Thursday, December 25, 2014

Collects for The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birth-day of Christ,

Prayer book
God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Breviary (Sarum)
GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth in the flesh of Thine only-begotten Son may deliver us who are held fast in the old bondage under the yoke of sin. Through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end.  Amen.

It is a fact that Christians wrestle with sin as a concept as well as an actuality. We sin and this sin takes us away from God. Some Christians regard sin as a legal issue, indeed, Our Lord uses legal analogies in his parable to demonstrate how sin relates to judgement. Other Christians regard sin as a vile sickness which would doom us to death. Yet, whatever one's view of Sin there is are common facts. Sin separates us from God, and this separation is the cause of our death for there is none as dead as those who are separated from the One Who gives life.

The other fact is that which all Christians celebrate with great joy, the Holy Incarnation of God, Christ Jesus the Saviour of the world. It is this very incarnation that brings new life into a world killed by sin. It tis this incarnation that gives mankind the strength to rebel against the mastery of sin and to find freedom in living, renewal, grace and true joy.

It is this Incarnation that brings light, casts out fear, casts out darkness, casts out the inevitability of death.

Archbishop Cranmer does share the sentiments of the former collect and seeks to do justice to that intention. Christians may disagree about how sin works, but we do agree about its solution and from there - from Him! - our unity will forever grow.

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