It is so easy to miss the Collect of the Day. It breezes by before the service is hardly even underway. But the Collects are often a treasure of both doctrine and pastoral wisdom. By the way, they are called “Collects” because they “collect” the prayers of the people.
The Collect for this Sunday is such a treasure:
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
We begin by affirming that we cannot fix our lives. We depend on God even for the roiling mess that is our internal lives (the “unruly wills and affections of sinners”). It is only by the grace of God that we can even love God or look to his promises. And how do we face the difficulties of this life? By keeping our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, the only source of true and lasting joy in life.
Summed up in a few short, but highly expressive phrases, this prayer addresses the struggles we face and the path that leads us through those struggles.
Each week, the Collect for the upcoming Sunday is included in this eNews, so that you can use it in your prayers leading up to Sunday. And when it comes to Sunday, pause to pay attention to these pastoral treasurers!
This column is from the March 18, 2018 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the full issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current issue of the eNews.