God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.
Daily Prayer - 2013-01-15
God is with me, but more,
It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
Lord, grant that I may always desire
to spend time in your presence.
May I not forget your goodness to me.
Guide me to share your blessings with others.
When the sabbath came, Jesus 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.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Synagogues were beginning to come into existence in the first century. They were local centres, used for civic gatherings as well as for study and worship. Many gospel scenes are located in them. Jesus could be sure to find an audience there. In today’s episode Mark’s stress is on the authority of Jesus which he exercises in two ways.
- Firstly, he teaches with authority – his own authority. This was different from the scribes whose teaching was dependent on what others had said or written. Secondly, Jesus shows his authority over unclean spirits. He is able to confront, silence, and expel the spirit that has taken possession of the unfortunate man in the story. Such exorcisms point to the ultimate victory of the kingdom of God over evil and death.
- In the ancient world many illnesses were attributed to possession by an evil spirit. But there is no need to get hung up on this issue while praying with today’s gospel!
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.
I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.
I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord.
When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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