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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
23rd October 2022

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in reguar typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:


Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we remember what we should be looking for above all else.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

Use your mouse to scroll through the contents of each window.

Clicking on the buttons across the tops of the windows below will allow you to zoom in\out,

search, switch to full screen, print, and download the contents to your computer.

The Pewsheet:

Call to Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.


We meet in the name of Jesus,

Word made flesh,
saviour of fallen humanity, lover of all. Amen.


We meet in the name of the Holy Spirit,

Lord and giver of life,
midwife of new humanity,
inspirer of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness

(click the "play" button, below:)

00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence for the Day

Through the abundance of your steadfast love, I will come into your house, and bow low in reverence toward your holy temple.

The Prayer for the Day (Collect)


Let us pray together.

Forgiving God, your covenant is firm;  be merciful to us, and grant us to live in your presence, ever singing your praise;  through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of  your Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

A reading from The Old Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Joel 2:23-32
00:00 / 02:31

A reading from The New Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

2 Tim 4:6-8,16-18
00:00 / 01:58

Pause for a moment of silent reflection.

The Gradual Hymn


Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing along with this beautiful hymn.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Gospel Reading, Luke 18:9-14

(click the "play" button, below:)

Luke 18:9-14
00:00 / 01:34

Listen to the sermon:
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin)

sermon_221023_A Tale Of Two Prayers
00:00 / 10:33

or, if you prefer, you can read to the sermon, below:

SERMON : ORDINARY 30 (LUKE 18:9-14) 23rd OCTOBER 2022

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>


A couple of weeks ago my message was built upon our need to be continually grateful to God for all the blessing he pours upon us. So let me start my message this week by saying “Thank You” to God ….


God, I thank you that I am not like those conservative Anglicans who walked away refusing to acknowledge gospel hospitality, love, and inclusiveness. God, I thank you that I am not like the agenda-driven liberal Anglicans who neither understand nor respect the Holy Scriptures. God, I thank you that I am not like the members of the Labour Party who are driving this country into another failure of socialism. God, I thank you that I am not like the members of the National Party who only care about the wealthy and profits. <PAUSE>


Today’s gospel begins with two men who went to pray and it concludes, a few verses later, with only one who went “justified”. This is a gospel that most of us find pretty straightforward … one of the two men is pretty confident of himself. He is a Pharisee one, who has devoted his life to his faith and yet, we seem to know immediately and intuitively that his prayer should not be our prayer.


Now the tax collector is also praying in the temple but he stands at a distance from the Pharisee, away from the centre, where people normally gather. His prayer is quite different - God be merciful to me a sinner - and this is the one Jesus says who returned to his home justified … and there you have it!


The moral of the story, the sermon,  don't be proud or arrogant like the Pharisee but instead be humble like the tax collector! THE END! (If only the Vicar’s sermons could be as short as this every week !!!) <PAUSE>


Ah - - - sorry, but that is not the end! You see, the Pharisee is actually right he’s not like other people - not a thief, troublemaker, adulterer, doesn’t work for the Roman authorities, fasts regularly, tithes one tenth of his income - he IS trying is to live his life in accord with the law of Israel. The better you were at keeping the law, the more righteous you were.


So this Pharisee is both right, he is not like other people and righteous because he is very successful at living his faith BUT he is not, Jesus says, “justified”.


The tax collector, on the other hand, is pretty much the opposite, doesn’t keep the law and, working for the Roman authorities, he is despised and no one would call him righteous. So, he stands at the margins, won’t even lift his eyes toward heaven. He simply asks for mercy.THIS is the one whom Jesus says is justified.




Well, true, the Pharisee appears to lead a blameless life and, for this reason, can be deemed “righteous”. The tax collector does not lead a blameless life but asks God for mercy. Asks God to look at him and judge him NOT based upon what he has done BUT … to look at him and judge him based on who God is compassionate loving and merciful.


This is what makes this parable kind of tricky for us because if we read it in that simple, straightforward manner in which I started today (don't be self-righteous like the Pharisee but instead be humble like the tax collector) because then we try to interpret the words of Christ based upon who the men are BASED UPON WHO GOD IS … COMPASSIONATE, LOVING, MERCIFUL. <PAUSE>

So, how do WE know if WE are faithful enough, righteous enough, justified?


From this parable today, I put to you … perhaps a secret to being a Christian is NOT to strive to be righteous or humble or successful or rich;  not any of the things we can put on a scale and measure and compare BUT INSTEAD -


simply TO PRAY FOR MERCY and receive that mercy from God, that acceptance from God, that love from God.


Perhaps another secret to being a Christian is simply to accept that we are God’s children and God has ALREADY called us righteous, and justified, and holy, and beloved, and redeemed. <PAUSE>


Two men went up to the temple to pray and one went home justified because he recognised that he receives mercy not because of what he’s done but because of who God is  - loving, gracious, and merciful, to you, to me, to all of us. THANKS BE TO GOD. <PAUSE>


For the tax collector God’s mercy has opened the door to a new life. We do not know what happened when the tax collector got home. The gospel then does not tell us how the story ends. It tells us, rather, how it might begin.


The beginning of a new story, a new life, is a choice God sets before each one of us. It is a choice WE HAVE TO MAKE every time WE cry out for mercy.

In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect


Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by listening as "The Apostles Creed" is read to us.
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to listen) 

apostles creed AD
00:00 / 01:03

 ... and now ... let us pray for the Church and for the World, giving thanks for God's goodness.

(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin) 


The Lord's Prayer


Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ has taught us:

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.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.


Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:


God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing


The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn


In closing our service let us raise our voices in praise and celebration by singing along with our final hymn.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:



Go now to love and serve The Lord,

Go in peace.


Amen, we go in the name of Christ.

Are you missing Holy Communion? Click here.

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