As inidividuals, we've likely had those very difficult moments when we were indeed quite powerless to do much of anything. A couple of examples are cited in the sermon; dealing with a big storm, coping with a sick loved one, and what you get reduced to as you find yourself powerless.
Expand that difficult individual sense of powerlessness to whole groups and communities. That's where our scriptures lead us.
Isaiah 40 - the beginning of what's known as Second Isaiah - is addressed to the exiles in Babylon who have endured several generations as exiles, refugees, aliens, and slaves. Isaiah has a new word for them about what God will be doing.
It means empowering the people who have been weakened and lost faith, reminding them of the complete sovereignty of God over all nations, empires, and rulers. The despairing, enfeebled captives are exhorted to embrace their faith anew, gaining strength so that they might soar as on eagles' wings. The imagery Isaiah uses has deeper meaning that gets explained in the sermon video. The message is that the pormise of God is before them, and to turn in faithfulness to God for their new strength and blessing.
In Mark, Jesus leaves the synagogue where in last week's passage, he exorcised an unclean spirit while teaching. He spoke then with authority and all marveled at it.
Jesus goes directly to Simon Peter's house where his mother-in-law has been bed-ridden with a fever. At Jesus' touch of her hand, she is made new and whole. She immediately arises and begins serving the Lord. Here, too, there is much more being said than might initially be seen. It is more about the status of widows than it is magical healing that is the superficial focus.
The other part that isn't well understood by the common reader is the demons. Where are they found? In the pews at church ... er, I mean synagogue. Jesus' confrontation with the religious establishment continues in this. Mark pairs Jesus healing of the widow to wholeness and the casting out of demons who can't stand what he's doing and saying. Again, there's more description in the sermon video.
Find out more about those who are empowered, and those who get denied their privilege by checking out the sermon video and from the downloads below the video panel.