FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

SUNDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2024

Mark 1 Inspirational Images

OPENING SENTENCE OF SCRIPTURE

Sing praises to our God who heals the broken hearted.

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

God is love and we are God’s children. There is no room for fear in love. We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

SILENCE

God our Father,

we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Billy Dewar Riddick

COLLECT

O Lord,

watch over your household with constant love:

that, supported, by you alone,

we may always stand firm in your protection;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING
ISAIAH 40:21-31
read by Annette Beagrie

Isaiah 40:21-31 – I Believe: in God the Father – Shatin Anglican Church

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?
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,

who brings princes to naught
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

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.

To whom, then, will you compare me,
 or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
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.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
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.
He gives power to the faint
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted,
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.

Reflection on Isaiah 40:21-31 | New Life Narrabri

SILENCE

SECOND READING
1 CORINTHIANS 9:16-23
read by Kay Solaja

If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a wage, but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.  What then is my wage? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

Daily Verse Reading – 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 | Daily Bible Readings

For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might gain all the more.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to gain Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not outside God’s law but am within Christ’s law) so that I might gain those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might, by all means, save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I might become a partner in it.

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL READING
MARK 1:29-39
read by Rev Steven Ballard

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 1 beginning at verse 29

Glory to Christ our Saviour

Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed by demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. 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.

Mark 1:29-39 Reflection: Jesus Heals Simon's Mother-in-law

A Preaching Tour in Galilee

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also, for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout all Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord.

SERMON

A psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching about frenetic living and stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students.  As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.  Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?” Students shouted out different answers.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter.  It all depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light.  If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little.  If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.  In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

Stress and the glass of water - BelievePerform - The UK's leading Sports  Psychology Website

As the class nodded their heads in agreement, she continued, “stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.  Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries.  No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you.  If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.

That is the challenge for all of us. The more frenetic our lives the greater our stresses and worries. Most people today live such frenetic lives in a hi-tech, fast pace, workaholic world where no one rests. We are constantly on the road, running errands, going places. We stuff ourselves with “fast food,” overbook our lives with a myriad of things to do, and at the end of the day we are totally exhausted. We live by the clock. We are controlled by the need to produce. Time is money: time is how we keep in control of our lives. We resist quiet time by keeping the radios, televisions, and computers on. The very thought of being alone, praying, scares many people. We want professionals to do that for us. We haven’t learned that relaxation and mediation breaks will empower us to do even greater things. Thus, we continue to be busy. Consequently, we are on a path to self-destruction, unable to help others, let alone help ourselves and so we burnout.

What is burnout? | McKinsey

Burnout is not a respecter of persons. It occurs in people in all walks of life. Doctors, teachers, nurses, bus drivers, students, computer analysts, and musicians- all can experience burnout syndrome. Burnout occurs in young and old alike. Social and financial status has no bearing on the probability of becoming burnout.

Most people experiencing burnout do not have a history of emotional or mental disturbances. They are neither neurotic nor psychotic as we would medically define those terms. But all people suffering from burn out are hurting emotionally, and psychologically and usually spiritually. One of the greatest tragedies of burnout is that it strikes our most productive people, as it tends to strike high achievement and goal orientated people.

This frenetic living of today’s culture is not new, in Jesus time it was there too, albeit it differently. Jesus was in constant demand to heal and to teach “they are all searching for you”. Jesus was sought out by his disciples to come and to continue ministering to the sick and needy. All of Jesus’ time and energy could easily have been consumed in reaching out to the brokenness in the world- in healing the sick and diseased. There was an expectation in Jesus’ disciples and in the people themselves of Jesus’ continuing to serve the sick in Capernaum –we are told that whole crowds gathered expecting Jesus to meet their needs. It would have been easy for Jesus to give in to this temptation, but Jesus knew when to put the glass down and to take time out. We read that early in the morning and after sunset Jesus sought time alone with his Father- that time was the most crucial to his health and ministry. Jesus knew how to slow down and how to incorporate good rhythms of prayer into his life.

