God's Word Liberates
We are now in a time of historic darkness. People all over the world are wondering where this will end. Thanks be to God who, by the Holy Spirit, is near to encourage and guide us forward in a good way. Trusting in the way of God we are made able to bring comfort and consolation to those we know who are struggling with the pandemic and other things.
Our recording time went pretty well this week. The songs and messages are intended to bring the grace of God into your experience. Perhaps you will notice some of the small errors. Hopefully, you will realize that none of us is perfect. Our limitations are covered by the grace of God at work in us and through us.
Here is the video:
Texts on which the service is based:
Deuteronomy 18:17-20; Mark 1:21-28; Psalm 111: 1-4, 7-10
Deuteronomy records the words of Moses as the people liberated from Egypt are about to enter the Promised Land. Those words instruct the people in the way that they are to live in the sight of God. Moses goes on to speak of a prophet who will speak words of truth to keep the people in the right way. We are warned that ignoring the words of the prophet will make us accountable before God. We are also told about the reality of false prophets, who speak words supporting the way of the world; which is the way of error. Those prophets will be held accountable and suffer the consequence.
Mark speaks of Jesus going about and teaching those he meets about the way of God. One day Jesus goes into a synagogue to teach the way of God. This surprised the listeners. They recognize that the words of Jesus are living. This is contrasted to the words of the teachers in the temple. As Jesus is speaking truth, a person with an unclean spirit disturbs him. That person recognizes that Jesus brings the holiness of God into our human experience. Jesus responds by saying that the dark spirit should be silent and let the possessed person be liberated. The dark spirit leaves the person and all who witness this are amazed. They are curious about the teaching and authority expressed by Jesus. That teaching and authority being able to clear away all unclean spirits. This action of Jesus causes his reputation to spread among the population of Galilee.
Psalm 111 is a song of praise and gratitude for the goodness of God. That goodness will be manifest in all those who reject the way of the world and choose the way of God. God's presence is celebrated as the core of all that is good in the earth. For this God is to be honored and praised. The goodness of God will never fade away and will last forever. God's creative presence is to be celebrated. Even though we do not measure up, God continues to bless us with grace and mercy. All that God makes manifest is good and trustworthy. God's goodness will never fail or fade away. Those who turn to God will never be disappointed. Wisdom, by which we will find our way forward, is to be practiced by the faithful. Those who do so will celebrate God's goodness for all eternity.