Sunday, October 25, 2015

Collect for the twenty-first Sunday after Trinity

Prayer book of 1662
GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This collect is used in place of the absolution when a layperson leads the Office and it is clear why this is so. In order to repent of our sins, we must first know that we have sinned and then it must trouble us. We cannot repent of our actions if it does not cause us grief that we did them in the first place. That grief can be perfect in that we grieve for offending God, or it can be imperfect if we fear the consequences of our actions. Nonetheless, if we are not troubled by our sins then we are simply not repenting properly.

We pray this collect for the complete removal of our sin so that our minds can be still again and focus on the task of living a life of service to God's will. The Devil will often trouble us by bringing up past sins, sins that we regret having done, of which we have confessed, and from which we are making amendment of life - that is what it means to repent. This is one of the Devils wicked tricks against the people of God. Yes, repentance is a life-long activity and it is with God's grace that we do repent beyond just an intention. However, God has promised that repenting of our sins and living a new life in Christ Who has opened the gateway from imprisonment to sin will bring us to Eternal life with Him.

Thus, we also pray this prayer when we are troubled by past sins so that remembering them spurs us on towards God and His mercy. The Devil may say that our sin is still with us, yet we know that we are dead to sin in Christ and live to God. That sin is still with us, but only with our corpse, not with our risen selves. We should take courage when the Devil torments us with the past. If we are truly repenting, then it shows that we really do care what God thinks and, further, makes His love for us ever more real.

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