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Values for Life

Our Collective Worship focusses on core Christian values. 

values

Compassion

‘Compassion’ and ‘sympathy’ have much in common and both are stronger in meaning than simply ‘feeling sorry for’ someone. The words have their roots in the idea of ‘suffering with’ someone, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and experiencing what they experience.

Psalm 145: 8-9 - The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger in rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin (Numbers 14:18).

Matthew 6:14 - For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Friendship

Friendship is an undisputed value in our society, with children often spending more time with their friends than with family. It is a key concept in the Christian framework, with Jesus being criticised for being ‘the friend of sinners’ and eating with those whom society rejected.

Proverbs 27:9 - Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Hope

The Christian understanding of hope illustrates how trivial our everyday use of the word can be. We hope that it will not rain for the picnic, or that the car will start or that the plumber will come tomorrow. At a deeper level, hope is a universal human phenomenon. People hope for peace in time of war; food in time of famine; justice in time of oppression. Where hope is lost there is despair and disintegration. Hope generates energy and sustains people through difficult times. For some people, hope is so strong that it inspires self-sacrifice to turn hope into reality

Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Humility

Humility has a central place in Christ’s teaching. It is contrasted with pride, where people ascribe to themselves the honour and glory which is God’s alone. Ultimately, pride seeks to compete with God, whereas humility acknowledges that God is God and that we should live in trusting dependence upon God.

Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Justice

When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. ‘Justice’ evokes ideas of ‘just deserts’, ’the punishment fitting the crime’, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. However, that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving all people - particularly the poor and oppressed - what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of a concern for what is right and seeing right prevail. It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.

Isaiah 59:15-16 - The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.

Peace

The Hebrew term for peace, ‘shalom’, has a deep and complex meaning, encompassing much more than simply the absence of hostility or war. Shalom includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being. It means harmony, stability and security within a community. It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness, where people flourish because they are nurtured.

Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Reverence

Reverence is the proper human response to what is holy and sacred. It is related to awe and respect. It is this profound respect that is expressed in the Biblical phrase ‘the fear of the Lord’. This is not fear in the sense of terror or abject grovelling but a reverent acknowledgment of God’s greatness and our complete dependence.

Exodus 20:12 - Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Service

Words relating to ‘servant’ and ‘service’ are central in Christian theology. Some of the most important prophecies in Isaiah speak of the coming of the ‘Servant of the Lord’ and his role as a ‘suffering servant.’ That is why Jesus said that he ‘came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

Mark 10:45 - For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Thankfulness

Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people. Under the Law of Moses, there were not only sacrifices for forgiveness, there were ‘thanks offerings’ as well.

Luke 17:15-16 - One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan.

Trust

Trust is the very essence of faith; trust in the God who is trustworthy.

Psalm 20:7 - Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Wisdom

Wisdom is insight into the way life works: a proper understanding of the consequences of our thoughts, words and actions and an awareness of the true value of things. It is rooted in proper reverence for God who is the source of all life and all values.

1 Kings 4:29 - God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.