus makes known who He is by demonstrating His authority.

Last week, He showed that He has authority over the unclean spirits; this week, He demonstrates His authority also over sickness and disease. He does His proper work, delivering people from the effects of sin. By healing diseases and casting out demons, He foreshadows His eventual defeat of the power of sin and the devil by His death at Calvary.

Everyone searches for Jesus because he heals all kinds of diseases. Jesus begins His public ministry with healing both physical and mental illnesses. He does not allow the demons to reveal His divine identity. This is a messianic secret until, at the cross, the centurion confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Several of the Disciples want Jesus to return to Capernaum from His place of prayer to heal, but Jesus wants to move on to other areas of Galilee. 

Did Jesus heal the woman to get service from her? At once Peter’s mother-in-law got busy waiting on them – a meal perhaps? It was a normal response to being helped and healed. Service is the result of gratitude for service rendered. Service flowing from love is service with love and a smile.

Strange, isn’t it, that only the demons know who Jesus was. Jesus ordered them to keep silence as to His identity. He wanted the people to discover for themselves who He was. The secret was revealed at Calvary when the Centurion saw He was the Son of God. 

The Disciples told Jesus that everyone was searching for Him in Capernaum because of His healing. Would that it were true that all people were searching for Jesus! And searching for Him for the right reason! They wanted Him as a healer only. Jesus says He came not primarily to heal but to preach – “that is why I came out.”

Saturday, 06 February 2021—The hymn of the day, Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (LSB 398), is a fitting hymn of praise to the Son of God made flesh and anointed at His Baptism. Especially in stanza 2, it recounts His coming to heal those beset by the consequence of sin in the world. But more than providing just physical relief, He comes that their darkness turn to light, to relieve us from the eternal consequences of sin.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John Brokhoff © 1980 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
Image: Luther's Seal  Ed Riojas © Higher Things

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