January 28

  Healing in Capernaum Synagogue by James Tissot

Healing in Capernaum Synagogue by James Tissot

Morning Worship

Lectionary Readings:  Psalm 111;  Mark 1:21-28

Text:  “And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”  Mark 1:24

Sermon:  “Heckle and Hide”

Tease:    We follow Jesus to a local synagogue where his first public sermon is rudely disrupted by a heckler.  “What have you to do with us?” the man shouts.  “Are you here to destroy our way of doing things?”   We’re told that the man is possessed by an “unclean” spirit – a term that is used extensively in scripture and can refer to anything from mental illness to institutional tyranny.  I find it interesting (and by no means coincidental) that our Lord’s first public confrontation with society’s “darker” side takes place in a house of worship.  As He says in another version of this incident, “Physician … you must first heal yourself!”