Jesus was well aware that hurriedness and busyness are the greatest barriers to spiritual life. If business and hurry are the biggest threat to our spiritual life, then silence and solitude are perhaps the most effective practices antidotes to busyness and hurry. Silence and solitude force us to learn how to value unproductive time at least in the way we normally measure productivity! The 17th Century philosopher Blaise Pascal made an interesting comment about this: He said: “All the unhappiness of humanity arises from one single fact that they cannot stay quietly in their own room.”

Jesus' Rhythm of Life - Soul Shepherding

The problem is silence and solitude are two of the most difficult and counter-cultural spiritual disciplines today for Christians to regularly observe and incorporate into their rhythm of life. Again, because they force us to value unproductive time! But the point is that, for many of us, being alone with our thoughts, and being still long enough to get to a point where we’re not the ones talking anymore, or the voice in our head isn’t running the show anymore — is not something that most of us feel good at. So, it’s going to take special intentionality if we want any chance of implement a practice of this in our lives.

Looking at our gospel reading again it says that Jesus woke up early and went to a solitary place to pray, what was Jesus doing? He was with the crowds-healing them, greeting them, casting out demons, preaching about the coming of the Kingdom of God! So, Jesus was in an activist mode, if you like. He engaged the world publicly and socially and was with the people. He was among them and thrown into the mess of their lives.

So, we have to first recognize, that when we’re talking about silence and solitude, it’s always in the context of a rhythm of life. Jesus knew how to order his rhythm of life. He knew when to say no. He knew when enough was enough, when he needed to rest, and when he had expended his energy — physically, emotionally, spiritually. He knew how important it was for him to be with God and be renewed in his perspective, focus and energy.

In this short cameo in Jesus’ life, we get a glimpse of his humanity. He moved from community to solitude, back to community, then back to solitude. He moved from engagement to silence, back to engagement, then back to silence. And again, and again this rhythm repeats itself- because it’s one that Jesus realised was vital. And we see this throughout the gospels — not just in this one passage. Solitude, silence, and prayer were integral to Jesus and his ministry, and we are invited today to make them integral in our own lives. They are vital to our spiritual health and well- being.

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer discusses the importance of “The Day Together” as well as “The Day Alone” — how both are essential for spiritual success. He writes: “Let him who cannot be alone beware of community . . . let him who is not in community beware of being alone . . . Each by itself has profound pitfalls and perils. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair.”

dietrich bonhoeffer quotes christian community life together | Bonhoeffer, Dietrich  bonhoeffer, Dietrich bonhoeffer quotes

Martin Luther is famous for saying: I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer, in order to be able to get it all done. And I don’t know what Luther did for three hours during his prayer time, and I’m not saying you need to do that, but one thing I do know — I strongly doubt that he was the one talking for all of those three hours. Almost certainly, he was listening. Almost certainly, there was deep silence during that time.

Deep calls to deep says the psalmist and I know that silence allows the still small voice to be heard and for God to work at a deeper level in our lives. Not only is silence and solitude key in prayer but also in our daily living. Even just the daily demands put a burden on the high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving parts of our brain. As a result, our brain energy gets drained, which makes us distracted and fatigued. We can’t focus or be creative, and so sleep alone, though it’s critical, doesn’t entirely relieve us of this burden. We need silence.

Silence is good for you — it’s good for your brain. It relieves tension and stress. In silence, even just the quiet and stillness you find when going for walk allows your brain to let down its sensory guard, so to speak. A study at Duke University Medical Centre confirmed that silence regenerates blood cells, and extended and regular periods of silence can even help treat and prevent mental illness.

