Collect

2nd Sunday of Epiphany

Almighty God,
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature
by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
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

Isaiah 49: 1 – 7; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 1: 1 – 9; John 1: 29 – 42

Explanation

This magnificent collect has its origin in The Book of Common Worship (1962) of the Church of South India; it was then used by the Church of South Africa and has spread round many Anglican churches including our own.

It starts with an allusion to Rev 21:5 “See, I am making all things new.”). Then in four simple lines it summarises the vision that Paul takes three chapters to say from 2 Corinthians 4-6!

Our nature is poor. We attempt to cover the poverty of our nature with money, things, busyness but this is not true treasure. That is held deeper within us, in the one who is our source. These riches bubble up in us making our lives fruitful as we allow ourselves to be renewed.

This collect points us towards what is strongly and simply expressed by Irenaeus (an Early Church Father): “God became what we are so that we might become what God is.”