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Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
29th January 2023

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in reguar typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:


Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

Use your mouse to scroll through the contents of each window.

Clicking on the buttons across the tops of the windows below will allow you to zoom in\out,

search, switch to full screen, print, and download the contents to your computer.

The Pewsheet:

Call to Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.


We meet in the name of Jesus,

Word made flesh,
saviour of fallen humanity, lover of all. Amen.


We meet in the name of the Holy Spirit,

Lord and giver of life,
midwife of new humanity,
inspirer of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness

(click the "play" button, below:)

00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence for the Day

One thing I have asked of the Lord, which I long for, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on your beauty O Lord and to seek you in your temple.

The Prayer for the Day (Collect)


Let us pray together.

Teach us, Jesus, how to live and worship without being worldly or greedy.  Drive from our lives what spoils them and make us temples of the Spirit;  for the glory of Your holy name.      Amen.

A reading from The Old Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Micah 6:1-8
00:00 / 02:20

A reading from The New Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

1 Cor 1:18-31
00:00 / 02:53

Pause for a moment of silent reflection.

The Gradual Hymn


Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to join in with another wonderful hymn of the Church.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Gospel Reading

(click the "play" button, below:)

Matt 5:1-12
00:00 / 01:26

Listen to the sermon:
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin)

Sermon : Epiphany4 2023 - The Beatitudes
00:00 / 08:33

or, if you prefer, you can read to the sermon, below:

SERMON, 29th JAN 2023 : EPIPHANY 4


Take my lips O God and speak through them, take our minds O God and think through them, take our hearts O God and love through them this day.   <Amen>

Oh my, another truly exciting gospel for me to speak to today as I recall that just some eight weeks ago Kim and I stood, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, in the church built on the very spot where Christ gave us The Beatitudes. <PAUSE>


Today, I’m sitting in front of the central part of Mathias Runewald's great painting, known as ‘The Isenheim Altarpiece’. It is one of the most spiritually powerful, brutally realistic depictions of the crucifixion in western art.


Look at Jesus's mouth, hanging open, speechless, full of anguish. Look at the terrible wounds in his hands and feet, blisters and terrible marks all over His body. There's nothing the least bit sentimental about this portrayal.


I'm showing you this image today because of something St Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) wrote in his wonderful “Basel manuscript”. Aquinas said if you want the perfect vision of The Beatitudes, look to Christ - crucified. Well, here we have it. <PAUSE>


So, how does this stark image of our crucified saviour portray The Beatitudes?


Aquinas specified that if you want to be happy despise what Jesus despised on the cross and love what Jesus loved on the cross. Well, what did Jesus despise on the cross? Those four things that, Aquinas said, in which we humans typically seek our happiness.


WEALTH - he has none of it! He’s stripped naked!

PLEASURE - he is at the limit of psychological and physical suffering!

POWER - he has absolutely none! He is nailed to the cross; He can’t even move.

HONOUR - they mock Him as He is publicly displayed at the end of His earthly life!


Yes, Jesus is utterly detached from those four things in which we humans typically seek our joy. <PAUSE>


What does Jesus love on the cross? <PAUSE>


He loved doing the will of His Father and therefore He was blessed. Blessed because :


He was, on the cross, the single, pure-hearted one.

He was, on the cross, the one who hungers for righteousness.

He was, on the cross, the ultimate peacemaker.

He was on the cross the ultimate bearer of the divine mercy

He was, on the cross, the ultimate symbol of persecution and utterances of evil against Him so … <PAUSE> … he could rejoice and be glad as He returned to His Father in heaven.

Though it is very strange to say this while looking at this image, though it is a VERY high paradox … if Aquinas is right … this IS a picture of a happy man.


A man showing us the blessings of “The Beatitudes” that He preached on that sacred spot, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.


This image, The Beatitudes, turn all of our expectations around and in doing so, the crucified Christ, portraying The Beatitudes, becomes a picture of freedom, a picture of joy. <LONG PAUSE>


Blessed are YOU listening, watching, hearing, seeing, searching today because you too hunger and thirst for righteousness, and - in Christ’s life, death and resurrection - you WILL be filled, and the kingdom of heaven WILL be yours.

In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMINE>

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.

Pause and Reflect


Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by listening as "The Apostles Creed" is read to us.
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to listen) 

apostles creed AD
00:00 / 01:03

 ... and now ... let us pray for the Church and for the World, giving thanks for God's goodness.

(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin) 


The Lord's Prayer


Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ has taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.


Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:


God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing


The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn


Let us continue with our closing hymn and please do feel free to sing along with another great hymn of dedication.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:



Go now to love and serve The Lord,

Go in peace.


Amen, we go in the name of Christ.

Are you missing Holy Communion? Click here.


Inside The Church of The Beatitudes, Galilee, Israel.

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