Sunday, September 27, 2015

Collect for the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

Prayer book of 1549
LORD we praye thee that thy grace maye alwayes prevente and folowe us, and make us continuallye to be geven to all good workes thorough Jesus Christe our Lorde.

Again, we see that words change their meaning over time. These days, we tend to think of preventing meaning to stop something happening. The word actually means "to go before" and if you think of the soldiers heading the enemy off at the pass, then you can see how the word prevent has got its now negative meaning.

Yet we pray for the grace of God to go before us and to follow us. We  are praying, therefore, for a complete surrounding of our lives with the grace of God, yet not so that we can be protected from Evil happening to us, but rather protected from doing Evil things. If Evil is the hole in our being which prevents us from being full, then our actions carry those same holes as a lack of goodness.

With God's grace surrounding our lives, the Evil in our actions and the Evil within our substance are prevented from proliferating, though we have to look with the eyes of faith to see that happening. This is difficult when sometimes we can see nothing but the darkness of Evil. Part of God's grace is to live lives of trust in Him that, even when we cannot see any good whatsoever, we can find some assurance that His goodness will envelop us even to Eternity.

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