By Ellen Ceely
“Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations. Preserve the works of your mercy, that your church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.” – Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Year B, Proper 24
For me, the Collect can be easy to pass over each Sunday. Even when I try to focus on it and meditate on what it says or means, I rarely succeed. It’s short, and there’s so much more going on during the service. Sometimes my priest will call attention to it during his sermon, and then I’ll suddenly find myself chewing on rich words that have been read aloud for hundreds of years. The words of the Collect remind me of the power of God and the beauty of the Gospel.
In the Collect for this week, we are reminded of God’s glory—how to identify it and respond to it. If we want to know who God is, what he’s like, and how he loves us, then we have only to look at Christ. God has revealed his glory in Christ. And Christ was revealed among the nations. God didn’t pick just one nation, people, or country to receive his mercy and forgiveness. While he chose to reveal himself through the nation of Israel, he did so for all nations and people.
My faith can become so small and focused on my needs. Even when I look beyond myself to the needs of my family, community, or country, my perspective is still too small. But this Collect reminds me that God’s glory was not revealed just for me or just for my community or country. God’s glory was proclaimed among all nations and for all people. While God cares for my needs and wants and desires, he also wants me to care for the church's needs, wants, and desires throughout the world. He calls us to persevere in faith and obedience to Christ and pray that all Christians worldwide might also persevere in faith and obedience as they follow Jesus.
How can we do this? By the strength of God’s mercy. He alone is the one who sustains us.
As you read through the Scripture passages this week, consider what they show you about God’s glory and who Christ proclaims that he is. Also, make it a priority this week to pray for and give to other Christians worldwide, specifically any who might be suffering persecution for their faith. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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