Sunday, December 21, 2014

Collects for the fourth Sunday in Advent

Prayer book 
O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

Breviary (Sarum)
O Lord, raise up, we pray thee, thy power and come, and with great might succour us, that whereas through our sins we are sore let and hindered, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us. Who livest etc.

It is the Gelasian sacramentary that gives us this collect which spans the Reformation period with only a few changes. With Christmass nearly upon us, we find ourselves longing for the new Holy Baby for we are wearied by the toil of this life and our inability to be complete without the substance of God within us.

Our sins make us incomplete: we are sick and in need of wholeness. The law shows us our sickness, our disfigurement, and our frailty. God, however, shows us in His love that there is in us His image which, though marred, is not removed from us, just distorted by our illness. We are children of God, created for His delight, and it is His delight to save us from our sins, to make us right, to give us substance and make us His. He has never lost that delight in us.

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