Epiphany-4 (Yr B) Jan 31, 2021



“The People in Darkness Have Seen a Glorious Light”

C. Hubert Perry




The Word of God


Celebrant         Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.

People               Glory to God for ever and ever.




Collect For Purity


Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord. Amen.



(BCP p.356)


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.





Collect of the Day


Celebrant          The Lord be with you.

People               And also with you

Celebrant         Let us pray.


Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.





A Reading from the First Book of Deuteronomy 18:15-20



Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: ‘If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.’ Then the Lord replied to me: ‘They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.’”


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God






Psalm 111


1  Hallelujah!

    I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, *

    in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

2  Great are the deeds of the Lord! *

     they are studied by all who delight in them.

3  His work is full of majesty and splendor, *

    and his righteousness endures for ever.

4  He makes his marvelous works to be remembered; *

    the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

5  He gives food to those who fear him; *

    he is ever mindful of his covenant.

6  He has shown his people the power of his works *

    in giving them the lands of the nations.

7  The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; *

    all his commandments are sure.

8  They stand fast for ever and ever, *

    because they are done in truth and equity.

9  He sent redemption to his people;

    he commanded his covenant for ever; *

    holy and awesome is his Name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; *

     those who act accordingly have a good understanding;

    his praise endures for ever.





A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 8:1-13


Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.  Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.  It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.


     The Word of the Lord.


People    Thanks be to God.





Celebrant          The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 1:21-28


People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


Jesus and his disciples went into Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.


The Sermon


This year the Gospel that is being used is the Gospel according to St. Mark.  One of the distinctive qualities of St. Mark’s Gospel is that Mark focuses almost entirely on Jesus and only rarely on us.  Of course, most of the Bible is somewhat like that, but Mark is even more so.  In Mark, we would never find teachings concerning behavior and how we are to act as Christians.  In Matthew, Jesus sits down and explains things to His disciples.  In Luke, Jesus tells some marvelous and subtle stories.  Mark has much less explicit content.  Mark tells us that Jesus is a teacher, but he doesn’t tell us much about what Jesus taught.  Mark tells us that Jesus preached, but only gives us a snippet from His sermons.   In our Gospel for today, Mark tells us nothing about the content of Jesus’ teaching.  But Mark does say that Jesus’ teaching provoked “astonishment” on the part of the audience.  It was the way He taught, rather than what He taught.  I would have loved to know what Jesus Said, but the Gospel focuses more on Jesus that on His theological teaching.  ‘Jesus taught them as one having authority.”  It was not that ‘he taught them as one having an advanced theological degree” – or – ‘taught them as one who had a remarkable ability to explain complicated things to them in simple ways’ but He taught as one who “has authority.”   Mark is saying that the main reaction to Jesus and His teaching was that of ‘astonishment.’  The astonishment was surely related to the people’s awareness that Jesus the teacher was even more than a great teacher – He is nothing less than the very Son of God among us.  His teaching brought about conversions. The man with the unclean spirit cries out, addressing Jesus not only as ‘Jesus of Nazareth, but the Holy One of God.”  These conversions happen throughout history, for those who encounter him are “astonished.”   John Wesley, an Anglican priest and scholar, “went reluctantly to a meeting at Aldergate in London.  Wesley was tired from working day and night for the good of others, preaching until he was almost spent.  At that meeting someone was reading from Luther’s lecture on St. Paul’s letter to the Romans.  Now it could not have been all that engaging, but Wesley said that night he came to a belief that “Christ had died for my sins, even mine.”  Pascal was one of France’s greatest mind, a great mathematician and philosopher.  He tried to think his way toward God, but without success.  Late in the night of November 23, 1654, Pascal wrote in his diary, “Fire!  God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,” not of the philosophers and the learned.  “Joy. Peace. God of Jesus Christ.”  It was one of the world’s great conversions.  Conversion seems to be intimately related to astonishment.  Saul, going up to Damascus, was confronted by Jesus, and in his astonishment, he was blinded.  He then went on to become one of the great missionaries and saints of the Church.  It is in this emotion, the astonishment, this mystical experience that we can find the heart of all Christian faith.   Someone once said the sermons are not about ideas, but rather should always focus upon Jesus.  In every sermon one should look for Jesus.   Our task as Christians is to know Jesus, and the reaction we are to have is one of astonishment, that God loves us in spite of ourselves, not because of ourselves.   





“Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising”

Paul Kickstat





The Nicene Creed

(BCP p. 358)


We believe in one God

      the Father, the Almighty,

      maker of heaven and earth,

      of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

      the only Son of God,                     

      eternally begotten of the Father,

          God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate

from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified

          under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

  On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand

of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father    and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is

worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and

   apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.  Amen.





Prayers of the People


In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brasil.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for Christ Church in Xenia, St. Matthew’s in Westerville, and St. Simon of Cyrene in Cincinnati.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Carmen Davis; Steve, Tibby, and Will Day; and Wayne and Gail Harper.



Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear when we pray in the name of Jesus your Son.  Therefore in confidence and trust we offer our prayers.


Blessed are you eternal God

to be praised and glorified for ever.


Heavenly Father, hear us as we pray for the unity of the Church.

May we all be one that the world may believe.


Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you

that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.


We remember those who have died.

Father, into your hands we commend them.

Remembering St. Mark, we praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory.

May we also come to share your heavenly kingdom.


Have compassion on those on our Parish Prayer List (N), and on all who suffer from sickness, grief or trouble.

In your presence may they find strength.


Look with kindness on our homes and families.

Grant that your love may grow in our hearts.


Make us alive to the needs of our community.

Help us to share one another’s joys and burdens.


Inspire and lead those who hold authority in the nations of the world.

Guide us and all people in the way of justice and peace.


Strengthen all who minister in Christ’s name.

Give us courage to proclaim your Gospel.



Celebrant      Praise to you, abundant God, for when we ask, you give; when we seek, you show the way.  When we knock, you answer.  Praise to you for your unfailing grace.  Make us now your faithful people.  Amen.




The Lord’s Prayer


Celebrant          As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,


Our Father in heaven,

              hallowed be your Name,

              your kingdom come,

              your will be done,

                   on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

 as we forgive those

      who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.  Amen.



The Peace


Celebrant          The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People                And also with you





Act of Spiritual Communion


Blessed Jesus,

With your faithful people at every altar of your church where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I offer my praise and thanksgiving.  Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.  Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you.  May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and the life to come.  Amen.








The congregation is dismissed.



People Thanks be to God.





“Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above”

Joseph Prentiss







For today’s announcements, click HERE.


To read a copy of the January 21 Vestry Minutes, click HERE

(NOTE:  Password Protected:  Contact Dave or Katherine for Password.)



St. Mark’s Vestry


Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members:

Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz

Susan Kendall

Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch


St. Mark’s Staff


Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner

Music Director Donna Larsen

Sexton Douglas Plummer

Webmaster Dave Reuter



Look for us…


On the web:  www.StMarksDayton.org

Facebook:  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio

Instagram:  stmarksdayton