23rd October 2022
Morning Worship 23/10

  Morning Worship


October 2022


“Humble hearts and minds”

Jesus teaches that we are to be humble before God and to recognise the equal worth of all his children. We explore how that affects our interactions with others, and how we choose to portray ourselves to God and to others. We explore how this influences our own shortcomings and vulnerabilities, and how we respond to the worth of others.

Opening Prayer:
Lord, as we come to worship,
help us to do so with humility.
Help us to see ourselves as we are
and remember before you that we are
weak without your power;
lost without your guidance;
nothing without you.
But with you all things are possible.

Reading – Jeremiah 14. 7-10, 19-22 (New Living Translation)

The people say, “Our wickedness has caught up with us, Lord,
but help us for the sake of your own reputation.
We have turned away from you
and sinned against you again and again.
O Hope of Israel, our Saviour in times of trouble,
why are you like a stranger to us?
Why are you like a traveller passing through the land,
stopping only for the night?
Are you also confused?
Is our champion helpless to save us?
You are right here among us, Lord.
We are known as your people.
Please don’t abandon us now!”

10 So this is what the Lord says to his people:
“You love to wander far from me
and do not restrain yourselves.
Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people.
Now I will remember all your wickedness
and will punish you for your sins.”


19 Lord, have you completely rejected Judah?
Do you really hate Jerusalem?[a]
Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing?
We hoped for peace, but no peace came.
We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.
20 Lord, we confess our wickedness
and that of our ancestors, too.
We all have sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your reputation, Lord, do not abandon us.
Do not disgrace your own glorious throne.
Please remember us,
and do not break your covenant with us.

22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain?
Does it fall from the sky by itself?
No, you are the one, O Lord our God!
Only you can do such things.
So we will wait for you to help us.


Reading – Luke 18. 9-14 (New Living Translation)

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


The parable Jesus tells in the Gospel reading highlights misplaced confidence and an inflated comparison with others.  The example Jesus gives of the Pharisee, who regards himself to be righteous above others, is one of a misplaced confidence in their standing with God, and one who is contemptuous of others – specifically the tax collector.

This is not an uncommon human trait: establishing one’s own inflated worth by comparing oneself favourably to others.  Looking down on others with disdain. Ignoring or even denying personal shortcomings, while highlighting those of others.

Yet it is the tax collector in the parable – who recognises their own faults and shortcomings, but who has faith that God will guide them – that Jesus points to as the example of one who will be exalted before God.   This is a parable about the importance of a humble heart and mind that strengthens faith and service versus the arrogance and self-worth that poisons our relationships with others and with God.

There is a poem “Desiderata” written by Max Ehrmann, and made famous in the 60’s as a song by the same name, which has the line ‘If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.’  This line reflects the same meaning as the parable that Jesus uses.  The poem is written with the perspective of giving advice to achieve a meaningful and balanced life.  At the root of the poem is a sense that achieving a meaningful and balanced life is through a humble heart and mind.

Anyone is capable of being arrogant or being humble. These attitudes express themselves in how we view our neighbours and in the faith we rely on to guide our daily lives.

Through the parable Jesus is pointing us to being honest with ourselves: honesty in recognising our shortcomings and in having the courage to own up to them and seeking God’s help to overcome them. Having a humble heart and mind before God. Then we will recognise our true worth and that of others as desired by God.


The Lord’s Prayer:

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.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.

Now and for ever. 



Closing prayer:

You, O Lord, are here among us.
You call us by name and you never give up on us.
We feel humble, because you are so awesome.
We place all our hope and trust in you.
Give us courage to boast about your love for us,
wherever we go, today and always.


May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. 



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.