Prayer for the week

The collect and its explanation

Collect

2nd Sunday before Advent – Sunday 18th November

Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Self Control: Proverbs 29: 11 – 18; Psalm 17; 2 Peter 1: 5 – 8; Luke 6: 27 – 36

Explanation

When the collects were being put together for the new Common Worship Prayer Book this collect in draft read that the families of the nations “be subject to his most gentle rule” 

When this came up for discussion it was felt this was too soft and so the line was changed to “be subject to his just and gentle rule”. This serves as a good reminder that while Jesus came as the Prince of Peace he did not come as the World’s Doormat. 

All of Jesus’ life and work reflect the notion of God’s justice for all people especially those who find themselves on the margins of society. While Jesus did not overthrow the Romans in the way many thought the Messiah would, he did overthrow the powers of sin and death and opened a new way for all to be made whole in the sight of God. Sometimes we have to fight hard for truth and justice to be made real and to carry on the work of Jesus in helping the marginalised and oppressed. This is why we give thanks for the work and sacrifice of our armed forces as they seek to preserve the right to just and gentle freedom in our country.