Sunday, December 28, 2014

Collects for the Sunday after Christmas Day

Prayer book
ALMIGHTY 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, one God, world without end. Amen.

Breviary (From the Roman Breviary for the Sunday in the Octave)
Almighty, everlasting God, direct our actions according to Thy good pleasure: that in the Name of Thy beloved Son we may be worthy to abound in good works. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son,  Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, God throughout all ages, world without end. Amen

The Breviary Collect conceals different colourations between the Sarum Collect in which one is "deemed worthy" and the very similar prayer of Abbot Aelfric of Eynsham in which one is "found worthy". It is God who says who is or who isn't worthy and we are not always party to what He actually finds. It is God who declares who is righteous and it is God who declares who is worthy.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that sinful Man is still worthy to receive God being born in his midst. Despite our sinfulness, there is something that God declares worthy of His love, else He would not give His love but withdraw it. Human beings cannot be totally unworthy of the love of God because He Himself tells us that we are worth at least more than many sparrows. Further, our nature is worth God taking, if He is willing to save us by taking that nature.

We are worth saving, worth regenerating, worth being adopted, and worth being daily renewed and our prayers are worth hearing. This means that there is still goodness within us which, though marred horribly by our fall from grace, still relects the image of God.

We may look at ourselves and find little worth, but God is clear. We are worth creating, and we are worth saving from our sin.

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