Sunday, June 24, 2007

Anglican Moment: Third Sunday after Trinity

The Sundays of the Church Year after Trinity seem so, well, ORDINARY, if you'll pardon the very bad pun. But today's Collect for the Third Sunday after Trinity covers so much of our journey in Christianity: prayer, protection, and the amazing fact that the Creator of heaven and earth, the Lord of the entire universe, actually listens to us, actually hears our prayers:

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy might aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

These few lines of prayer, prayed by Anglicans this day around the world, prayed in Nigeria and in England, prayed in Vietnam and in Bolivia, prayed in the United States and in Uganda, rely on God's mercy, His comfort and defense in adversity and in danger. God doesn't promise that we WON'T experience danger and adversity, b ut He promises to be with us through them, comforting our hearts and defending our reputations, our familiues, even our lives. Plus He is willing to grant us "an hearty desire to pray" -- that's a mindblower right there. May we be open to the heart desire to adore Him, to confess before Him, to thank Him with grateful hearts, and to ask needful things of Him, as a child asks a father for what is needful. Amen to that!

At Lake Murray, Nathan preached today on Philippians 4:6-7: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord."

These verses are extremely familiar to most Christians, but Nathan expanded them wonderfully well. Our first response to any danger or adversity is to worry. We, as believers in Christ, need to turn that natural propensity to worry into a natural turning to the Father in prayer, thankful prayer, prayers of adoration and worship, prayers of need and of the heart. Then God's peace, which is totally beyond our comprehension, will protect both our hearts and our minds as we focus on Jesus, our Lord. Amazing verses, so familiar, yet opened up wonderfully well today, and verses that tie in perfectly with today's Anglican Collect from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. All thanks be to God when He ties together His Word with our lives so beautifully! Amen!

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