Our Gospel reading today is challenging. The issue of demonic powers being in the world is contentious for some, mainly because there is a theology which says that evil exists only as a result of our poor choices, not because there is a devil or devils out there, and that Jesus’ healings were just physical. But the biblical accounts are very clear that Jesus considered Satan to be very real and the demons he cast out to be actual demons. If demons are real then what do we need to know about them? Let’s look at the unclean spirit Jesus cast out of the man in the synagogue. There are some clear indicators to the power of this demonic spirit and to Jesus’ authority over it. It speaks through the man possessed by it and is in fear of Jesus because it knows he is ‘the Holy One of God’. Note its fear of Jesus. There is no assumption that it can overcome him, only a fear of destruction because he is holy. This is a very proper fear of God from something not holy in any way. Note also that Jesus does not engage with the demon except to cast it out. He commands it to be silent and sends it on its way. There is no polite ‘please leave him’, it is a firm command, ‘come out!’. Then the demonic spirit convulses the man and leaves him. The convulsions are a common physical manifestation of this process which we see in many of these incidents. The demon gone, people marvel at Jesus’ authority, and Jesus moves on. Jesus is obviously not worried in the slightest at this incident, but it has a profound impact on those who witness it and the report goes out into the surrounding countryside. The point of the report is that authority like this has not been seen in anyone before Jesus. This authority means we need have no fear of the devil and his works because he is not equal in power with Jesus. Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us that authority which Jesus himself had, for the Holy Spirit is given to us. We are enabled to act and speak in Jesus’ name in the power of Holy Spirit within us, and we are given permission to do this as Jesus has passed his authority on to us (Matthew 28:18-20) but we are to wield this power responsibly. May you know the Lord and the fullness of his power and authority in your life, and may you find in Jesus the strength to stand. Peace be with you.
|Holy Communion, 8.45am
|Family Service, 10.30am
|Study Group, St Mark’s, 7.00pm – 9:00pm
|Contact Kevin or Anne (0438 234 857)
|Zoom Prayer Meeting, 1.30pm
|Contact John (0421426156)
|Online Study Group, 7.00pm
|Contact Graeme (0490 664 843)
|Holy Communion, 10.00am
|Study Group St Mark’s,11.00am
|Contact Keith (0419 551 082)
|Cuppa, Craft & Chat Group, St Mark’s, 12.30pm
|Contact Robyn (0409 425 044)
|Women’s Bible Study, St Mark’s, 9.30am
|Contact Fay (0401 404 280)
|Contact: Carol (0411405597) or Steve (0437984679)
|Holy Communion, 8.45am
|Family Service, 10.30am
Regular Worship Times
|Family Worship with Children’s Ministry
|(Holy Communion – 1st Sundays)
|Healing Service – 1st Sundays
Parish Contact Details
|Monitored contact points
|0493 280 691
|Parish Web Addresses
|Pastoral Care Coordinators
|Kevin and Anne Cranwell (0438 234 457 Kevin)
Janice annual leave arrangements…
I will be on annual leave from Monday 29th January to 11th February inclusive. While I am away Rev’d Peter Woods will look after the Sunday services and all pastoral matters should be referred to Kevin Cranwell. Wednesday services will continue with Kevin leading and Keith South consecrating. I will be back on 12th February.
8:45 Service Media Team…
Thank you to those who have offered to learn the computer system for the 8.45am service. Joy and Janice will assist you in training after Janice returns from leave. We still need a second person to learn how to set up services for the 10.30am service. Please speak to Anne or Janice.
Our next Alpha course will begin on Thursday 1st February at 6pm at the home of Steve and Carol Parkinson. Please consider who you can invite to join us as we learn who Jesus really is and answer some of the questions of life together. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex for those who would like to help Alpha with a contribution towards the meal. Eating together is a vital part of the Alpha evening. If you are able to cook or prepare a meal but need help with ingredients, please speak with Carol or Steve. There are funds available for this. Thank you.
Contact Carol 0411405597 or Steve 0437984679 for further information.
This Week’s Prayer Focus
In our country and the world:
- For the Gold Coast residents badly affected by recent storms and the Samaritans Purse relief teams working in Upper Coomera helping with the clean-up.
- For all affected by the storms and floods in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.
- For all in Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine.
- For all ADF and rescue teams as they help in the Queensland storm and flood cleanup.
- For those facing homelessness, hardship, anguish and despair amid rising costs.
- For families affected by violence.
- For those affected by natural disasters in around the world.
- For King Charles III, the UK and the Commonwealth.
- For peace and unity in countries around the World.
- For aid agencies such as “Save the Children”, Oxfam, CARE, UNICEF, World Vision.
In our community:
- For teachers and students.
- For doctors, nurses, paramedics, Coast Guard, the CFA & SES.
- For local community outreach groups such as the Dromana Community House and “Food for All”.
In our Diocese and beyond:
- For Archbishop Geoffrey Smith’s ministry as Primate of Australia.
- For Archbishop Philip Freier’s ministry in the Diocese of Melbourne.
- For the ministry of Bishop Paul Barker in the Jumbunna Region and for Archdeacon Helen Phillips in the Frankston Archdeaconry. Give thanks that Archdeacon Helen is now well and beginning to return to work.
- In our Deanery, we pray for the Parish of All Saints Rosebud with St Katherine’s McCrae and their Vicar, Rev’d Lynda Crossley.
- For the work of the Church Missionary Society and Wei-Han the Victorian Director.
- For Anna Radkovic our CMS Link Missionary.
- For Christian churches around the world to be free to worship and be witnesses of the love of God as shown through the coming of His Son.
In our Parish:
- For our leadership and ministry teams.
- For Rev’d Janice O’Gorman our Vicar.
- For the finances of our Parish.
- For our Parish, its people and those we reach out to every week.
- For the success of the new Family and Children’s Ministry.
- For the 9am at home prayer time for the Parish, Dromana & Mornington Peninsula.
- For: Ian Lyons & family on the death of Christine, Helen R, Jessica, Audrey, Joan, Backy, John R, Margie, Fred, Robert, Jan, David, Guy.