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First Sunday of Lent-2013

The First Sunday in Lent.
The Collect.
O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 58.1-14
Psalter: Psalm 51, 54 | 119.1-32
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 6.1-10
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 4.1-11

Barbee and Zahl: “This is an original composition for the 1549 Prayer book. ( . . . ) It is clear from this Collect that we cannot obey God in the direction of “righteousness and true holiness” until we are “subdued.” ( . . . ) There is a proper sense of having your emotions under rein which proceeds any effective service outwards. You have to be free from ungoverned outbreaks of personal need and personal pain if your attempted works of love are not to be marred by self-interest and self-service, even self-sabotage. ( . . . ) What Cranmer intends here, in place of the old model of warfare between “flesh” and “spirit,” is the discipline exercised upon the whole person by the Spirit of God. Through the Spirit it becomes natural rather than against nature to restrain the evil impulse for the sake of love. The “godly motion” of the Collect is the spirit of a man or woman that has been aligned into ways of goodness by the virtue of God’s grace preceding” (34-5).

For your personal benefit: This is the Collect for the 1st Sunday of Lent from the “Book of Worship”, The General Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1947 –

“We beseech the, O Lord, by the mystery of our Savior’s fasting and temptation, to arm us with the same mind that was in him toward all evil and sin; and give us grace to keep our bodies in such holy discipline, that our minds may be always ready to resist Satan, and obey the direction of thy Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

One final note: on my blog is an encouraging resource, links to 2 videos of a woman who was once a militant Lesbian and feminist professor, who is now a Christian. I think you will find her story compelling, encouraging, and helpful as we think of ways to address this issue in our situations.

Primus Pilus II

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