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Fourth Sunday in Lent - 2014

The Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Psalm 46
Deus noster refugium
GOD is our hope and strength : a very present help in trouble.
2. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved : and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;
3. Though the waters thereof rage and swell : and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
4. The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God : the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.
5. God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed : God shall help her, and that right early.
6. The heathen make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved : but God hath shewed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.
7. The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8. O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord : what destruction he hath brought upon the earth.
9. He maketh wars to cease in all the world : he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.
10. Be still then, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the heathen, and I will be exalted in the earth.
11. The Lord of hosts is with us : the God of Jacob is our refuge.

The Collect.
GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 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: Ezekiel 39.21-29
Psalter: Psalm 142, 143 | 119.105-144
Epistle Reading: Galatians 4.21-31
Gospel Reading: St. John 6.1-14

Toon: “The Collect begins by recognizing that before God's court we all stand condemned as those who both break his commandments and fail to obey them; thus in our consciences we know that we deserve his punishment ( as the Covenant of the Law clearly states). But it does not stop there. It prays that by the comfort of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be relieved or refreshed (here we hear the invitation - "Come unto me all that travail...").

This is a perfect Collect for mid-Lent if we have been taking Lent seriously and are much aware of our sins though self-examination and penitence.

The modern transformation of this day in Great Britain into the celebration of human motherhood, as Mother's Day [or Mothers' Day], has occurred in the Church because Lent is not being taken seriously!
When Lent is taken seriously then this Sunday is a day when the Church encamps in a green pasture to be relieved, refreshed and fed by the Lord Jesus Christ so that we may serve his Father not only in the rest of Lent, on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, but also in Easter power and grace unto our life's end.
Below is a 17th century description of a Lent taken seriously.

"To Keep A True Lent" by Robert Herrick (1647)
Is this a fast, to keep The larder lean, And clean, From fat of veals and sheep?
Is it to quit the dish Of flesh, yet still To fill The platter high with fish?
Is it to fast an hour, Or ragged to go, Or show A downcast look, and sour?
No; 'tis a fast to dole Thy sheaf of wheat And meat Unto the hungry soul.
It is to fast from strife, From old debate, And hate; To circumcise thy life;
To show a heart grief-rent; To starve thy sin, Not bin, And that's to keep thy Lent” (

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