The Fifth Sunday after Trinity.
( . . . )
23. Up, Lord, why sleepest thou : awake, and be not absent from us for ever.
24. Wherefore hidest thou thy face : and forgettest our misery and trouble?
25. For our soul is brought low, even unto the dust : our belly cleaveth unto the ground.
26. Arise, and help us : and deliver us for thy mercy’s sake.
( . . . )
GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Ecclesiastes 2.1-23
Psalter: Psalm 21, 23 | 26, 27
Epistle Reading: 1 Peter 3.8-15a (15b-16)
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 5.1-11
Barbee and Zahl: “This Collect is found in the Sacramentaries of Leo and Gregory and contains lasting evidence of the times in which it was composed. “When the Goths, the Huns, and the Vandals were hovering over the moribund Roman Empire, like a flight of vultures preparing to pounce upon a dying camel in the desert as soon as the breath is out of his body, there was certainly some point, and there was likely to be some sincerity, in such a prayer” (Dean E.M. Goulbourn, The Collects of the Day, 1883). ( . . . ) The Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity asks God to govern the world according to the Law’s First Use (n.b. the First Use of the Law of God was the political or civil application that functioned as a restrainer – MWP). One result of godly order in the world is the Church’s freedom to perform its leavening task “in all godly quietness.” The Prayer Book sees without question the need for ethical consensus, identified with the governance of God made concrete and universal in the Law of Moses. Without the Law, not only the world, but also the Christian Church is exposed to the primal viciousness of disordered instinctual drives. We need the Law’s First Use” (78-9)!
Personal Observations: As we join our hearts and voices in this Collect we ought to be thinking of at least two things: (1) Our present situation in the United States of America after the recent Supreme Court decisions, especially in light of the rationale that was written into those decisions that picture anyone opposed to certain lifestyle sins as enemies of humanity. There are some in other Western countries who can empathize with this trouble as well. (2) Our solidarity with brothers and sisters in hot and hostile places, who can’t even gather for worship without wondering if they will be killed, kidnapped or incarcerated.