Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany                                              January 31, 2021


Today’s Theme for Worship: Christ’s prophetic office brings us God’s truth. Christ’s love leads us to speak and use that truth lovingly.


Hymn: 308 vv. 1-3, 7  As Surely as I Live, God Said

1  As surely as I live,” God said, “I would not have the sinner dead,

But that he turn from error’s ways, Repent, and live through endless days.”


2  To us, therefore, Christ gave command: “Go forth and preach in ev’ry land;

Bestow on all my pard’ning grace Who will repent of sinful ways.


3  All those whose sins you thus remit I truly pardon and acquit,

And those whose sins you do retain Condemned and guilty shall remain.


7  Praise God the Father and the Son And Holy Spirit, Three in One,

As was, is now, and so shall be Forever and eternally!


Text: Nikolaus Herman, c. 1480-1561, abr.; tr. Matthias Loy, 1828-1915, alt.


P: The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

C: And also with you.


Confession of Sins

P: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.

C: Merciful Father in heaven, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.

P: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will.

C: Amen.


P: In the peace of forgiveness, let us praise the Lord.


Oh Taste And See


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.


Your Word, O Lord, is e-ter-nal;

it stands firm in the heav-ens.

Your faith-ful-ness con-tin-ues for-ev-er.


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.


Prayer of the Day

P: Let us Pray.

Lord God, you know that we are surrounded by many dangers and that we often stumble and fall. Strengthen us in body and mind, and bring us safely through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. C: Amen.


First Lesson: Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Moses gives the promise of another Prophet who will be like Moses, yet greater.

15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brother Israelites. Listen to him.

16That is exactly what you asked from the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly. You said, “Do not let me hear the voice of the Lord my God anymore, and do not let me see this great fire again, or I will die.”

17Then the Lord said to me, “They have done well by saying what they said. 18I will raise up a prophet for them from among their brothers, like you, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he will speak to them everything that I command him. 19Anyone who will not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. 20Any prophet who presumes to speak something in my name that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks something in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.”


Psalm of the Day – Psalm 1


Blessed are they who hope, who hope in the Lord.


Blessed is the man

who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked*

or stand in the way of sinners.


But his delight is in the law of the LORD,*

and on his law he meditates day and night.


He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season*

and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.




Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,*

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.


For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,*

but the way of the wicked will perish.


Glory be to the Father and to the Son*

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,*

is now, and will be forever. Amen.




Refrain Tune: Robert J. Thompson. © 1986 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, IL, All rights reserved. Used by permission.



Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
In matters of concern today, we remember not to wound weak conscienc­es merely to show that something is permissible.

8 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2If anyone supposes that he knows something, he does not yet know the way he ought to know. 3But if anyone loves God, this person has been known by him.

4So, concerning the eating of food from idol sacrifices, we know that an idol is not anything real in the world and that there is no God but one. 5Indeed, even if there are so-called “gods,” whether in the heavens or on earth (as in fact there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6nevertheless for us there is one God—the Father, from whom all things exist and we exist for him—and one Lord—Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist and we exist through him.

7However, that knowledge is not in everyone. Instead some, who are still affected by their former habit with the idol, eat the food as something sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

8Food will not bring us closer to God. We do not lack anything if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do. 9And be careful that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone sees you, a person who has knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of this man, weak as he is, be emboldened to eat food from an idol sacrifice? 11You see, the weak person is being destroyed by your knowledge—the brother for whose sake Christ died! 12And when you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I do not cause my brother to sin.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!


Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

Jesus teaches with divine authority and shows it by driving out evil spirits.

21Then they went into Capernaum. On the next Sabbath day, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22They were amazed at his teaching, because he was teaching them as one who has authority and not as the experts in the law. 23Just then there was a man with an unclean spirit in their synagogue. It cried out, 24“What do we have to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25Jesus rebuked the spirit, saying, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”

26The unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions, and after crying out with a loud voice, it came out of him. 27Everyone was so amazed that they began to discuss this with each other. They said, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits, and they obey him!” 28News about him spread quickly through all the region of Galilee.

C:  Praise be to you, O Christ!


Hymn of the Day: 395  Seek Where You May Find a Way

1  Seek where you may To find a way That leads to your salvation.

My heart is stilled; On Christ I build-He is the one foundation.

His Word is sure; His works endure. He will o’erthrow My ev’ry foe;

Through him I more than conquer.


2  Seek whom you may To be your stay; None can redeem his brother.

All helpers failed; This man prevailed, The God-Man, and none other.

The Servant-Lord Our life restored. We’re justified, For he has died,

The guiltless for the guilty.


3  Seek him alone, Who did atone, Who did your souls deliver;

Oh, seek him first, All you who thirst For grace that fails you never.

In ev’ry need Seek him indeed; To ev’ry heart He will impart

His blessings without measure.

4  My heart’s delight, My crown most bright, Jesus, you are forever.

Not wealth or pride Or aught beside Our bond of love shall sever.

You are my Lord; Your precious Word Shall be my guide What e’er betide.

Oh, teach me, Lord, to trust you!


Text: Georg Weissel, 1590-1635, abr.; tr. Arthur P. Voss, 1899-1955, alt.



Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Offering Prayer

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Prayer of the Church


Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.


Hymn: 529 Built on the Rock


1  Built on the Rock the Church shall stand Even when steeples are falling.

Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land; Bells still are chiming and calling,

Calling the young and old to rest, But above all the soul distressed,

Longing for rest everlasting.


2  Surely in temples made with hands God, the Most High, is not dwelling;

High above earth his temple stands, All earthly temples excelling.

Yet he who dwells in heav’n above Chooses to live with us in love,

Making our bodies his temple.


3  We are God’s house of living stones, Built for his own habitation.

He through baptismal grace us owns Heirs of his wondrous salvation.

Were we but two his name to tell, Yet he would deign with us to dwell

With all his grace and his favor.


4  Here stands the font before our eyes, Telling how God did receive us.

Th’ altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice And what the sacrament gives us.

Here sound the Scriptures that proclaim Christ yesterday, today, the same,

And evermore, our Redeemer.


5  Grant then, O God, your will be done, That, when the church bells are ringing,

Many in saving faith may come Where Christ his message is bringing:

“I know my own; my own know me. You, not the world, my face shall see.

My peace I leave with you always.”


Text: Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872, abr.; tr. Carl Döving, 1867-1937, alt.



Prayer and Blessing


P: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



P: Almighty God, we thank you for teaching us the things you want us to believe and do. Help us by your Holy Spirit to keep your Word in pure hearts that we may be strengthened in faith, guided in holiness, and comforted in life and in death, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  A-men.


P: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.

C:  A-men, A-men, A-men




Closing Hymn: 463 Jesus Call Us O’er the Tumult


1  Jesus calls us o’er the tumult

Of our life’s wild, restless sea;

Day by day his voice invites us,

Saying, “Christian, follow me!”


2  As the first disciples heard it

By the Galilean lake,

Turned from home and toil and kindred,

Leaving all for his dear sake.


3  Jesus calls us from the worship

Of the vain world’s golden store,

From each idol that would keep us,

Saying, “Christian, love me more.”


4  In our joys and in our sorrows,

Days of toil and hours of ease,

Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,

“Christian, love me more than these.”


5  Jesus calls us! In your mercy,

Savior, help us hear your call;

Give our hearts to your obedience,

Serve and love you best of all!


Text: Cecil F. Alexander, 1818-95, alt.