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 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (a)

4th Sunday after Epiphany

Texts & Discussion:

Micah 6:1-8
Psalm 15
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 5:1-12



This Week's Themes:

Right Living
Mystery of the Cross
Beatitude Attitude


 4th Sunday after


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Featured Sermons of the Week:

  • Blessed  Matthew 5:1-12       (see excerpt below)
    by Richard Gehring

  • Blessed Be, Matthew 5:1-12
    by Rev. Randy L. Quinn

Children's Messages:


Sermon Excerpt:

based on Matthew 5:1-12
by Richard Gehring

In Monty Python's “Life of Brian,” there is a scene in which the main characters find themselves on the edge of the crowd as Jesus is preaching his Sermon on the Mount. Because of their distance from Jesus—and because there are other conversations going on around them—it is difficult for them to understand what Jesus is saying. This situation leads to interchanges that go something like this:

“You hear that? Blessed are the Greek.”

“The Greek?”

“Mmm. Well, apparently, he's going to inherit the earth.”

“Did anyone catch his name?”

“Oh, it's the meek! Blessed are the meek! Oh, that's nice, isn't it? I'm glad they're getting something, 'cause they have a heck of a time.”

“What was that?”

“I think it was 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.'”

“Ahh, what's so special about the cheesemakers?”

“Well, obviously, this is not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.”

One can hardly blame those in the crowd for being confused about what Jesus is saying. Frankly, a lot of us are still confused about his words nearly 2000 years later. Chances are many of us here have memorized our New Testament text for today at some point in our lives. Along with the Ten Commandments and the 23rd Psalm, this is certainly one of the best-known passages in the Bible.

But while we may know what it says, we still struggle with understanding what the Beatitudes mean. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Who exactly are the poor in spirit? Who are the pure in heart? And what does it mean to be meek, for that matter?

Actually, one of the biggest obstacles we have to deal with in understanding this passage is defining what Jesus means by the very first word he speaks: “Blessed.” What does it mean to be blessed? . . . .

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