Sunday, July 19, 2015

Collect for the seventh Sunday after Trinity

Prayer book of 1662

LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Lord is very emphatic when He calls Himself the true vine and us the branches. Many people would see this and say that He is being figurative and thus use that idea of being figurative to deny His presence in the Holy Sacrament. Yet, if He says that He is the true vine, then that is what He is. This collect demonstrates quite clearly the ideas of Divine viticulture employed to bring salvation to the Church.

First, we are grafted into Christ in the Church through His love and recognition of His authority. A graft is the deliberate wounding of a vine in order to restore a severed branch. Christ Himself receives real wounds and it is through His wounds that we find our way into being united with Him. The graft has to be bound firmly in place; likewise we are bound to Christ by our religion. The grafted branch receives nourishment from the parent vine; likewise we are nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.

Eventually the graft takes and the new branch becomes a substantial part of the vine. We too, through the mercy of God, remain in Him by walking His way and keeping His commands. This is no figurative analogy, this is very much the truth of our salvation.

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