The Story for the
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
February 7, 2021
prepared by the Rev’d Rhonda Waters
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 Jesus 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 sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with 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.
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 Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Something to Do
The whole city gathered around the door
Our city – and everyone’s city – is in desperate need of healing. Stand on the doorstep of your home or your apartment building and hold the city up in prayer. Use these words or find or your own or simple stand in silent love.
Lord Jesus Christ, you looked with compassion on all who came to you. Send your Spirit on this city and fill it with your peace. Strengthen the healers, comfort the sorrowful, soothe the sick, raise up the weary, and free us from all fear. Amen.
Everyone is searching for you
Go on a hunt for Jesus this week. Find him in the workers doing their jobs under difficult circumstances; in the masked faces on the street; in caregivers; in people receiving care; in people sitting on sidewalks as others walk by; in the people who share your life most intimately.
Something to Wonder
In the morning, while it was still dark
Imagine yourself into Jesus’ head. Mark is describing the early days (weeks?) of his public ministry. He has come back from his time of testing in the wilderness, gathered his first four disciples and seems to have become very well-known very quickly. Seekers – for teaching, for healing, for salvation – have come from all over.
And now Jesus has gotten up while it was still dark and slipped out on his own. Why was he up so early – was he unable to sleep or did he set a 1st century alarm or was he just an early riser? How was he feeling? What did he say to God during that quiet time?
Consider taking the time to actually write your thoughts down.
Let us go on to the neighbouring towns
Although most of us don’t live on the road the way Jesus did during his teaching ministry, many of us have lived in a variety of places – whether different towns and cities or simply different neighbourhoods.
How would you tell the story of your faith through those places. What did God teach you in each place? What opportunities for serving God did you find? What questions were raised for you? How was the kingdom revealed? How do you continue to carry each place with you?
Something to Learn
Praying the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours is a daily pattern of prayer that marks the passing of the day though 7 times of prayer – sanctifying the whole day and infusing it with prayer.
Vigils (Midnight or later) Waiting and reverie
Lauds (4-5 am or daybreak) Waking
Prime (6 am) Beginning
Terce (9 am) Doing
Sext (Noon) Pausing
None (3 pm) Doing
Vespers (Sunset) Ending
Compline (Bedtime) Surrendering
Learn more about this ancient practice and ways to incorporate it into your own prayer practice.
Praying the Hours: Reclaiming my time
Explore the Divine Hours: a complete guide to the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.