Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 21 January 2023 (Epiphany 2: Saturday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 21 January 2023 (Epiphany 2: Saturday), including a reflection on the gospel reading


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
king of the nations,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts
anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit
that we may witness to your gospel
and sing your praise in all the earth.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Mark 3.20-21

Jesus went home and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ 


Too often we find ourselves in conflict with others. That conflict is usually rooted in a misunderstanding of circumstance or motive. We are quick to adopt a position on the issues that arise in our lives. We soon convince ourselves that the positions and attitudes we have adopted are the only ones that can possibly be correct. From there it is only a short journey to our being prepared to ‘fight’ to defend that which we ‘know’ to be right. We become so entrenched that all other attitudes and opinions become attacks on our way of thinking, on our way of living. This sounds a very dramatic escalation, but it is common at all levels of our daily existence. Parents are certain that their opinions and behaviours should be respected and adopted by their children. Neighbours are certain that the way in which they live out their daily lives should be respected and honoured by those amongst whom they live. Those who hold political office exert their authority and power in way that is intended to make us do ‘as we are told’! And those who fail to comply are deemed to have gone out of their minds!!

In today’s reading we hear of Jesus’ family saying: He has gone out of his mind. Why are they saying this? What is causing them to come to this harsh judgement about Jesus? The answer is simple … he is not conforming to their norm, to the way of living they know and would have expected him to honour and to emulate. Such contrary behaviour must be a demonstration of his having gone out of his mind. As recent as the mid-20th century people who did not follow the norms as laid down by their families could find themselves incarcerated in mental institutions because such unorthodoxy must be a demonstration of mental illness.

Of course, Jesus was not out of his mind. Jesus was carrying out the mission he came to achieve. Jesus was proclaiming the Good News; Jesus was healing the sick; Jesus was casting out demons; Jesus was showing the world that the Son of God was really in their midst. This was clearly a problem, even for his own family. They must have known the story of his miraculous birth. They must have seen him grow into the man around whom great crowds gathered, and yet they said: He has gone out of his mind.

Today we must pray for the strength to hold firm when those around us fail to recognize that we are striving to follow God’s call in our lives. We must pray that we might take seriously the truth that God is the one who knows our hearts and minds best. We must pray that even when God’s call seems like madness to us, as well as those around us, it is a demonstration of a wisdom that far exceeds any wisdom of our own.


From the rising of the sun to its setting, 
let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of God in all the world
may worship in spirit and in truth,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the Church may discover again 
that unity which is the Father’s will,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the nations of the earth
may seek after the ways that make for peace,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the whole creation, groaning in travail,
may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God,
let us pray to the Lord.

That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death
may rest in peace and rise in glory,
let us pray to the Lord.

Let us commend the world, to which Christ showed the way,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believing the promises of God,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Christ the Son of God
perfect in us the image of his glory
and gladden our hearts 
with the good news of his kingdom;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.