We gather for a Worship Service on this Sunday, January 28th, 2024, 4th Sunday after Epiphany in person at the Chapel (2700 W 14th Street) at 11:00 a.m.
To join us at the Chapel, buzz Zion Church (Bob Bucklew) from the Directory at the front of the 2700 Building on the campus of San Sofia apartments or enter from the accessible ramp from the rear parking lot. When you arrive, call Bob at 216-375-5323 to open the parking lot gate.
The Sunday Bulletin is attached in PDF format. You may use it as a devotional during the week.
Following Worship, we invite you to enjoy coffee, refreshments, and warm conversation.
The Focus Scripture Reading is Mark 1:21-28
In these verses in Mark 1, Jesus taught for the first time at a synagogue in Capernaum. Jesus astounded the people there because he taught differently than the scribes—he taught with authority. When a person with an unclean spirit entered the synagogue and challenged Jesus, Jesus rebuked the spirit, and it left the person. The people who witnessed this were amazed at this new teaching with authority, authority that even the spirits obeyed him. This is a hard passage for us today to interpret and understand. In the first century C.E., the understanding of the spiritual world and the physical world was such that everything had both a physical and spiritual component. Jesus addressed the evil spirit and rebuked it. Perhaps the authority Jesus demonstrated was knowing that this person needed help in that moment—not something to be pushed off, addressed at another time. Consistently through scripture, when someone comes to Jesus with an immediate need, he immediately (especially in Mark’s gospel account as Mark loves that word immediately) addressed the person and the need.
Other Readings this Sunday – Introductions:
In this reading from the Hebrew Bible, Moses prepared the people before they entered the promised land, knowing he would not go with them. The people requested God to raise up a new prophet after Moses, because they believed if they heard the voice of God themselves,they would die. God promised to raise up a prophet from among them, someone who would speak on behalf of God and God’s ways. God would hold accountable those who did not listen to God’s words through the prophet, and God would also hold accountable any prophet who spoke words God did not say or spoke on behalf of other gods.
Psalm 111 is a Hebrew alphabet acrostic poem, like many of the psalms, and is a song of praise and thanksgiving to God. The psalmist speaks in the first person but on behalf of the congregation, telling all the wonderful deeds of God who has been faithful to the covenant with the people. God’s ways are established for eternity, for the covenant was established forever. The psalm concludes with a reminder that the fear, or awe, of God is the beginning of wisdom. Those who are in awe of God have a foundation, a good understanding for how to live.
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Paul writes to the church in Corinth about how to live with others and with cultural differences in these verses of 1 Corinthians 8. The church in Corinth was predominantly Greek, but some of its members were newer to the faith than others. While Paul knows that the church leaders know there are no other gods but God and no idols are real, some of those who have recently begun to follow Christ might be appalled at those eating meat, for meat was obtained at the local temple sacrifice to the Greek gods. For Paul this wasn’t an issue—those gods didn’t exist, it’s just meat, buy it and eat it. But he knew for new converts this might be a struggle because of how that sacrificed meat was determined as sacred by the Greeks, and suggests that if this was a stumbling block, don’t eat meat around those who view it as offered out of sacrifice. Even if we have the knowledge that there are no idols or gods, we ought not to hold it over others, but rather to live out of compassion and kindness. How we live ought to be a reflection of the same love we have from Christ, who died on behalf of all of us.
Sermon/Reflection: “Astounded, Amazed, and in Awe” by the Rev. Scott Rosenstein, based on the reading of Mark 1:21-28.
Please join the Zion Church community to give thanks to God this Sunday in-person in the Chapel!
Pastor Scott Rosenstein
216-273-7561 – church
216-577-1514 – mobile
Bulletin Cover Image:
The people were spellbound by the teaching, because Jesus taught with an authority (Mark 1:22)
The Lonely Pilgrim https://lonelypilgrim.com/2015/01/13/he-taught-them-as-one-having-authority/