Sermon for Epiphany 5 – Feb. 7, 2021

+ 5th Sunday after Epiphany – February 7, 2021 +

Series B: Isaiah 40:21-31; 1 Corinthians 9:16-27; Mark 1:29-39

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“Announcing Good News”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

In the hospital my son Jonah was born in, there was a button on the wall from the delivery to the recovery room that would play a little lullaby, a short melody that played all over the hospital, announcing that a child was born.

 

At our family reunions my dad’s side of the family announces important events with a little song: “announcements, announcements, announcements.”

 

You see, when something’s important, it needs to be announced. In fact, you could sum up the whole life and work of Jesus with that word, announcement.

 

The prophets announced God’s coming Messiah. Gabriel announced this Messiah’s birth to Joseph and Mary. The angel chorus announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. John the Baptist announced to the crowds in the wilderness that this Messiah, Jesus, is the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sin of the world.

 

Today’s Gospel reading in Mark 1 is full of announcements as well. The announcement that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick and the announcement of Jesus’ healing with a simple touch of his hand upon hers. The announcement that brought the crowds of sick and demon possessed to Jesus to be healed by him. And Jesus’ own announcement to his disciples, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

 

Yes, Jesus came to heal, to cast out demons, but all of that centers on, is anchored in, and grounded upon his preaching. That is why he came. To preach. Now, most of the time when we hear someone using that word “preach” it’s thought of like a moralistic game of whack-a-mole hammer, “Don’t preach at me!” “Practice what you preach!” “It was just too preachy.”

 

But that’s not at all what Jesus means when he says he must go to other towns and preach there as well. So, it’s time for a quick Greek verb lesson this morning. The word Mark uses when Jesus preaches is kerusso. The word means, to “make known,” “to proclaim out loud,” in other words, “to announce.”

 

This is what the Gospel is, God’s announcement that Jesus has come to save you, live for you, die for you, rise for you, announce his forgiveness to you. Proclaim his grace to you. Declare his righteousness to you. To preach his good news to you.

 

For the people in Capernaum, Jesus’ preaching, his announcing, came at just the right time. Many, like Peter’s mother-in-law, lived in disease. Others were possessed by demons. Life seemed shrouded in darkness.

 

And Jesus’ very presence in Capernaum – along with his words and actions – announced to the people in that town that the Messiah had come. The one the prophets announced had arrived at last. God’s salvation was here in the person of Jesus. In his healing touch. In his casting out the devil. In his preaching, his announcing good news.

 

In Capernaum we see a picture of what he will do for the whole world in his death and resurrection. Jesus casts out the devil by his death on the cross just as he cast out the demons in Capernaum. Jesus takes us by the hand, heals us from the sickness of sin, and one day, will raise us up from the grave just as he raised up and healed Peter’s mother-in-law from her illness. Jesus brings the light of his presence and his word into the darkness of this fallen world.

 

But of course, Jesus didn’t come only to heal and cast out demons in Capernaum. “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”

 

So here we are, centuries later, in one of those “next towns” where Jesus comes and preaches, announces his good news to us. And his good news of life and salvation comes at just the right time. For we too find ourselves – like Capernaum – surrounded by disease and the devil. The darkness is much deeper than the world around us – though there’s plenty to be troubled by there. But Jesus’ preaching digs down deeper within each of us. His Law uncovers our doubts and despair within. Our fears and worries that draw our hearts and minds away from Christ and his promises. Our guilt and shame that overwhelms us.

 

We might be tempted to think – certainly the devil would have us think – that all of this darkness within is reason enough for Jesus to skip us, pass over this town, and go on to the next. But we’d be wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

For this is why Jesus came. For Capernaum. For Peter’s mother-in-law. For those nameless people he healed. And for you.

 

This is why Jesus had to leave Capernaum and go on to the next town and the next town after that, and on until Jerusalem. The town where all his announcements in Capernaum and everywhere along the way point to. Jesus’ greatest announcement of all on the cross. “It is finished.” Christ is crucified for you.

 

Jesus came to preach to us by his words and deeds, by his life and death, that you are saved. Jesus came to declare that in his death, death itself is destroyed, and you are declared righteous in his sight. Jesus came to make known the glory of his resurrection and give that glory to you, that in him you will rise from the grave as well. Jesus came to announce the good news that you receive this day: Jesus announces that you are forgiven all your sins. That our doubt, despair, and darkness are cast out by the Light of Christ’s word of forgiveness announced today. That Jesus announces your healing in his body and blood. And all our guilt and shame are covered by his healing, crucified, and risen hands.

 

This is why Jesus came out. To preach, proclaim, and announce: you belong to him. You are safe and saved in him. You are loved and alive in him.

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

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August - May
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

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Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977
E-mail
staff@mybslc.com