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Sexagesima Sunday MMXII

God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do; mercifully grant that we may be defended against all -- by the protection of  the Apostle of the Gentiles, per ...

--Latin original Collect:

Deus qui conspicus quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus: concede propitius, ut contra adversa omnia doctoris gentium protectione muniamur, per...

--Gelesian Sacramentary

Introit: Awake why sleepest thou, O Lord…

Ps. We have heard with our ears..

Epistle: 2Cor 11:19-12:9 For ye suffer fools gladly…me.

Gradual: Let the nations know that thy name is Jehovah…..

Gospel: Luke 8:4-15 And when much people were gathered…patience.


See it all here

This collect was translated in the Reformed Book of Common Prayer and the Lutheran Service manual as

O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through…

 -- BCP - Lutheran reformed version

This is the longest Pauline epistle in any of the Sunday propers, and so mentioning Paul in this collect may have been a way to recognize Paul's perils. In the epistle, Paul described his persecutions, which he met at every occasion. As he was protected, so may we be. Paul did not glory in his resilience against his adversities, but rather in his infirmities and in Christ Jesus his Lord (2Cor 12:9) 

Here is a link to a portion of a homily on this passage by Chrysostom.

Deus qui conspicus quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus

God is all seeing, all knowing. There is nothing that he does not know. There is no hiding place from his observation. If you ascended into heaven; he is there. If you descended into the depths of the dead; he is there (Ps. 139:8). Nothing is hidden, and all will be revealed (1Cor 3:13).  God also knows in whom we put our trust.  "Trust in God" is our motto, written large on our money. But do we really?

In what do we trust? 

Beware of those who preach a "prosperity Gospel" which is no Gospel at all.  Do not trust in that.  

Beware of the "snake-oil salesmen" pretending to be God's ministers on religious television channels and networks who give false prophesies, perform fake healings, and bid you send them your money or to buy their worthless trinkets. Do not trust in that. 

Beware of a "peace, justice, and inclusion Gospel" that would replace our Savior with the latest social agenda and political action.  Do not trust in that.  

Rather, trust in Jesus. Trust in his eternal promise.  Trust in his presence that brings his heavenly peace in the midst of strife, fear, and anguish.  Trust in his law to be a lamp unto your feet to guide you through this life of woe.  Renounce every thought that salvation is based upon what you do, and acknowledge that it is based solely on the work of God.  It is a gift, never earned through our efforts, but accepted by his elect when offered -- and manifested through faith that saves. Fully rely on God.

 concede propitius, ut contra adversa omnia doctoris gentium protectione muniamur, per...

This trust and faith is the gift that provides a ready defense against the wiles of the adversary and assaults of this world. Paul's protection is solicited from God in the collect, and what that protection may truly imply is an understanding and emulation of Paul's source of protection. We do well to heed his encouragement to the Ephesians of how we are to prepare for adversity: with a shield of faith, a belt of truth, an helmet of salvation, a breatplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, and feet shod with the Gospel, strengthened to carry forth Jesus' commission to make disciples of all men.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

In prior years, I had the responsibility to prepare young men for commission and evaluate them through small unit tactical training. They executed what are currently known as Pre-Combat Checks (PCC) before departing on a mission.  Every man was checked by another for his personal armor, weapons, equipment, and knowledge of the mission and commander's intent. All were checked, from the Platoon Commander to the rifleman.  These pre-combat checks remind me of Paul's admonition and his personal preparation for combat to withstand his foes. We would do well to conduct our own PCCs for ourselves and our neighbor in this day.


Read Paul's letter and understand his struggle in this world against all manner of evil.  He withstood all – survived all -- until he was called home to his rest. He forever stood firm in the faith, with his boast in God and in his suffering for Christ.


Read the Gospel.  Pray that you might be like the seed that fell in the good earth, that grew strong and returned an hundred fold to the Master. Depend on God's promises and presence in every endeavor. Pray that God will forever abide with you so the devil cannot pluck away, and the cares of this world cannot choke out the love of God in Christ Jesus.


semper paratus



(Portions were paraphrased and passages cited from The Collect of the Day, by Paul Zeller Strodach, 1939, The United Lutheran Press, Philadelphia)


The Ancient Collect: Its history and form

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