Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Year B

Mark 1:21-28

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.

1:22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

1:23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit…

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Blessed? I don’t know about that.

A few years ago we ended up adopting an 18-year-old woman (we’ll call her Carla) into our family. She had been abused and rejected by her family — the stories were heartbreaking. We gave her a safe space to catch her breath and find stability. 

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Whose Voice?

Burning in our hearts is the desire to encounter and experience the Divine. We yearn for this encounter, even if we aren’t quite sure what to expect from it. Those who heard Jesus were no different. They all had the same response as he read from Isaiah … wonder and amazement, even awe.

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Be Silent O Unclean Spirit

In the text today, Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit and speaks truth with authority and authenticity to him. And it triggers his whole being, shaking him to his core. I know this shaking…

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Are you in or out?

Taking a deep breath, Jesus knows his proclamation will transform the cheering multitude in front of him into a mob of murderers behind him. He points to two stories that his audience would have known well.

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Exorcising bad Religion

Jesus does not shy away from conflict in Mark’s Gospel. He turns and faces what most of us flee. In particular, he faces the religious leaders, who maintain the system that sorts people into clean and unclean. This makes the religious authorities nervous.

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The Inauguration

We are told that the three most important words in real estate are: Location! Location! Location! I don’t think God got that memo when, as Eugene Peterson puts it, “The…

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The Mystery of Incarnation

Last week we heard Jesus’ first sermon. This week’s lectionary text keeps us in the same passage, but it focuses on the end of the sermon when things turn ugly.…

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