What Have You to Do with Us?

Follow Me!

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B

We are people on a journey of transformation, and it isn’t always easy. Today, we acknowledge the hard work of becoming disciples and of setting aside the weight that clings so closely, of handing over the reins of our lives so that we can be led into wholeness. And so, we can proclaim wholeness to the broken world around us.


Have a set of keys for display each week. You can also create a set of construction paper keys with the word “key” written on each key, or simply use a set of real keys. Each week of this series, a “key” word will be introduced to the children. Use a reminder on the set of keys, so that you won’t forget to have the prop ready each week. The “key” word will depict one characteristic of following Jesus that connects the message to the adult worship series.

Mark 1:23-28, NIRV

23Just then a man in their synagogue cried out. He was controlled by an evil spirit. He said, 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the Holy One of God!”

25“Be quiet!” said Jesus firmly. “Come out of him!” 26The evil spirit shook the man wildly. Then it came out of him with a scream.

27All the people were amazed. So they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching! And with so much authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits, and they obey him.” 28News about Jesus spread quickly all over Galilee.

Children's Message

“Key” word of the day: promise – a statement by a person that he or she will or will not do something. (Word Central online kids dictionary, http://wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?book=Student&va=promise).

If you tell someone that you love her and don’t act like you love her, what good are words? If someone makes a promise to do something for you, but doesn’t do it, what good is the promise? What do you think I mean when I say, “Our words should match our actions”? (Let children respond.)

Today’s key word of the day on our key ring is promise. Promise is a statement by a person that he or she will or will not do something.

Have you ever made a promise? (Let children respond.)

In this story from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus had been teaching, and the people listening to him were very impressed with what he said. But then Jesus did something to show them that his words and actions matched. He healed this man.

In Jesus’ days, some people were said to have evil spirits living in them. When Jesus made the evil spirits leave the man, everyone knew that Jesus must have been very powerful. The people knew then that Jesus’ words and actions matched. They knew that Jesus’ promises were true.

When we meet someone whose words and actions match, we know we can trust them. We can trust Jesus when he teaches us. We can trust Jesus’ promises. Remember, Jesus promised to always be with us. And he is always with us!

Prayer: Jesus, teach me, as you taught people so long ago. Help me trust in all your words and actions. Amen.

Bible verses marked NIRV are from the New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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