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The Second Sunday after Epiphany-2013

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 45.1-15
Psalter: Psalm 96, 97 | 45, 46
Epistle Reading: Romans 12.6-16
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 1.1-11

Barbee and Zahl:
“Does He govern all things in heaven and earth? Or, rather, are there one or two undiscussables, those unprayerable matters which bitter defeat and chronic experience have taught us to exempt from the list of things God governs? ( . . . ) What do you exempt, in practice, from “all things in heaven and earth” which the Collect places under the direction and oversight of Almighty God? If this prayer has any integrity at all, the answer has to be, nothing. That would fly in the face of our personal experience, which continually exempts chronic unprayerables from God’s oversight. Consider un-exempting the impossible thing that has got you defeated. Consider taking it out from your strongbox of undiscussables and setting it before the Lord one more time. And pray the old words of this Collect. The gift given back should be “peace, all the days of our life.”” (19).

C.S. Lewis:
“And perhaps, as those who do not turn to God in petty trials will have no habit or such resort to help them when the great trials come, so those who have not learned to ask Him for childish things will have less readiness to ask Him for great ones. We must not be too high-minded. I fancy we may sometimes be deterred from small prayers by a sense of our own dignity rather than of God’s” (“Letters to  Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer,” 23).

Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare
John Newton, 1779

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare:
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
he himself has bid thee pray,
therefore will not say thee nay.

Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring;
for his grace and power are such,
none can ever ask too much.

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
let thy blood, for sinners spilt,
set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord, I come to thee for rest,
take possession of my breast;
there thy blood bought right maintain,
and without a rival reign.

Show me what I have to do,
every hour my strength renew:
let me live a life of faith,
let me die thy people's death.

While I am a pilgrim here,
let thy love my spirit cheer;
as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
lead me to my journey's end.

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