112 West Peters Street Owensville, Missouri 65066
February 7, 2021 9am and Livestream
The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
*Opening Video: God is Holding Your Life
Moment of Silence
*Opening Collect Prayer
One: Healing God,
You are working to bind up the wounds of the world.
Open us this day to be your hands and feet for a suffering people,
so that we might make a difference right where we are,
contributing to your reign on earth as it is in heaven.
Many: We praise you for the strength to persevere,
holding our lives together in love. Amen.
Passing of the Peace (Smile and wave to those around you.)
21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23 who brings princes to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25 To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Psalm 147:1–11, 20c
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Sermon: What Works? God Works.
At times we feel as though we are living in a world where nothing works as it should. The television show Saturday Night Live reflected this feeling in the opening skit on their January 30 show. Kate McKinnon pretended to host a talk show called “What Still Works”. In this skit she interviewed different cast members playing people from areas of our life that we expect to work: the government, the stock market, social media, the Covid vaccine rollout and NFL football. The dialogue was typical SNL satire in a funny, but sadly true way. Conclusion the only thing in our country that still works as expected is Tom Brady who keeps winning football games. (Of course, we who are Chiefs fans are hoping that Patrick Mahomes proves to be the winning quarterback this Sunday.)
The people to whom God speaks to in Isaiah 40 are feeling the same way. Nothing is working the way that they expected. Their nation has fallen to foreign adversaries. The leadership is in exile. Their homeland is in ruins. Nothing seems to work, and hope is dying in their hearts. God has and answer to these laments. God still works!
God is still in charge of the world. The things that have been failing are of human making and humans on their own fail. God’s strength is not in political power or economic might. God is the one who strengthens the weary and lifts up the downtrodden. Psalm 147 tells us how God cares for the world. God heals the wounded, binds up the broken hearted and feeds the animals. God is not in the strength of the athlete, but in those who hold God in love and awe. Praise be to God!
Jesus embodies the caring love of God’s awesome power. Jesus demonstrates this God way of being in his life. Jesus came not be a celebrity, but a servant. Jesus heals, prays and teaches. In our Gospel lesson Jesus heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. She understands the call to serve like Jesus and does so after being raised up from her sick bed.
Jesus reminds us to take time to praise God publicly and in quiet time. Quiet time as the children’s message points out is necessary to heal our weary souls.
When the disciples find Jesus, they tell him that everyone is looking for him Jesus could have been a minor celebrity in Capernaum, but that is not God’s way. Jesus lives out servant leadership and leaves for other towns to share the good news. Jesus as God’s son shares the good news, binds up the wounded and heals the broken hearted in loving service. This is how God works. What works in this troubled world? God works!
Prayers of the People
God who works for good in this world. When we become downhearted remind us of the good which you do in this world. When we are troubled that this world is not working remind us that you are still at work in this world. When we are disappointed in the cult of celebrity in our earthly leaders remind our hearts that you call us to be servants just as Jesus came to serve.
Jesus came to heal and forgive. We pray for healing for a troubled world. We pray for forgiveness for ourselves and to have hearts that seek to heal and forgive.
May we live in your grace. Amen.
Silent Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer
Simon, Howard, Julia, Ahna, Mike, Josh, Priscilla, Duane, Janet, Grandpa David, Jacob, Jenny, Ann, Dale, Gayle, Don, Cheryl, Dustin, Pat, Student with eating disorder, Tate, Patricia, Roland, Aryanna, Amanda, Virginia, Matthew, Tom, Naomi, Vic, Jennelle, Charlie, James, Rick, Christy, Reagan, Kim, Lee, Kevin, Gaylynn, Liz’s sister in law, Nathan, Jason, Cheryl, Daniel, Betty, Dax, Carter, Jock, Nancy, Pat, Malachi and Karen, Carolyn, Ellen, Shirley, Mary, Karen, Paul, Hal, Richard, Crystal, Edie, Paula, Jim, Judy, Laura F, Shirley, Butch, Joyce., Marcie, Michel, Dorothy L, Corey, Lauren, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Bernice, Mike, Gary S., Linda, Pat, Gary, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Breana, Dean, Jeff, Terry, Bev, Angie, Mark, Mamie, Dave, Anna, Ruth, Louise, Jim L., Peggy, youth struggling with mental health issues, Shawn, Lindsey, Sue, Janet, Diann, Danna, Janet, Lisa, Joyce and Cheyenne.
Prayer of Dedication see bulletin.
Practice of a Holy Meal
Gather some bread and wine/juice to have a holy meal at home.
Prayer of Confession
God, we confess that we do not always trust in Your power and grace in our lives. We choose to trust in human power and institutions which often fail. Forgive our lack of faith. Often, we do things that hurt others and ourselves. Forgive us when we damage relationships. Strengthen our belief and forgive our unbelief. Help us to live in loving relationship. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Be assured through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ that you are loved and forgiven. Amen.
Read Mark 14:22-26
Sharing you meal of thanksgiving
Take your bread and juice. Thank God for this meal and all the blessings which you have in your life. Eat your bread and drink you juice.
Say a prayer of thanks for sharing in this meal. Consider sharing this blessing with others.
Going Forth: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”
*Benediction God is holding your life even as we hold each other. You are not alone. You are loved. Amen.
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*© Worship Design Studio/ God is Holding Your Life Series, Used with Permission