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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

 

Good morning to you all.

A very warm welcome to our service this morning, wherever you may be.

Today we think about what humility really is, and how far short we so often fall … well, I do!

May the thought of self always be furthest from our minds as we think of, and act on, the needs of others.

With love

Liz

 

Let us pray;

 

Dear Lord, as we rise to meet each new day, please let us be filled with Your spirit. Wherever we go, let us spread love, joy, peace, goodness and faithfulness. Let us desire to become more like you and to worship you in all that we do. Help us to desire these things so much more than the sin that entices us. Thank you for always going before us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Hymn: 467   Through all the changing scenes of life    Tune: Wiltshire

 

Our prayers of Penitence

 

When we cry out to the Lord in our trouble                                                                                 he will deliver us from our distress.

 

God will bring us out of darkness                                                                                                      and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.                                                                                                                                  Lord, have mercy.

 

Christ, have mercy.                                                                                                                               Christ, have mercy. 

 

Lord, have mercy.                                                                                                                                   Lord, have mercy.

 

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days.

Amen

 

Let us give thanks to the Lord for his goodness,

And the wonders he does for his children.

 

Let us offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving

And tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

 

                                                                                                                             

Let us pray our Collect for the 16th Sunday after Trinity

 

O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Sprit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen 

 

Readings

 

Wisdom of Solomon 1. 16 – 2.1, 12 - 22

James 3. 13 – 4. 3, 7 – 8a

 

Hymn: 6   Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes   Tune: Bristol

 

 

 

 

Gospel of Mark 9. 30 – 37

 

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.                 Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee.                                                                                                                 He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’                           But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

 

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’                                                                              But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.                                                                                                                            He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’                                                                                           Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’             

 

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

Reflection

 

‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’

 

We have all of us wanted to be first at some time or another – and I suspect it has been more than just once or twice. It is salutary to realise that it is the sinful nature inside each of us that wants the attention. It wants to be unique, most important, and the greatest part of us.

How many times have you felt slighted that someone else is picked for a team or a group instead of you? Maybe someone else is picked to play or to speak or to be involved or to receive some kind of honour instead of you?

Maybe you’ve grown out of these jealousies, or maybe you’re the one who sits quietly seething with white hot, silent rage as someone else takes credit for the work you’ve done.

Perhaps you hate the teacher’s pet or the boss’ favourite – not so much because you have a problem with the concept but rather because you’re not it.

Growing up doesn’t necessarily mean that these kinds of thoughts go away. ‘I’m more qualified for the job.’ ‘I’m better suited for that position.’ ‘I’d do ten times better than him/her if I did that.’

If each of us takes even a cursory look at our lives and relationships, we see immediately that we’ve all been guilty of wanting glory for ourselves                              - we’ve wanted to be considered great in one way or another – not to glorify God but to aggrandize oneself.

The existence of a vain glory-hungry sinful nature is nothing new. Jesus’ disciples show their own on more than one occasion.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus asks his disciples, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They didn’t want to answer because they were arguing about who was the greatest.

Why would they do that? Well, this story comes just after the Transfiguration when Peter, James and John go up the mountain with Jesus and they have a glimpse of His divine glory. It wasn’t the first time either, that these three had been singled out. They went with Jesus and witnessed Him raise a little girl from the dead.                                                               How do you think the other nine felt? What thoughts were running through their minds? Perhaps – what’s so special about them? Does Jesus think they’re better than me?

If you think about it, you can almost imagine how their argument went. Everybody has their claim to greatness, and we’re no different. We, like the disciples, want to be part of the inner-circle. We want to receive special attention. We want to be important. We want to be the person people look up to and respect. We want to be great.

Maybe the struggle for us today isn’t about getting noticed and making our way to the top but rather that the trouble goes in the opposite direction.

We all know pride is bad, so ‘I’m going to be the exact opposite of proud.’ ‘I’m the humblest ever; I’m more humble than you are.’ Just like that, the very thing that Jesus calls for – true humility – is something turned into a measuring stick to compare oneself with one’s neighbour. In the process one’s anything but humble.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that pride in all its forms – whether it’s false humility or outright one-upmanship – is really a starting point for all sins. If I’m busy focussing on myself and serving myself, then my eyes are not on my neighbour next to me. If I’m concentrating on my own heart from which evil thoughts spring, then false humility is just pride wearing a different coat. Humility is one of those slippery traits, because once you announce you have it, you’ve already lost it. If you want to be first, you’ve already disqualified oneself.

 

Jesus knows that the disciples are struggling with this issue, just as surely as He knows we are. To be truly great; to be first in the Kingdom of God, you have to serve and be last. Greatness in God’s kingdom isn’t about being first; in fact, it isn’t even about being us. If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and servant of all. There’s no ‘half-way’ down in humility. Who’s the boss? Not us. We’re not even middle management. We’re the last. We’re the servants of all. Jesus says this twice so we’d better hear it twice.  Want to be first? Then you are last OF ALL and you are servant OF ALL.

