Lectionary -- Epiphany 4 (Ordinary 4) Year B

Deut 18:15-20 Accepting a true prophet
Psalm 111 Praise the Lord! ... the beginning of wisdom
1 Corinthians 8:1-13 ... a stumbling block to the weak
Mark 1:21-28 He spoke with authority

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Suggested Hymns from Dennis Towner
(TIS = Together in Song; AHB = The Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

Deuteronomy 18: 15-20
A lamp for our feet has been given AHB.341
God has spoken by his prophets TIS.158 AHB.92
Guide me, O my great Redeemer TIS.569 AHB.478
Lord, your word abiding TIS.427 AHB.333

Psalm 111
Praise our God, the great creator TIS.165 AHB.110
Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord TIS.68

1 Corinthians 8: 1-13
All creatures of our God and king TIS.100 AHB.3
Be thou my vision TIS.547 AHB.455
Christ is the world's light, he and none other TIS.246 AHB.191
The law of Christ alone can make us free TIS.630 AHB.554
We all believe in God who made TIS.435 LH.42

Mark 1: 21-28
Dear Lord, for all in pain TIS.612
Jesus!, the name high over all TIS218 AHB.150
O Christ the healer, we have come TIS.638 SuppLH.815
Silence! frenzied, unclean spirit SFGP.74
The voice of God goes out to all the world TIS.282 SA.86
When Jesus came, the demons cried AT Again.146

Other possible hymns (SA and AHB numbers)
SA 14 Brother, sister, let me serve you
SA 39 God has spoken to his people
47 God himself is present
111 Sing, all creation, sing to God in gladness
112 God, who stretched the spangled heavens
141 O for a thousand tongues to sing
144 Ye servants of God
158 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
159 All hail the power of Jesus name
176 A man there lived in Galilee
189 We have the Gospel to proclaim
514 O Jesus I have promised
528 Make me a captive Lord
537 My the mind of Christ my saviour
573 Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

He taught with authority

They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching--with authority! -- Mark 1:27For us believers, acceptance of his authority follows from our acceptance of him as Lord, the Messiah, the holy one of God, the Word who was with God at the beginning, who was made flesh, who died a sacrificial death and whom God raised up and gave authority over everything in heaven and on earth. [Romans 9:10; Mark 8:29; Mark 1:24; John 1:1,14; Romans 5:8; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-20; Matthew 28:18.] But without faith, what are people to make of it; how are they to judge how well founded that authority is? You might then say, 'Who is he?', or even, 'Who does he think he is?' In the synagogue at there was no doubt in their experience that he was no ordinary teacher. They were amazed: (Mark 1:22). 

Our modern hang-up with authority

What a bag of trouble we have with the idea of authority! It is easy to go to extremes. Some people hate the very idea that any one or any power could ever tell them what to do. Yet any preacher who is prepared to teach with a certain kind of authority will have quite a good following in these uncertain times. But authoritarian attitudes tend to belittle the value of other persons, to divide the world into 'us' and 'them', and foster fear and hatred.

The biblical view

Only the demon in Mark's story was able to recognize him, for the power of evil knows its adversary, it knows that the time of its defeat and destruction has come. (Mark 1:26). There were then many examples of healing, because this is one of the ways of demonstrating Jesus' use of the power of the coming kingdom of God for the welfare of people who were suffering or oppressed. Then Jesus dares to forgive sins: (Mark 2:9-11). He had a special kind of inner authority, but is important to see that the source of his power, and our sharing in it, is God; even when that power becomes liberty for us. (Daniel 7:13-14; Matt 28:18; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 9:8; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 3:10; Jude 1:25)

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Order of Service -- Epiphany 4 (Ordinary 4) Year B

The Gathering of the People of God

 CALL TO WORSHIP Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 1:7
Let us praise the Lord: The Lord's name be praised

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.

HYMN God himself is present TIS 121 AHB 47

PRAYER OF ADORATION

CONFESSION [In three parts, concluding ...] Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. -- 1 Timothy 1:15
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Hymn: Praise God from whom all blessings flow. TIS 768 AHB 573

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME:
[FIRST READING Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Accepting a true prophet]
[PSALM 111 Praise the Lord! ... the beginning of wisdom]
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 ... a stumbling block to the weak
This the word of the Lord: Thanks be to God.

Choir: Create in us a clean heart, O God

GOSPEL Mark 1:21-28 He spoke with authority
This the gospel of the Lord: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

HYMN A man there lived in Galilee TIS 235 AHB176

SERMON

CREED [Nicene Creed at the back of the hymn book]

OFFERING
SHARING TIME [Notices, Celebrations and requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Father, we pray for the holy catholic Church;
that we all may be one.
Grant that every member of the church
may truly and humbly serve you;
that your name may be glorified by all people.
We pray for all ministers of the gospel;
that they may faithfully proclaim your Word
and administer your holy sacraments.

We pray for all who govern and hold authority
in the nations of the world;
that there may be justice and peace on the earth.
Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;
that our works may find favour in your sight.

Have compassion on those who suffer
from any grief or trouble;
that they may be delivered from their distress

We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;
may we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Let us pray for our community
for the life and worship of this congregation
and for those whose needs are known to us.....

Let us pray for ourselves.....

THE COLLECT FOR THE DAY
Father in heaven', you have shown us in Christ that your love for us is never-ending.
Enable us to love you with all our hearts and to love one another as Christ loves us.
He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Lord's Supper

THE PEACE
HYMN All hail the power of Jesus name. TIS 224 AHB 159

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn: [SA 100c and 100d]

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We thank you ....
[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of hymn book]
BREAKING THE BREAD
THE LAMB OF GOD [Choir: Sing Alleluia 100e]
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

COMMUNION
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 150 Jesus! the name high over all
WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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