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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
19th February 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


O Lord how manifold are your works;  in wisdom you have made them all;  the earth is full of your creatures.

The Prayer for the Day (Collect)


Let us pray together.

Give us, we pray you, gentle God, a mind forgetful of past injury, a will to seek the good of others and a heart of love.  Hear this prayer for your love’s sake.    Amen.

A reading from The Old Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
00:00 / 03:15

A reading from The New Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

1 Cor 3:10-11, 16-23
00:00 / 02:03

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:)

Matthew 5:38-48
00:00 / 01:22

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

Sermon 230219 : A Divine Task On A Rocky Road
00:00 / 10:47

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

SERMON, 19th Feb 2023 : ORDINARY 7


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>

Some of you may be wondering why you were given a piece of candy with your pew-sheets this morning. That delicious sweet is called “rocky road” and I just wanted to give you all a little treat as well as to remind you that following Jesus is a challenge. It’s not all smooth sailing. It’s a journey along a road that, at times, can be “rocky”. <PAUSE>


Our journey through “The Sermon on the Mount” continues this week with two of the most difficult and controversial passages in the Bible: The challenges to “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies”.


“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth!”


The number of times that some people will, for their own ends, grab this quote from Scripture, take it out of time and context and cry, “REVENGE!!”


BUT WAIT … this concept goes back to the “Code of Hammurabi”, seventeen centuries before Christ.  We find traces of this Code in the Torah; specifically, Exodus, 21:23-25, which reads:


“But if any harm follows, then you must take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.”


Remember, this was a long time ago and people didn’t live under the laws of a just nation with a clearly defined legal system. They lived as tribes and villages. They were governed by the laws of retaliation. If you hit ME, I’ll hit YOU back.


The problem is, once set in motion, the law of retaliation quickly escalates and gets out of hand: Not only will I hit you back, I’ll hit you even harder … and my big mate will hit you, too! Unless the cycle of violence can be stemmed, whole tribes and villages can easily end up annihilating each other!


So, this teaching – “an eye for an eye” – was actually designed to curb violence, not encourage it! If you knock out my tooth, I have a right to knock out one of yours.  BUT ONLY ONE!  And I can’t break your jaw in the process.  And it has to be between me and you.  I can’t get my big mates involved.


Seen in THIS way, the Law of Moses made sense for the people of Israel.  And, while it didn’t prevent hostility altogether, at least it kept it in check.Yet, Jesus said no!! Jesus said, “…whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.


Jesus speaks of a life and a world-changing relationship. Jesus was, and is to this very day, challenging the prevailing world authority, by encouraging his followers to EXCEED THE DEMANDS PUT UPON THEM BY THE OPPRESSORS.


Christ challenges us how to be holy as God is holy, through godly behaviour in our everyday living. Telling the truth, treating others fairly, taking care of our families and the poor, protecting the weak, praying for those who hurt us – all these choices contribute to the spiritual discipline of holiness that Jesus challenges and confronts us with.


As I said right at the start … THIS can be a rocky road. <Pause>


Can YOU think of anyone who has harmed you, caused you those painful pangs of upset and grief? Is it an easy task to rise above your humanity and pray for them and forgive? How long does it take to walk through that rocky road and find a new, a different, a smoother path? <Pause>


Everyone faces hurtful people, sooner or later … No one faced more than Jesus.


So, the life, the death, the resurrection of Jesus show us the true meaning of what it means to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?


Even on the cross … “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do, and they divided up His clothes by casting lots.” (Luke 23:34)


As we saw earlier in the Code of Hammurabi, there had to be limits of retaliation for the people of Israel, else the violence would escalate and they’d destroy each other; and, as Jesus made clear in the “Sermon on the Mount”, the best way to stop the cycle of violence is not to retaliate at all: walk away … turn the other cheek … and pray for those who hurt you.


THIS WILL CHALLENGE US. THIS WILL TAKE US OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES. THIS CALL TO “CARRY THE BURDEN THE EXTRA MILE” WILL TIRE US … BUT … as our sweet treat this morning reminds … following Christ is sometimes a rocky road … but let us continue to walk it … and to God will be the glory.

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

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.


Go out and be - - - salty Christians!

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