Greatness in God’s Kingdom is not about advancement of self, it’s about dying to self, and being raised to new life with our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Looking for greatness? Look to Jesus. He’s set us free from sin. He’s set us free to love. He’s set us free … to be great!

 

Amen

 

 

Affirmation of our faith

 

Let us declare our faith in God.

 

We believe in one God

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

He is the true and living God                                                                                      worthy to receive glory and honour and power.

He created all things,

by his will they existed and were created.

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ;

all things came into being through him.

He is the image of the invisible God

the firstborn of all creation.

In him all things in heaven and on earth were created.

He himself is before all things,

and in him all things hold together.

Being in the form of God, he emptied himself,                                                         he took the form of a slave, and was born in human likeness.

Being found in human form, he humbled himself

he became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

he was buried, he was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures.

God also highly exalted Jesus:

he gave the name that is above every name.

God has put things under his feet:

He made him the head over all things for the Church, which is his body.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again:

through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.

As all die in Adam,

so all will be made alive in Christ.

Thanks be to God

Who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

Amen.

 

Hymn:  388   Jesus shall reign where’er the sun      tune: Truro

 

Intercessions

 

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers and listen to the words of our mouths as we lay before you our hopes and fears, our joys and concerns and all the things for which we give thanks.

 

Creator God, drive away despair from our politics, revive our dreams of justice and truth, and restore our passion for what is good and right. Establish your just and gentle rule throughout the world especially where there is conflict; where peace seems so far away and so many have lost everything, even the faint hope of a peaceful future.

 

Lord, hear us

Lord, graciously hear us

 

Gracious God, help us always to remember that in life we are ‘Third’ and that you and our neighbour come first and second. Help us always to practise unselfishness as we attempt to live out our lives genuinely trying to be the servant of all, just as our Lord commanded.

 

Lord, hear us

Lord, graciously hear us

 

Loving God, we pray for all those who are suffering with physical, emotional or mental illness. Help them to keep their eyes fixed on you, and give them courage to face the trials and temptations that may come. We especially pray for: Ken and Diane, Margaret, Brian, Ollie, Rupert and Linda and all those who have no one to pray for them.

 

Lord, hear us

Lord, graciously hear us

 

Loving Father, we pray for those who have have died alone, unnoticed and unloved. We pray for those who have taken their own lives or died in accidents of their own making. We commend all the departed to your merciful love.

 

Lord, hear us

Lord, graciously hear us

Faithful God, as we leave this place today and return to our homes and loved ones draw near to us, strengthen our faith, deepen our love for you and for our neighbours and open our eyes to the wonder of your creation.

 

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

 Amen.

 

The Proud and the Humble Heart

 

The proud heart focuses on the failures of others

The humble heart is overwhelmed with its own spiritual need

The proud heart is critical and fault finding

The humble heart is compassionate and forgiving

The proud heart is independent and self-sufficient

The humble heart is dependent and recognises its need of others

The proud heart wants to prove it’s right

The humble heart is willing to yield the right to be right

The proud heart claims its rights                                                                                                The humble heart yields its rights

The proud heart desires to be served and to receive

The humble heart desires to serve and to give

The proud heart desires to be a success

The humble heart is motivated to be faithful and make others a success

The proud heart has a drive to be recognised and appreciated

The humble heart carries a sense of unworthiness

The proud heart thinks ‘how lucky others are to have me serve them’

The humble heart thinks ‘how incredible God is to use me at all.’

The proud heart is wounded when others are recognised

The humble heart rejoices when others are recognised

The proud heart is sad and remorseful over its sin

The humble heart is genuinely repentant, desiring to forsake their sin

The proud heart is confident in how much it knows

The humble heart is humbled by how much it still has to learn

The proud heart is self - conscious

The humble heart is not concerned with self

The proud heart privately keeps others at arm’s length

The humble heart is willing to risk getting close to others

The proud heart is quick to blame others                                                                     The humble heart accepts responsibility, and sees where it could be wrong

The proud heart has a hard time saying, ‘I was wrong’

The humble heart is quick to admit its failure and seek forgiveness

 

 

 

The Peace

 

Peace to you from God the Father.

Peace from Jesus Christ who is our peace.

Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life.

The peace of the triune God be always with us.

 

Amen.

 

Hymn: 252 The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended    Tune:  St Clement

 

 

Blessing

 

May God’s richest blessings be yours to day and always.

May His grace abound toward you, may His love cascade over you,

and may the rivers of His goodness flow abundantly through you,

in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 17th September 2021 7:48 AM