Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 31 January 2021
Thought for the Week – From heaven you came
Today’s Gospel continues the pattern of revealing throughout the Epiphany season precisely who Jesus is. He began teaching in his local synagogue, and wherever he went, crowds gathered, attracted by both the substance of his teaching and the authority with which he spoke. They were astounded as they saw him exorcise an evil spirit from a passing tramp (Mark 1: 21-28). Later Jesus healed a paralytic, saying to him, “Get up, take your bed and walk”. Those watching were amazed (Mark 2: 4-12).
The revelation that this was truly “the Holy One of God”, comes from an unlikely source – a man with an unclean spirit, and another individual who was disabled. How prepared are we to accept profound insights from those on the margins of society, or even from outside the walls of the Church? The Christian answer, grounded in the doctrine of the incarnation, initially seems astonishing, then appears to be arrogant, before finally being recognised as deeply satisfying: Jesus is authorised to speak of God because he is God. When the Christ child was presented in the Temple at Candlemas, Simeon, a righteous and devout man, took him in his arms and uttered, Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen thy salvation. (Luke2)
Hymn for Today
At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him King of glory now;
‘Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
Prayers for Today
We pray that despite being unable to come to church during health restrictions for Covid19, God may lift us out of our doubts and anxieties into the calm of his presence.
Note: The Gospel and Readings set for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page.