Mark 1:21-28 Casting out

Third Century Synagogue at Capernaum

And they enter Capernaum.
And immediately entering the synagogue he taught on the Sabbath(s). 

And they were amazed at his teaching.  For he was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 

And immediately  there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit and he cried out saying : ‘What do you have to do with us, and 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.’ 

And Jesus rebuked him, saying: ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’

And the unclean spirit shook him violently, and having cried out loudly, went out of him. 

And they all were astonished so that they debated amongst themselves: ‘Who is this? A new teaching with authority. And he orders the unclean spirits and they obey him.’

And immediately  news of him went out everywhere into the whole region, that is Galilee.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
stay beside me to defend me,
within me to guide me,
before me to lead me,
and above me to bless me,
that with you and in you,
I may live, and move and have my being,
for ever and ever.


Mark 1:16-20 Four Fishermen

Recorded on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, during a pilgrimage in 2013

And passing by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting their nets in the sea. For they were fishermen. 

And Jesus said to them ‘Here! Follow after me! And I will make you fishers of people.;

And immediately leaving the nets they followed him.

And having gone on a little way he saw Jacob, the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat mending the nets, and immediately he called them, and leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers, they went after him.

We caught a fish!

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name
we shall find comfort and peace.

Basil of Caesarea (c.329-379)

Mark 1:12-15 Jesus prepared

Goats following a track in the Judean Wilderness (D Winterburn).

And immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days tested by Satan, and he was with wild beasts, and the angels were serving him. 

After John was handed over, Jesus went into the Galilee proclaiming the good news of God, and saying: ‘The time has been fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news.’

Take from us,
O God, all pride and vanity,
all boasting and self-assertion,
and give us the true courage that shows itself in gentleness,
the true wisdom that shows itself in simplicity,
and the true power that shows itself in modesty.

Charles Kingsley

Mark 1 9-1 1

And it happened in those days that Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee came and was baptised in the Jordan, by John. 

And immediately , coming up from the water, he saw the heavens were torn apart and the Spirit, as a dove coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven ‘You are my Son, the beloved, in you I am well pleased.’

O thou, who art the light of the minds that know thee,
the life of the souls that love thee,
and the strength of the wills that serve thee;
help us so to know thee that we may truly love thee;
so to love thee that we may fully serve thee,
whom to serve is perfect freedom.

1:5-8 The Baptizer

And all the Judean region came out to him,
and all the Jerusalemites,
and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River,
confessing their sins. 

And John was wearing camel hair and a belt of leather around his waist,
eating locusts and wild honey. 

And he proclaimed:
‘The one stronger than me is coming after me.
I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. 
I have baptised you with water, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

God be in head and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes and in my looking;
God be in my mouth and in my speaking;
God be in my heart and in my thinking;
God be at my end and at my departing.

Mark 1:1- 4 The Beginning

Gospel of Mark Carpet Page The British Library [Cotton MS Nero D IV]

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ [Son of God].

As it stands written in Isaiah, the prophet:
Behold I send my messenger before your face, 
who will prepare your way. (Mal 3:1, Ex 23:20)

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 
‘Prepare the way of the Lord.
Make straight his paths.’ (Isa 40:3)

John appeared in the wilderness,
and preaching a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins. 

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;
Eternal Power, be our support;
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance:
That we may seek your face
with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. Amen.


3 John 9-15

I wrote something to the church,
but Diotrephes, 
who loves to be first among them, 
does not accept us.

because of this,
if I come,
I will call attention to the works
which he does with these evil words,
bad mouthing us,

And not content with that,
he not only does not accept the brothers and sisters
But also he stops those who wish to,
and throws them out of the church.

Beloved, do not copy bad deeds but good ones.
The one who does what is good is from God. 
The one who does what is bad has not seen God.

Demetrius has been testified to by all
and by Truth itself.
And we testify also,
and you know that our testimony is true.

I have many things to write to you,
but I do not wish to (communicate) through ink and pen.

I hope to see you straight away and we will speak face to face.

Peace to you.
The friends greet you.
Greet the friends by name. 

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


3 John 1-8

The Elder
to Gaius, the beloved, whom I love in the truth. 

I pray that all will go well for you, and you will be in good health,
as it is well with your soul. 

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth,
as you walk in the truth. 

I have no greater joy than this,
that I hear that my children are walking in the truth. 

Beloved, you act faithfully  in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters  –
for these ‘strangers’.
They have borne witness to your love before the church
– they who you will do well to help on their way, worthy of God. 

For they went out on behalf of the Name accepting nothing from the pagans.
So we ought  to support such people, so that we might be fellow-workers in the truth.

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 John 9-13

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not stay in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who stays in the teaching, they have both the Father and the Son. 

If someone comes to you all and does not bear this teaching, do not receive them into the house and do not say ‘Greetings’ to them. The one who says ‘Greetings’ to them shares their work with evil ones. 

Having many things to write to you – but  I do not wish [to communicate]  through paper and ink, I hope to be with you and speak to you face to face, so that our joy might be complete. The children of your elect sister greet you.

Lord, you have given me so much,
I ask for one more thing –
a grateful heart.

George Herbert

2 John 5-9

And now I am asking you, Lady, 

(not as one writing to you a new commandment
but one which we have had from the beginning,)

that we love one another .

(And this is love,
that we walk according to his commandments.)

This is the commandment, 
as you have heard from the beginning,
that you should walk in it.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh.
This one is the deceiver  and the antichrist. 

Watch yourselves,
lest you lose what we have worked for,
rather than receive a full reward.

Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me
Be thou a smooth path below me
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
Today – tonight -forever

St Columba