Book of Common Prayer Sunday Eucharistic Lectionary Propers
Appointed for the Week of
The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany
who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright:
Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers,
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE EPISTLE. Romans 13. 1.
LET every man be subject unto the higher powers;
for there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God:
and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgement.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?
do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
for he is a minister of God to thee for good.
But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid;
for he beareth not the sword in vain:
for he is a minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
And for this cause too ye pay taxes;
for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Render therefore to all their dues;
tribute to whom tribute is due,
custom to whom custom,
fear to whom fear,
honour to whom honour.
THE GOSPEL. St Mark 4. 35.
AND the same day, when the even was come, Jesus saith unto them,
Let us pass over unto the other side.
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship.
And there were also with him other little ships.
And there arose a great storm of wind,
and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow:
and they awake him, and say unto him,
Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
Peace, be still.
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them,
Why are ye so fearful?
how is it that ye have no faith?
And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,
What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Book of Common Prayer Sunday Eucharistic Lectionary Message
A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany
By: Fr. David Curry
“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
(St. Mark 4.38d)
Today’s gospel abbreviates the classical Epiphany teaching for this day.
For centuries the gospel that was read
told not only the story of Jesus rebuking the wind and calming the sea,
but as well the story of the Gadarene swine.
Jesus exorcizes the demons from two men possessed
and sends the demon spirits into a herd of swine
which then rush headlong over a cliff and perish in the sea below.
The point was sufficiently clear.
The teaching is that Jesus is the Divine Saviour who
protects us both from the sea-storms of the world
and the sea-storms of the heart -
the demons of our fears and anxieties which can so easily possess and control us.
The question is whether we are awake to his presence
and whether we actually want him in our neighbourhood.
The disciples who awaken Jesus from his sleep
accuse him of not caring about whether they perish.
They are, we may say, totally asleep to the meaning of his presence with them.
It is altogether because he cares.
And the people of the country of the Gadarenes who are so terrified about
what Jesus does to remove the fierce demons which had previously terrified them
beg him to leave their neighbourhood.