She Began to Serve

Follow Me!

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B

Let us celebrate service today, but not as another call to do more, to give more, to work harder or to fill our overburdened schedules with work. Yes, there is always a call to more service. But instead, let’s celebrate service by saying “thank you.”

Week 5: She Began to Serve

Mark 1:29-39

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal. (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share their response to the question, “Who was the last person to serve you? What did that person do?” (It could have been a bagger at the grocery store, or someone who served you by offering a word of encouragement, etc.)

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)

Read Mark 1:29-39.

  • In the passage from last week’s lesson, we noted the surprising element of the unclean spirit in the synagogue. In this passage, equally shocking, Jesus touches a woman – a sick woman at that. And this woman was violating the taboo of not serving guests. How is this healing more than a physical healing? [She is physically healed, yes. She is also restored to community – she is no longer unclean. She is then able to fulfill her role of offering hospitality—to all, not just to Jesus—which would have brought her honor.]
  • Why do you think Jesus didn’t permit the demons to speak (as we saw in last week’s passage)? [While some have given the interpretation that it was some sort of reverse psychology, more likely Jesus didn’t want people’s assumptions to run wild. (See week one with Nathanael. People held all sorts of assumptions about the would-be Messiah. Jesus wanted others to see who he was and what he was doing before coming to conclusions – especially since the Messiah would be seen as a political threat.)]
  • What might we learn from Jesus heading to a deserted place to pray? [Just as Jesus was fully God, so Jesus was fully human. Just as Jesus needed to be intentional in times of prayer, so do we.]
  • Why do you think we’re more willing to share a story of a physical healing than a story of an emotional healing?
  • How might have Jesus’ prayers have helped him to remain focused on his mission (v. 38) and not just remain with those who wanted him to stay? Again, how does this provide a model for us as the church? [Remain focused on the mission of making disciples. Remain focused on serving others who are in need of Jesus’ healing.]
  • Name one way you could serve someone close to you.

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer, or read the following prayer in unison:

Loving God, you have made us a blessing to be a blessing to others. Enable us to be as a mirror, reflecting your glory to those around us through our words and deeds. Give us the eyes to see the needs of others and the heart of a servant to know how best to respond. Amen.

In This Series...

Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Transfiguration Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes