Collect

Trinity 9 – Sunday 18th August

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Jeremiah 23: 23 – 29; Psalm 82; Hebrews 11: 29 – 12: 2; Luke 12: 49 – 56

Explanation

In some ways this collect works best backwards.

The second half reflects Galatians 5:22 which describes the fruit of the spirit as being love joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Quite a list to aspire to. But the collect makes clear we can only begin to bring these things forth if we tap into God’s grace. Alone we cannot show these things: it is only with God’s help. This is encouraging to those of us who feel we do not live up to this tremendous list of what the fruit of the spirit is. We do not do this by our own strength!

When we go back to the first half of the collect we then realise that there is even more to God’s help than first meets the eye. We have the Holy Spirit and we have each other (in other words: the church). The Holy Spirit brings “light and life”. Such bright words, that remind us that church is not heavy and gloomy. We as Christians have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This should fill us up with light and life and hope and joy, as that all who meet us are struck by an indefinable “something” about us.

All of us have our trials in life. All of us have burdens or sorrows in our hearts. But we also have a deep love, joy and peace from knowing that God is with us, loving and caring for us all the way.