The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity.
169. LET my complaint come before thee, O Lord : give me understanding, according to thy word.
170. Let my supplication come before thee : deliver me, according to thy word.
171. My lips shall speak of thy praise : when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172. Yea, my tongue shall sing of thy word : for all thy commandments are righteous.
173. Let thine hand help me : for I have chosen thy commandments.
174. I have longed for thy saving health, O Lord : and in thy law is my delight.
175. O let my soul live, and it shall praise thee : and thy judgements shall help me.
176. I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost : O seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments.
LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Numbers 20.14-29
Psalter: Psalm 123, 124, 125 | 136, 138
Epistle Reading: Philippians 1.3-11
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 18.21-35
Personal: This Collect begins with a request that the LORD will keep (preserve, secure, direct) God’s household the Church (“if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3.15).) in continual godliness. The idea of God’s Church being God’s household, family, is a warm concept. The Old Testament is rife with images of God being married and having children (for one take on this and how this message can be a comfort to those whose home life is rough and tumble, see my short piece: http://mphilliber.blogspot.com/2014/11/he-knows-hosea-22-23.html).
The request is unpacked in the remainder of the Collect where, on the one hand, the Lord is asked to protect his household “from all adversities”; and on the other hand, to guide her to serve him with good works in a heartfelt way.
This Collect is a great way to pray for three aspects of Christ’s church: (1) that portion of the Church that is being hounded and harmed by predators (whether the predators are heretics or Christ-haters); (2) the section of God’s people who are falling into gross unorthodoxy; (3) finally, the rest of God’s family circle who are faithfully pushing hard against the culture that is pushing hard against her.
The aim of the Collect is properly “to the glory of thy name”. We are strongly assured that if this is our aim, then we will find the Father attentive and ready to answer our prayer; “"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14.12-13), and “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15.7-8).
Primus Pilus II