February 6, 2024

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – Year B – 4 February 2024

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – Year B – 4 February 2024

The common theme of this week’s readings is God’s power and grace. These passages reveal that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, who cares for his people and heals their wounds. They also show that God’s power and grace are manifested in different ways, such as through the ministry of Jesus, the preaching of Paul, and the praise of the psalmist.

All of the readings speak about God’s compassion and grace in healing, restoring and strengthening God’s people – those who wait on and honour God. In each reading there is a clear indication of the way God meets us at our point of need in order to transform and save us.

In the famous song of Isaiah 40, God’s saving power is praised and the weary exiles are reminded that God will restore and strengthen them if they will just turn to God in hope. In the Psalm, God’s gracious restoration and provision for God’s people, and for all of creation, is praised.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he explains how he strives to meet every person where they are in order to bring them to Christ, becoming as they are so that he can share the Gospel with them. Finally, in one of those wonderful moments of particular care, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law. But, then, immediately the Gospel moves to a wider focus, as Jesus heals and restores the many who come to him, and then, seeks to travel throughout Galilee to preach and heal. The amazing grace of the God who comes to us at our point of need and restores and calls us makes this week a truly celebratory one.