Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bishop's Note: Collect for the Sixth Sunday in Pentecost - Proper 11

Bishop Eric Menees

“Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, who knowest our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion, we beseech thee, upon our infirmities, and those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask, mercifully give us for the worthiness of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

Last week I said that God hears and answers every prayer that we offer to Him. This week's collect first acknowledges God's omniscience, as He is the fountain of all wisdom, and that he knows what we need long before we even ask. One might be tempted with this acknowledgement to be a fatalist, to simply say: “God is in charge, why would I bother Him with my petty prayers and concerns?” The answer to that is simple: God wants us to communicate with Him, to acknowledge our dependence upon Him, and to declare our trust in Him. Look at the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive give those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Luke 11:2-4) Certainly Jesus is aware that God knows everything that there ever was or is to know, and yet Jesus teaches us to Praise God, acknowledge His sovereignty, ask for the needs of the community and our personal needs, and seek His guidance.

This week's collect also acknowledges God's sovereignty and begs His compassion and mercy upon our infirmity;  our blindness; our ignorance; not because we merit His compassion, but because of Jesus' merit and love. And to that I say, AMEN.

Catechetical Question #3

3. How does sin affect you?
Sin alienates me from God, my neighbor, Gods good creation, and myself. I am hopeless, guilty, lost, helpless, and walking in the way of death.

Note: The Bishop's notes are written for the ADSJ and posted here with his permission for a wider audience. I included his Catechism question because To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism is a seminal document that I believe will help form our identity internally and give other churches an orthodox picture of Anglican Christianity in post Christian cultures. May God richly bless those who wrote it and those who read and inwardly digest it. The Catechism is available from the ACNA website as a PDF, Word or Kindle download. It is also available from Amazon as a leatherbound document.

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