Sunday 28th January 2018
4th Sunday after Epiphany

Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

The themes of God’s rule and influence over every aspect of our being are again echoed in today’s readings. The New Testament Epistle might offer a particular focus on the world of work. We often apply the language of idolatry, in today’s context, to issues of materialism, greed, status and celebrity etc. These are realities that many of us will confront in the world of work, and like the Corinthian believers are faced with the challenge of how we live within a community where such things are commonplace and at times inescapable, yet at the same time remain true to our faith calling. Paul explores the difficult balance between expressing our liberty in Christ, yet living in a way which does not become a “stumbling block” to others. There is much to be gained by simply recognising that God’s New Testament people faced similar struggles and ethical dilemmas to those we face today; we might also note that Paul’s approach avoids judgemental and simplistic responses.

God of all being,
Whose influence and authority stretch beyond anything we can imagine.
Help us discover Your presence in every aspect of our lives,
As we rejoice in our achievements,
Wrestle with each challenge
And struggle amidst adversity.
May we never doubt that we do so
within the bounds of your love and care.