on the collect

For the first time this week I have realized just how neatly the collect for Proper 23 Year B ties the readings (at least OT and Gospel) together. I’ve written this week about choices, choosing to seek the LORD and live, choosing to follow Jesus, and all the while I missed that the collect too is about choices.

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

If we earnestly pray this prayer we will be left in the position of making good choices. For if the grace of God truly precedes and follows us we have no right alternative but to do good works. It is out of God’s grace that good works flow. Out of our gratefulness for the free gift of grace that we are motivated to act. Just as out of God’s overwhelming love and communion within the Trinity led God to create, so too God’s overwhelming love and communion outside, toward us,
leads us to do work, good works.

Having begun this week with the ugggggh of some rather rocky texts I must admit I’m excited now to be preaching on these passages. The grace of God which precedes and follows our every move motivates us to good works for the glory of God. I see my sermon percolating…

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