147 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is seemly. 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
Mark 1:29-39 (RSV)
Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House
29 And immediately he[a] left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them.
32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together about the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
A Preaching Tour in Galilee
35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Every one is searching for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
111 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them. 3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. 4 He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
Mark 1:21-28 (RSV)
The Man with an Unclean Spirit
21 And they went into Caper′na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; 24 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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Mark 1:14-20 (RSV)
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zeb′edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb′edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him.
139 O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me! 2 Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar. 3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou dost beset me behind and before, and layest thy hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (RSV)
Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity
3 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down within the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5 and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came and stood forth, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant hears.”
29 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy array.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, upon many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
Mark 1:4-11 (RSV)
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism of Jesus
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11 and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
photo Credit: George Hodan License: CC0 Public Domain
Psalm 124:6-8 (RSV)
6 Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! 7 We have escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Matthew 2:13-23 (RSV)
The Escape to Egypt
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
The Massacre of the Infants
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”
The Return from Egypt
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archela′us reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
89 I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord,[a] for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. 2 For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens. 3 Thou hast said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your descendants for ever, and build your throne for all generations.’”Selah
Luke 1:26-38 (RSV)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” 35 And the angel said to her,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, 52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”