Stronger than demons

The Celebration of the Gospel
January 28, 2018 — Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

 He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him!.
 —Mark 1.27

  ________ We Gather as the Body of Christ______


PRELUDE      All Creatures Of Our God And King   arr: Ken Medena

[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.

Leader:  Creating God, you made us in the image of your good love. You know what is in us.
All:  We open our hearts to your grace.
Loving Christ, you reach out to us with tender mercy and healing.  You set us free.
We open our hearts to your grace.
Life-giving Spirit, you fill us with your mercy and power. You bear us on a journey of grace.
We open our hearts to your grace.
Heal us, and make us a healing people,
in the name of Christ and the power of your Spirit.  Amen.

* SONG     You Are My hiding Place   Black hymnal # 2055

____________We Attend to the Word__________


There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole,
there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG     Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether   Harold W. Friedell

Pastor:   The grace of God is with you.
Congregation: And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, we open ourselves in honesty to God.
God of love, many spirits inhabit our hearts.
Help us see the loving ones and the fearful ones.
Heal us of our fears, forgive our sins,
and make us whole in your Spirit.
RESPONSE      Nothing Can Trouble     Black hymnal  #2054

Healing God, we are a broken people.  Only your Word of grace can make us whole.  Speak your grace to us.  Let your healing power enter us, change us, and set us free, free to be who you create us to be, free to love, free to live joyfully..  We pray in the name and Spirit of Christ.  Amen.

[Jeremiah 17.9-14 and Psalm 6 are both pleas for healing, trusting in God’s power.]

The heart is more devious than anything. It is perverse— who can understand it?  “I the Holy One test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.” Like the mockingbird hatching what it did not lay, so are all who amass wealth unjustly; in mid-life it will leave them, and at their end they will prove to be fools.

O glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, shrine of our sanctuary! O hope of Israel! O Holy One! All who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be recorded in the underworld, for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the Lord. Heal me, O Gracious One, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for you are my praise.

PSALTER   Psalm  6

Sung Response:  There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul.

O God, my suffering is not your rebuke,
it is not your discipline, or your wrath.
Be gracious to me, Holy One, for I am languishing;
O Love, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

My soul also is struck with terror,
while you, O God—how long?
Turn, O Mystery, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who can give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eyes waste away because of grief;

they grow weak because of all my troubles.
Depart from me, all you spirits of evil,
for God has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Holy One has heard my supplication;
the Healer accepts my prayer.
All my troubles shall be confounded;
the spirit of fear in me shall itself flee in fear;
the voice that shames me shall itself be ashamed and go away.

GOSPEL          Mark 1.21-28
[Jesus drives out an “unclean” spirit, not only restoring the man to health and religious and social standing, but also attacking the powers of evil—which the spirit recognizes.  This action is a teaching that has authority and power that mere words don’t have.]

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 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.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.


SONG    Silence, Frenzied, Unclean Spirit   Blue  hymnal # 264

[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

SONG    Heal Me, Hands of Jesus   Blue hymnal # 262

______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____

Near To The Heart Of God / Children Of The Heavenly Father   Tune: McAFEE / Traditional Swedish, arr: Brant Adams (Marie Machacek, Trombone)

OFFERING SONG    Doxology   Blue hymnal  # 94

Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will.  You heal us by your grace; now send us out to heal, in the name of Christ and the grace and power of your Spirit. Amen.


SONG    Eagle’s Wings   Blue hymnal #143

RESPONSE    We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

The Church’s One Foundation    Tune: AURELIA, arr: David Cherwien

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]



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