Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so run to thy heavenly promises, that we fail not finally to attain the same; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect: Bishop Leo I [440-461] Sacrementary. Archbishop Cranmer changed it to read as shown here: ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after herWEEKLY BULLETIN
"When there is no truth that deserves assent from everybody, the only arbiter in our competing desires is power. Where truth doesn't define what's right, might makes right. And where might makes right, weak people pay with their lives. When the universal claim of truth disappears, what you get is not peaceful pluralism or loving relationships; what you get is concentration camps and gulags"
Andrew Stratilatus, Martyr -- August 19 [286-305] Evgeny of Chechnya, Martyr - August 20th  Centurio Luxurius, with Camerinus, and Cisellus - August 21th
The noble army of martyrs praise theecommentary
The collect today reminds us that we are called to "laudable service". The word "true" is heavy; and worth pondering. It gets at the heart of a person's service. Was his act "self serving" or was it "selfless service"? The Order has established the Labrum Guard as a special branch for our members to encourage laudable service to the Church and the community in Christ's name.
The Old Testament lesson is the Song of Mariam [Ex iv. 19]. It has been regarded by some critics as one of the oldest passages in the Bible. The account here, and in the Song of Moses, clearly establishes celebration as a form of worship pleasing to God. Psalm LXXXI proclaims the gaiety and celebration that was a part of the annual feasts, with "timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery"
This gay beginning of this psalm seems to point to the Feast of the Passover, as it has God's voice saying "am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.", and to the Feast of the Tabernacles with its reference to the sounding of the horn at the new moon.
The psalm then addresses the idolaters and evil-doers. What saith God? "So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Augustine writes:
"And I let them go according to the affections of their heart" (ver. 12). Behold the press: the orifices are open, the lees run. "And I let them go," not according to the healthfulness of My commands; but, according to the affections of their heart: I gave them up to themselves. The Apostle also saith, "God gave them up to the desires of their own hearts." "I let them go according to the affection of their heart, they shall go in their own affections." There is what ye shudder at, if at least ye are straining out into the hidden vats of the Lord, if at least ye have conceived a hearty love for His storehouses, there is what ye shudder at. Some stand up for the circus, some for the amphitheatre, some for the booths in the streets some for the theatres, some for this, some for that, some finally for their "new gods;" "they shall go in their own affections."
In the perversity of their hearts do men pursue that which is evil and unseemly. Paul warned the Romans of such when he said,
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
"Be not deceived" - indeed. The unrighteous persist in their misdeeds at their own peril.