Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
Luke 4:1-13 (The Temptation of Jesus in the desert)
This is the first Sunday in Lent. Lent started on Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, when people around the world apply the charred remains of last year’s palm crosses to their foreheads. It is a symbol of identification with Jesus in the desert for 40 days, fasting and tempted by the devil. The ash in part symbolises the dry, barren desert landscape in which we find Jesus near death and taunted by the devil. And so it marks for us also a 40 day journey towards Easter! The journey starts in the dry, barren, dead desert and ends with resurrection and life at sunrise on the 40th day.
A journey from the desert to the resurrection.
A resounding theme of this journey is from death to life, a theme that has laser like focus on it in the Easter events. But it is there in the temptation of Jesus in the desert
View the recording of this week’s sermon here:
And you can access this week’s service sheet from our News page.
Today is Transfiguration Sunday, and Anne is talking about The Splendour of Light.
The readings are taken from Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 & Luke 9:28-36
The recording of Anne’s talk can be found here: https://youtu.be/P_ERpBf9E3U
And we pray:
O Lord, just as Moses and your disciples
were changed by their experiences
we too are changed and transformed
into the image of Christ by your mercy.
As we leave this place of prayer,
return to our homes and workplaces,
and pick up roles and responsibilities
which are important elements of our lives and faith,
may we reflect your love, your hope, and your light. Amen.
Readings: Genesis 45: 3-11 & 15; Luke 6: 27-38
Relationships can be fickle!
All of the readings set for today have an overarching theme of relationship breakdown and forgiveness.
Jesus is inviting all of us into forgiveness, into a deep, unlimited and radical kind of forgiveness that we can fully appreciate only when we have been on the receiving end of it.
The recorded sermon can be found here: https://youtu.be/5UMbKZjcihs, and the service sheet for this week can be downloaded from our News page.
Readings: Genesis 25:19-26 & 1 Peter 3:8-11
Is conflict good, bad or neutral? What do you think? Is it a God-given part of the created order? Does it have a purpose? The story of Jacob and Esau would suggest yes! Here we see a picture of them in conflict even before they are born, ‘struggling against each other in the womb.’ (25:22)
The recorded sermon – Conflict & Resolution – can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/n1RQy25EnYY
And the weekly service sheet can be downloaded from our News page. This week we are using this version of the Lord’s Prayer, which you also may like to use.
Dear God our Father in heaven, there is power in your name.
We trust your ways…from your kingdom in heaven all the way down to earth where we live.
Please provide all we need today.
Forgive our mistakes as we forgive those who make mistakes against us.
Help us to make good choices and protect us from all that is evil.
Everything we have and do is all for you so everyone we meet will see you in us.
Forever and ever, amen.
Readings: Psalm 144:9-15 and Matthew 6: 19-24
When we call, God who is all love answers and gives us strength for our weariness. Though we fall short, the love of God draws near to us again and again bringing us out of our fear and resistance and into our calling as people who reflect Christ’s love.
We have strength for the task and love for the journey – this is our good news today. Thanks be to God. Amen
As this is Waitangi Day, we will, of course, be singing a couple of New Zealand hymns. We have chosen two of the ones by Shirley Murray – Where Mountains rise to open skies, and God bless our land, in every generation. You will find the words on this week’s service sheet which is on our News page.
David’s sermon is “Who do you listen to?”, and a recording of it can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/zfLT0uZvSuo. A pdf of the sermon will be available early next week from our News page.
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-10
This week, Anne preaches on Nehemiah - Expectant, responsive, changed?
You can access the recorded sermon here: https://youtu.be/O1i_PMoo1dU, and a copy of this week’s bulletin can be found on our News page.
Perhaps this week, as a follow-up to today’s service, you might like to read the book of Nehemiah? It is just 13 chapters long and is action-packed. OR If you would like to pray about ‘The Law of the Lord’ – which so challenged Ezra’s listeners – Psalm 119 could be a fruitful prayer to consider. It is 176 verses long but is divided into small sections which could be pondered and prayed with over several days or even weeks.
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Mark 1: 14-20
Many years ago, in an interaction with a Pentecostal Christian, Hamish was informed that he could not be a “real Christian” as he did not speak in tongues! That caused him to pause and think: What is a real Christian? What is real Christianity?
He speaks to these questions in today’s sermon, the recording of which can be found here: https://youtu.be/VaVeeVO4fSU
The text of the sermon will be available from early next week on our News page.
St Stephen’s Day
In Western Christianity, 26 December is called "Saint Stephen's Day", the "Feast of Stephen" mentioned in the English Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas". It is a public holiday in many nations that are of historic Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran traditions, including Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Catalonia and the Balearic Isles. In Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, the day is celebrated as "Boxing Day".
The title of this week's sermon is "Journeys", and the recorded version can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/0w6Zx2TQla4
This morning is our service of Service of Readings and Carols & Christmas music. Because there is more musical content to the service this week, there is no recorded sermon.
Our choir master has picked out a good selection of pieces for the Choir and soloists to sing. For those not able to join us, here are some YouTube links to versions of the pieces they are singing
Recitative and Air, from Messiah, G. F. Handel:
Jesu, Joy of man’s desiring, from Cantata 147:
Angel Tidings. Moravian traditional carol, arr. John Rutter:
The Virgin’s Slumber Song. Text Michael Forster, Music Max Reger:
Cowboy Carol. Words and Music Cecil Broadhurst:
All Age Family Advent Service
Bible Reading: Isaiah 12:2-6
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
4 In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
Today’s theme is Joy, and the church service will feature our young people performing “New Star”, a Christmas Pageant.
A recorded message for the day can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/l0USLqDkdjY
Worship Services are held at 10am every Sunday. For those unable to join us in person, a recorded version will be available from 9am each week.