4 Epiphany January 31


Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,

in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are your works, O LORD, pondered by all who delight in them.

Majesty and splendor mark your deeds, and your righteousness endures forever.

You cause your wonders to be remembered; you are gracious and full of compassion.

You give food to those who fear you, remembering forever your covenant.

You have shown your people the power of your works in giving them the lands of the


The works of your hands are faithfulness and justice; all of your precepts are sure.

They stand fast forever and ever, because they are done in truth and equity.

You sent redemption to your people and commanded your covenant forever; holy and

awesome is your name.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

all who practice this have a good understanding. God's praise endures forever.

GATHERING SONG I will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: 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 Jesus Christ our Lord.


Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Gracious God,

have mercy on us. We confess that we have turned from you and given ourselves into the power of sin. We are truly sorry and humbly repent. In your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things we have done and things we have failed to do. Turn us again to you, and uphold us by your Spirit, so that we may live and serve you in newness of life through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Let us pray. Compassionate God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. Bring wholeness to all that is broken and speak truth to us in our confusion, that all creation will see and know your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

THE EPISTLE READING: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "no idol in the world really exists," and that "there is no God but one." Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as in fact there are many gods and many lords--yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. "Food will not bring us close to God." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.



The holy gospel according to Saint Mark. Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus and his disciples] went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching — with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON "Authority" Pastor Beth Kelsey

HYMN OF THE DAY I Will Dance with Jesus a Dance"


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Holy God,

Light of the universe, Teacher of truth, Giver of goodness,

we hear your Word in the Scriptures,

proclaiming to us your wisdom

and inviting us to follow your call.

For speaking this Word, we thank you, O God.

We thank you, O God.

Your Word came among us in Jesus, our brother,

who preached your righteousness, healed the sick,

and revived the brokenhearted.

For giving us this Word, we worship you, O God.

We worship you, O God.

By your Spirit bless all who receive this Word,

that upheld by the mystery of the body of Christ,

we may be light for the world,

revealing the brilliance of your Son.

For sustaining us with your Word, we praise you, O God.

We praise you, O God.

Blessed are you, holy God, around us, with us, and in us,

now and forever. Amen.



Let us pray. Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: ourselves, our time, and our possessions. Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

HEALING HYMN “There is a Balm in Gilead” ELW #614


Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

Let us pray for all who suffer, all in pain or grief or any kind of affliction…

O, God, grant your healing through Jesus Christ, truly our hope is in you!

Let us pray for recovery from sickness, that God may grant healing and wholeness…

O, God, grant your healing through Jesus Christ, truly our hope is in you!

Let us pray for healing in our communities, between nations, among peoples, within families…

O, God, grant your healing through Jesus Christ, truly our hope is in you!

Let us pray for all those who depend upon our prayers…

O, God, grant your healing through Jesus Christ, truly our hope is in you!

A reading from Saint Luke: When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4:40)

Father in heaven, for Jesus’ sake, send your Holy Spirit upon your servants, drive away all sickness of body and spirit; make whole that which is broken; deliver us from the power of evil; and preserve us in true faith, to share in the power of Christ’s resurrection and to serve you with all the saints now and evermore. Amen


The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you. (May we join the Church throughout the world, praying for God’s peace and justice to prevail.)



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. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.


SENDING SONG “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” #886


Go in peace. Live the gospel. Thanks be to God.


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