For today: Read this collect, found on page 212 of the Book of Common Prayer: Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
This collect will be prayed on the Sunday after our revival weekend. With urgency and expectation, it beseeches God to come among us in a way that is palpable —through grace and mercy. The Rev. Richard Schmidt has written a book of reflections on the collects. Here are his thoughts on this particular collect: “Discordant noises fill our ears, voices that demand, judge, gripe, and bark. Sometimes the voices come from within us. We grow exhausted and cynical. Our sin, the thing that 'sorely hinders' us, is our preoccupation with the sounds of these voices. The business of the church matters only when we see the Lord in and through and beyond it. Where is God in all this busyness, we ask? God is there, in the middle of it, in the faces of one another. But sometimes we are too busy to look for him." Lord, still our voices that you may stir our souls. “Let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us,” that we may pause amid the clamor and listen to you. “Here I am,” you will say, “where I have always been, in your midst, immersed in the clutter and commotion of your life. Be still, all of you, and listen to me.”
For further reflection: What are some of the voices that fill your soul, preoccupy your life and form your expectation about the day ahead? What are you listening for in life?
This first week focuses on the word expect. It is an Advent word. It is a word that reminds us that God is always at work in the world and in our lives. At times, God is working so deeply in the soil of our life, that we are not yet aware of its bloom. So, we wait. We expect. October 17 Devotional October 16 Devotional October 15 Devotional