Friday, 4 March 2016

Leaning Into Lent: Day 21—Lent, Collectively


Prayer is one of the six spiritual disciplines of an Holy Lent so I thought I’d step aside from the Daily Office for a day and review what we’ve prayed in our Sunday Collects (in The Book of Alternative Services) since Ash Wednesday—a collective assessment at the half way point of Lent.

Each Collect has an introduction which makes an important theological statement about the Christian faith. To believe and appropriate them strengthens us. Here they are so far:

ASH WEDNESDAY
God despises nothing he has made and forgives the sins of all who are penitent.

FIRST SUNDAY
Jesus, God’s son, was tempted as we are but did not sin.

SECOND SUNDAY
Jesus was revealed in majesty and suffered death on the cross.

THIRD SUNDAY
alone we have no power to help ourselves and that weakness can be discouraging.

After declaring those truths, this is what we’ve asked of the Almighty and everlasting God, our Gracious Father of Mercy so far:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our brokenness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness. (Ash Wednesday) 
Give us grace to discipline ourselves
in submission to your Spirit,
that as you know our weakness,
so we may know your power to save (First Sunday) 
Give us faith to perceive his (that is, Jesus’) glory,
that being strengthened by his grace
we may be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory (Second Sunday) 
When we are discouraged by our weakness,
strengthen us to follow Christ,
our pattern and our hope (Third Sunday)
Lord willing, so far this Lent, we will be receiving perfect remission and forgiveness, grace, and knowledge of God’s power to save. We will also be changing into the likeness of Jesus from glory to glory as we are being strengthened, all through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gene+