Sermon - February 7, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

Sermon – February 7, 2021

5th Sunday of Epiphany
In the silence of our hearts or in the spoken words let us give thanks for the gift of this day and pray for the life of the world.
Isaiah 40: 21-31
The readings today call our attention to the awesome power of God who works his ministry of Jesus Christ. The work of Jesus continues through each one of us.
The Book of Isaiah is meditation, in a complex configuration, about the destiny of Jerusalem into the crises of exile and promise of Jerusalem out of exile into wellbeing. The book is also the first book of extended poetry.
Isaiah provides hope- the promise of return – to the people of Judah, this was a consolation during the period of exile in Babylon, as their captivity was coming to an end the reassurance is that the absolute power of God, nothing can withstand. There is no one like the Lord.

PSALM 147:1-12

The Psalm echoes the Prophet Isaiah, by calling us to praise God. Gracious is power of the Lord look at how it is revealed in Creation, and the Divine compassion is seen through God’s care for the broken hearted, the powerless, and the wounded. The Lord will restore Jerusalem and gather the outcast of Israel. God provides “rain for the earth” and food to the animals and delights in those who are faithful in love.

1Corinthians 9:16-23
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he writes about the power of ministry of Jesus and the roll that we the faithful have in proclaiming this power to the world. Paul also states that his conversion experience had convinced him, that nothing he had ever done himself had contributed to his own salvation. Paul is setting himself apart from secular recognition; the gospel is God’s message of grace to everyone. Paul is reminding us of our Christian Identity. Who are we as Christians? What is our Christian identity? The Christian identity is centered on the gospel, life & teachings of Jesus. The gospel is not about hearing the text, but about living it and preaching it.

Mark 1:29-39
God’s power and compassion are in the for front of todays gospel reading. It is through the power of Jesus that wholeness and healing of those who come before him takes place. Prior to going to Simons and Andrew, Jesus and his disciples had gone to the synagogue, and Jesus had amazed those present by exorcizing an unclean spirt form a man. This story does not mention anything about having faith in healing. It is often said that someone who was prayed for and does not heal, it is said that the person did not have enough faith. Jesus affirms “that it is often the one close to the Kingdom – the one who is radically open to the Spirit – who is the portal of God’s healing power. Should we pray for God to heal a hangnail, a facelift, or a tummy tuck? Healing prayer should not be taken lightly by healing (like all gifts of God) is for service, not simply personal satisfaction. The message here: individual giftedness from God is for corporate well -being.”

We pray that you may set us free, O God, from the burden of our sins, and grant to us the freedom of abundant life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen