Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Jesus continues his ministry of healing and making people whole in this week’s reading from Mark — raising up Simon’s mother-in-law and a casting out demons from a whole host of people. Our reading from Isaiah this week foretells how the creator of the universe will care for the powerless and we sing about this in Psalm 147 saying “The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” And yet, as Mark tells it, Jesus does all these miraculous deeds in relative obscurity. By forcing the demons not to speak, moving quickly from place to place, and retreating to a far away place, we are reminded of this week’s passage from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians when he writes, “If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting.” These themes, in addition to establishing Jesus’ authority, remind us that we too are called to live lives of service where we do not point to ourselves, but to God.


Isaiah 40:21-31
The creator of all cares for the powerless

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
The Lord heals the brokenhearted

1 Corinthians 9:16-23
A servant for the sake of the gospel

Mark 1:29-39
The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law

Worship Music

Our hymn of the day this week is ELW 843 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness recalling all the amazing deeds of Jesus in the first two stanzas of poetry. In the last stanza we praise “true love incarnate: Christ, who suffered in our place” giving praise to God, despite God’s secretive and attention-forsaking ways. We also make our gathering song Christ, Be Our Light asking that Jesus would come into our world and our lives to bring light, wholeness, and healing.

Reflection Questions

In what ways does God work secretively in our world?

What places in our lives might we be able to give due credit to God when we might like to build ourselves up?

Healing, a theme for this week, takes many forms: physical, mental, spiritual, and so on. What type of healing do you pray for the most? Can you challenge yourself to pray for other types of healing?

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Dr. Adam Lefever Hughes

Director of Music

Adam served as Director of Music at St. Peter’s from 2015 to 2022.

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