Deep Calls Unto Deep - lagu dan lirik oleh Debra Marie | Spotify

I am no health expert so I do not know for certain if the study I just mentioned is accurate or not but what I’ve found from my own experience is that when I sit long enough without doing anything, without planning anything, and without analysing anything, and simply pray, I discover that I am less driven by or addicted to noise, words, people, and performance and more called to be. It forces me to trust God! It encourages me to release my own agendas and control, and it makes room for God to act and speak.

Whatever we do in prayer and whenever we do it Jesus is setting the model example for us to carve out space in our lives to meet God on our own in silence and prayer. He is encouraging us to develop good rhythms in our lives- to allow us to be more in tune with his will and purposes and to enable us to serve him better. Also Jesus is reminding us in our frenetic lives with all its stresses and strains to stop- take timeout to rest in the quiet and solitude with God and discover as it says in the book of Isaiah ‘ in quietness and confidence shall be your strength and also those who wait on the lord will renew their strength.” Amen

THE CREED

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayer Requests – Baildon Methodist Church

PRAYERS

God of goodness,

set our restless hearts

at ease in your love.

Help us to place our trust

in your grace and mercy alone.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness,

in our frenetic lifestyles

help us to imitate your Son, Jesus,

in his rhythm of life.

May we find strength in you

in the silence and solitude.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you became one of us

in Christ your Son, our Servant King.

Fill us with Christ’s spirit of humility

that we might willing serve all people,

no matter their colour, race, or status

with your love and grace.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

What does the Bible mean by "peace"?

God of goodness, you desire peace in your world.

We pray for peace in our communities this day.
We commit to you all who work for peace,

and an end to tensions,
and those who work to uphold law and justice.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you know

that we live in disturbing times

across the world with prices rising
debts increasing, markets in turmoil,
jobs taken away, and fragile security under threat.
Loving God, meet us in our fear,
be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,
and a light in the darkness.

A light to scatter the darkness - Jodie Berndt

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, make our homes,

places of love and growth,

welcoming to all who visit

accepting and forgiving of all

who are nurtured there.

Help us to work through disagreements and heartaches

and grant us the grace at all times

to respect and honour one another.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, your love sees our strengths and weaknesses

draw near to those who are weak in body, mind or spirit.

Grant them your healing touch,

your loving companionship

and your comforting and strengthening power.

Help us to be more ready

to support and befriend one another

through the difficult times.

God our strength

We put our trust in you.

Your sorrow is only for a season — DesireJesus.com

God of goodness, you know our hearts,

you feel our pain and share our sorrows.
We are hurt by our parting

from those whom we loved:
when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,
when we long for words of comfort,
yet find them hard to hear,
turn our grief to truer living,
our affliction to firmer hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

800 Peace wallpapers ideas | peace, peace and love, peace sign art

God of goodness we lift to you

the heartache that is in our world,

thinking especially of the war-torn communities

in Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Yemen, and Ukraine.

Lord come and restore these lands

and bring peace and healing.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness

deliver us from all that hinders our spiritual growth

increase in us your heart of love,

empower us to be humble servants.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those+

who sin against us.

Do not bring us

to the time of trial+

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Elevation Worship - The Blessing (Lyrics) ft. Kari Jobe & Cody ...

BLESSING

Christ the Son of God gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

HYMN

DISMISSAL

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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St John's Church

1 day 4 hours ago

Everyone is very welcome to come along to Choral Evensong for Lent, this coming Sunday 3rd March, 6pm, at St John’s Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW, sung by the

St John's Church

1 day 4 hours ago

Everyone is very welcome to come along to Choral Evensong for Lent, this coming Sunday 3rd March, 6pm, at St John's Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW, sung by the

St John's Church

6 days 4 hours ago

Sunday 25th February 2024 is our Eucharistic Service at 11:00am! You are most welcome to come along to our service. Be great to see you! Contemporary service is on Sunday

St John's Church

6 days 6 hours ago

Booking is necessary to attend the Pamper Session on Thursday 14th March starting at 3.45pm until 6pm, in St John’s Church Hall, Lovers’ Walk, Dumfries, DG1 1LW. For more information