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Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity - 2013

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.129-136

129. THY testimonies are wonderful : therefore doth my soul keep them.
130. When thy word goeth forth : it giveth light and understanding unto the simple.
131. I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath : for my delight was in thy commandments.
132. O look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me : as thou usest to do unto those that love thy Name.
133. Order my steps in thy word : and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
134. O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men : and so shall I keep thy commandments.
135. Shew the light of thy countenance upon thy servant : and teach me thy statutes.
136. Mine eyes gush out with water : because men keep not thy law.

The Collect.
LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent* and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*{In older English: “to be in readiness for (as an occasion)” “to meet and satisfy in advance” “to act ahead of” “to go or arrive before” -}
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 13.15-21
Psalter: Psalm 91, 92 | 105, 60
Epistle Reading: Ephesians 4.1-6
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 14.1-11

Barbee and Zahl: “Understanding this Collect turns on the simple fact that the verb “prevent” in the older English means “precede” in modern English. The prayer asks God to send His grace (i.e., unmerited favor) before us, in front of us as we travel our road, as well as behind us. It is the “pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night” (Exodus 13:21). ( . . . ) Without God having already gone before us, we would, as human beings in our own strength, face impossible odds. ( . . . ) What lies ahead of us, humanly speaking, is too uncertain, too hostile, too large, too callous, too cool, too hard, too impossible. The Collects emphasize the frailty of our case and the dangers in which we are perpetually set, circling the human being like sharks and vultures. If He were not going before us, not to mention covering our flanks, we would, in general, within ourselves, simply freeze” (103).

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