The Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
MY SOUL cleaveth to the dust : O quicken thou me, according to thy word.
26. I have acknowledged my ways, and thou heardest me : O teach me thy statutes.
27. Make me to understand the way of thy commandments : and so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28. My soul melteth away for very heaviness : comfort thou me according unto thy word.
29. Take from me the way of lying : and cause thou me to make much of thy law.
30. I have chosen the way of truth : and thy judgements have I laid before me.
31. I have stuck unto thy testimonies : O Lord, confound me not.
32. I will run the way of thy commandments : when thou hast set my heart at liberty..
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Lamentations 3.22-33
Psalter: Psalm 19, 20 | 24, 25
Epistle Reading: Romans 8.18-23
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 6.36-42
Toon: “In this Collect we recognize out total dependence upon the protection, strength, holiness, mercy, providence and guidance of God our heavenly Father for the true living of the Christian life in this evil age and sinful world, and in preparation for the world to come.
We ask not only for the increase of God’s mercy towards us but that it may also be multiplied. It is as though we have in mind the increase in the widow’s oil in the ministry of Elijah (1 Kings 17:10-17) and the multiplication of the bread and fishes by our Lord (John 6:5-15). We are as those who have experienced Godís mercy in part yet who know that they need it urgently in greater part - and need it to be not only increased but also multiplied! What a daring petition!
The world we live in is made by God but is poisoned by sin. Thus in it we experience both blessings and temptations, encouragements and tribulation. We rise and we fall; we feel good and we feel bad. It is possible to pass through this world and be wholly absorbed by it - as we clearly see happening to many at the present time in the West. It is possible virtually to forget God as Creator, Judge and Redeemer, and live in this world as though we are responsible only to ourselves and that we are merely creatures of space and time who exercise our rights in full.
But we are made to enjoy and glorify God for ever; we are called to serve him in this world and the next and to enter into the next through the resurrection of the dead and the redemption of the body. If we see ourselves as made for eternity and not merely for space and time, then we shall pass through this world as those who eyes are set upon Christ Jesus, the Lord, and in obedience to his command and call. The intensity of the Christian hope is well stated by the Epistle where St Paul writes of longing for the redemption of the body.
We certainly need God’s mercy to surround and fill us, his rule over us and his guidance known in our souls, if we are to negotiate our way through this world in such a way as always to remain citizens of heaven and disciples of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the new Jerusalem. In this world we are to live as those who reflect in their lives the character and virtue of the life that is to come, as the Gospel declares.
So our pray ends with the intense verb, Grant. Grant all this, we ask of our heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Son and our Lord” (http://www.pbs.org.uk/the-bcp/fourth-sunday-after-trinity).
C.S. Lewis: “Not long ago when I was using the collect for the fourth Sunday after Trinity in my private prayers I found that I had made a slip of the tongue. I had meant to pray that I might so pass through things temporal that I finally lost not the things eternal; I found I had prayed so to pass through things eternal that I finally lost not the things temporal. Of course, I don't think that a slip of the tongue is a sin. I am not sure that I am even a strict enough Freudian to believe that all such slips, without exception, are deeply significant. But I think some of them are significant, and I thought this was one of that sort. I thought that what I had inadvertently said very nearly expressed something I had really wished. Very nearly; not, of course, precisely. I had never been quite stupid enough to think that the eternal could, strictly, be ‘passed through.’ What I had wanted to pass through without prejudice to my things temporal was those hours or moments in which I attended to the eternal, in which I exposed myself to it. I mean this sort of thing. I say my prayers, I read my book of devotion, I prepare for, or receive, the Sacrament. But while I do these things, there is, so to speak, a voice inside me that urges caution. It tells me to be careful, to keep my head, not to go to far, not to burn my boats. I come into the presence of God with a great fear lest anything should happen to me within that presence which will prove too intolerably inconvenient when I have come out again into my “ordinary” life. I don’t want to be carried away into any resolution which I shall afterwards regret” (“A Slip of the Tongue,” The Weight of Glory, 184-6).