Weekly worship: Sunday 4 February

Bokiya and Elema having a conversation in Ethiopia

Psalm 147:1-11   Isaiah 40:21-31  1 Corinthians 9:16-22  Mark 1:29-39

Today’s readings tell us of a God who cares for all people, always.

The Isaiah reading draws us into our call to service, a call to empowerment of all people, and a specific call to support and empower people who are vulnerable.

I believe St Paul, as he writes in 1 Corinthians, calls upon us to understand, to come alongside those who need us, to proclaim the gospel in ways that make sense. This means giving practical care and sharing the blessing of the gospel in ways that makes sense in every context. 

In our gospel we have an impatient Jesus, not prepared to wait for sunset on the Sabbath, but who heals on the Sabbath because the person was more important than the rule.

In 2018 we live, not just in a complex world, as the world has always been complex, but in a world where there is often an emphasis on difference – between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.

This Sunday, let’s focus on what we share, not what sets us apart. We have in common our humanity, a common purpose, and we share God’s love as equals.

Tuesday 6 February is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. If that were the only injustice in this world, then that would be too much, but there are many.

There is much to be done to bring about God’s kingdom of justice and peace. But today let’s take comfort and strength, confident that God is with us, always.  

 

God of all people  
teach us to understand, 
to stand in solidarity and 
love with your love. 
Give us compassion 
that rises above 
opinion and prejudice. 
Give us the strength 
to speak and act 
for goodness today 
and everyday. 
Amen.

We are grateful to the Rev Stuart Fulton, a minister in the Church of Scotland for providing the weekly pointers for February.

Pointers for prayer

Pray for courage and sustaining energy for all those working to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation and for this harmful practice to end.