February 4, 2024 - Home Worship

For the week of February 4 – 5th Sunday after the Epiphany

Morning prayer: Everlasting God, You give strength to the powerless and power to the faint; You raise up the sick and cast out demons. Make us agents of healing and wholeness, that Your good news may be made known to the ends of Your creation. Amen. (Lectionary Prayers)

Hymn #57 O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, verses 1-5, 7

  1. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
    the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!
  2. My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
    to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of Thy name.
  3. Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease;
    'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life, and health, and peace.
  4. He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free;
    His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.
  5. He speaks, and listening to His voice, new life the dead receive;
    the mournful, broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe.
  1. In Christ, your head, you then shall know, shall feel your sins forgiven;
    anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven.

Psalm 147:1-5

147:1 Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

147:2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

147:3 He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

147:4 He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names.

147:5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.

Children’s Time Isaiah 40:28-31

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.

Children’s Message

No matter what age we are, there are times when we are very tired. Sometimes it is physically tired, like when we play on a sports team and we have a hard game. Our bodies get exhausted. Our legs and feet may hurt. Our arms may feel like rubber bands. We gave everything we had on the field and now we are spent. It can happen after working all day too. Our jobs may require standing for long periods of time or carrying heavy boxes. There are a lot of examples we can use to describe and understand being tired in our bodies. Sometimes, it is our brains that get tired. We may have had a long day of taking tests or working on the computer or driving all day. Other times, it may be that everything is going wrong and we get overwhelmed by our emotions and we become emotionally tired.

When we are tired, we don’t always make our best decisions. When we are tired we can’t always keep promises or fulfill our commitments. It is part of our human condition. We aren’t at our best when we are tired.

The wonderful news for us today is that God doesn’t get tired. God doesn’t have off days and is constant and consistent, something we can only hope to be. This is why we can entrust everything to God. We can trust God will be God every minute of every hour, day after day after day. As God was in the very beginning, God will always be, always.

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those dear to our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us, not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight: Founded in 1990 as a pre-Super Bowl fundraiser for food banks and pantries across the nation, The Soup-er Bowl of Caring Tackles Hunger.  Soup-er Bowl of Caring collection:  108 food items.  $265.10 cash.  These benefit the Blessings Box and John Buck Food Bank. 

Offering prayer: God of power and patience, we gather in worship to wait on Your presence and to be filled with Your power. Jesus healed with a touch and taught us that You are the source of the true healing that can make us whole. As we take time now in worship to offer our gifts to You, we pray that they might be used to bring healing: of body, of spirit, of broken relationships; healing of a planet that is groaning under our carelessness and greed; healing of a world community that is deeply divided by distrust and self-interest. We pray this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn of preparation: #395 Take Time to Be Holy

  1. Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

abide in Him always, and feed on His word.
Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

  1. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
    By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;

thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

  1. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide, and run not before Him, whatever betide.
    In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, and, looking to Jesus, still trust in His word.
  2. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,

each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His spirit to fountains of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Message Scripture:  Mark 1:29-39

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 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 neighboring 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.

Message:                                 Pastor Becky

The healing in the synagogue and the healings at Simon Peter’s house all happened on the same day! It is incredible to think about how busy Jesus was that one day. He had been teaching. He was healing. He was casting out demons. Capernaum was a buzz with the word of Jesus.

The people were astounded, “Jesus teaches with authority, He casts out unclean spirits, and He heals! Is there anything Jesus can’t do?” Have we ever in our lives become caught up like those in Capernaum that day? The cure to all that ails them body, soul, and mind is at Simon Peter’s house. The One the prophets spoke of, now is in their midst… The waiting is over and the Kingdom is breaking in to their lives.

We know they are sensing it, because when Jesus slips away to pray, His disciples go looking for Him. This looking isn’t a leisurely game of hide and seek. They are pursuing Him, like one hunts for prey. They are on a mission to find Him and when they do, they proclaim “Everyone is searching for You.”

It’s the truth! Once the people of Capernaum are introduced to Jesus and have experienced Jesus’ presence, they want more. More time with Him, more healings, more teachings, they want more of Jesus. I’m sure as the disciples were looking for Him, others were continuing to gather at Simon Peter’s house. Jesus healed the entire community with His presence, not just the individual needs, but the community entirely. He set them on the path of healing. Once exposed to Jesus, Capernaum became a place of healing. It is remembered in our hearing today as it has been remembered in the stories since the day the healing began.

Yet, this healing couldn’t be contained to merely this Galilean community. It was a great place to start, but it has to continue, because the words of the disciples still ring true: Everyone is searching for Jesus. Jesus knew this too and moved them along to the neighboring towns and Lightstreet is a neighboring town.

Now, I fully realize that geographically Lightstreet is nowhere near Capernaum. If you put Capernaum in your Google Maps application on your phone, you will get the message: can’t find a way there, try again. There are 5745 miles between here and there, yet.

Everyone in Capernaum on that day and everyone in Lightstreet this day are searching for Jesus. This makes us neighbors. We take our cue from Jesus directly; let us go, because all need to hear the message. Jesus’ message of healing, redemption, love, forgiveness, and salvation. This is how we love God, worship God, and honor God – by being the neighboring town searching for Jesus.

In our hearts and minds, we have experienced Jesus and we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. We know the power the Holy Spirit gives us for sustaining and maintaining our lives. It is what we call faith. It is the peace and joy we rest in and have our being, yet Jesus is still calling and He is in the world. He is looking for us to see Him in those living in the margins, those who have lost hope, those who are misunderstood and unaccepted by the world. Jesus is leading us to them. All so we may encounter Jesus in them and that they may encounter Jesus in us because we are neighbors, and we are to love our neighbors.

Closing Hymn: #526 What a Friend We Have in Jesus

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! 

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

     All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

  1. Have we trials and temptations?  Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer.

     Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

  1. Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? 

Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.

     Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?  Take it to the Lord in prayer! 

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.

Go into your week with the blessings of The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.