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Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

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.

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

Toon: “Here we address the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as the LORD, in Hebrew YHWH, the revealed Name of God given to Moses at the burning bush in the wilderness (Exodus 3). He is I AM WHO I AM and I AM WHO I SHALL BE and I AM & SHALL BE WHO I WAS. He is the utterly faithful One from generation to generation and from age to age. And his Son, the One Mediator between God and Man, who also shares the name of LORD is the same yesterday, today and for ever (Hebrews 13:8).

To this eternally existing, infinite and ineffable God, who came to us in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of the almighty Father, we are most highly privileged to be able to bring our petitions and to offer our praise and thanksgiving.

Here we use a verb Prevent whose meaning in this context is the old one [to anticipate, to forestall, to be beforehand with]. And we make two petitions which are connected to each other. First of all, we ask that the grace (the personal presence and unmerited mercy) of God (that is as the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, present in the world as the Spirit of Christ) may always both go before us and come behind us, so that we are always surrounded on all sides by the divine omnipresence and infinite care. In the second place, being thus placed within the gracious favour of God, we ask that we shall continually respond in faith and faithfulness to be and do that which is pleasing in his sight -- loving God with all our being & loving our neighbour as ourselves.

There is great strength in the word always. We need God’s personal presence and assistance not sometimes, not even often; but, rather, always. We may wish to compare this Collect for Trinity XVII with the Fourth Collect at the end of the Order for Holy Communion where we pray, Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour. That is, we ask God, as it were, to bring up the rear as his Church moves through space and time. The same Collect also asks, Further us with thy continual help. Here, we ask God to surround us and to go before us with his Presence.

Let us be clear that the LORD, the Blessed, Holy and Undivided Trinity of the Father, together with the Son and the Holy Ghost, is wholly desirous of being with his children in a complete and satisfying way for their salvation and their general good. His promises of his presence and his help are many. What he looks for in us is faith and faithfulness so that we are truly, consciously and continually his people and he is known by us always as our covenant God.

The Epistle reminds us of the Christian vocation which always includes maintaining the unity of the church. The Gospel proclaims the virtue of humility before God and amongst men” (

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