All Saints’ Day
O almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity.
Nisi quia Dominus
1. IF THE Lord himself had not been on our side, now may Israel say : if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us;
2. They had swallowed us up quick : when thy were so wrathfully displeased at us.
3. Yea, the waters had drowned us : and the stream had gone over our soul.
4. The deep waters of the proud : had gone even over our soul.
5. But praised be the Lord : who hath not given us over for a prey unto their teeth.
6. Our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler : the snare is broken, and we are delivered .
7. Our help standeth in the Name of the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.
O GOD, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; Be ready, we beseech thee, to hear the devout prayers of thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 64.1-12
Psalter: Psalm 126, 127, 128 | 140, 141
Epistle Reading: Philippians 3.17-21
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 22.15-22
Personal reflection (MWP): I love the compact power of this Collect. (1) God is our refuge and strength where we can run in times of trouble and find his protection (A quotation from Psalm 46.1); (2) “The author of all godliness” describes our God as the scriptwriter and originator of what piety looks like, and the source from which godliness flows (Philippians 2.12-13); (3) “Be ready … to hear the devout prayers of your Church.” The obvious sentiment is that God stands ready to hear us, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism 100 puts it: “What doth the preface of the Lord's prayer teach us? A. The preface of the Lord's prayer (which is, Our Father which art in heaven) teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.” (4) “grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually” is a great exposition of Jesus’ promise in John 14.13 (and other places), “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."