Sunday between October 23 and October 29 inclusive
In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Jeremiah writes: we acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord; we set our hope on you (Jeremiah 14:7–10, 19–22). The psalmist sings: How lovely is your dwelling place; my heart and flesh sing for joy (Psalm 84:1–7). The apostle Paul writes: I have fought the good fight and kept the faith; God stands by me (2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18). In Luke, Jesus tells a parable: the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector (Luke 18:9–14).
Jeremiah 14:7–10, 19–22
7 Although our iniquities testify against us,
act, O Lord, for your name’s sake;
our apostasies indeed are many,
and we have sinned against you.
8 O hope of Israel,
its savior in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
like a traveler turning aside for the night?
9 Why should you be like someone confused,
like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
do not forsake us!
10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins.
19 Have you completely rejected Judah?
Does your heart loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
so that there is no healing for us?
We look for peace, but find no good;
for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
the iniquity of our ancestors,
for we have sinned against you.
21 Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
do not dishonor your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Can any idols of the nations bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God?
We set our hope on you,
for it is you who do all this.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.Selah
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18
6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Call to Worship
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Prayer of Renewal
Based on Luke 18:9-14; Psalm 84:5-7; 2 Timothy 4:7
help us not to think too highly ourselves,
but in our humility confess to you
that we are sinners who need your mercy.
May we find our refuge in strength in you alone.
As we go through the valleys of trial and struggle,
make them a place of springs, renewing the dry ground of our hearts.
When our time for departure comes, like Paul,
may we be able to say that we have fought the good fight,
we have finished the race, we have kept the faith.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Affirmation of Faith
Based on Luke 18:14
Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning pride and humility?
We believe that all who exalt themselves will be humbled,
but all who humble themselves will be exalted.