A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
That We Might Be Worthy to Possess the Heavenly Kingdom
November 25, 2016
The “Collect” is the opening prayer, prayed on behalf of the faithful by the priest just before we are seated to hear the Word of God proclaimed. This short prayer serves as a prelude to Scripture for the day and gives a summary of what we are about to hear. We often miss the words, unless we are reading along using a missalette. Here is this week’s “Collect”:
“Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that gathered at his right hand they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
And in unison we answer: “Amen” – so be it, we believe.
We are being invited, no; I want to say instructed to be prepared to meet Christ when he comes. We are being instructed to meet Christ with “righteous deeds” that we might be gathered at his right hand. That statement is in reference to the Last Judgement when God will separate the sheep and the goats; the sheep to his right and the goats to his left, the sheep to eternal life, the goats to eternity without God.
To be counted among the sheep, that we might be placed at the right hand of God, we are to engage in righteous acts; caring for one another, using our gifts to lift others up, loving and forgiving those who hurt us, showing compassion and mercy toward all people, especially those who may find themselves strangers among us. Our prayer in this Collect is that we might be living as Christian disciples when Jesus comes again. Then we can as the prayer says, run to meet Christ. Run because we anxiously await his coming and run toward him, because we know, by faith who he is – the living Son of God!
Thus begins the Liturgical Season of Advent as our Church takes time to remind us of our need to continue our preparation to meet and greet Jesus Christ in his Second Coming. Let us take time this Advent to reflect on how we might be called into action. Will we be found engaged in
acts of love and kindness, or will we be caught off-guard? No need for that. For as a people of God we have long known of the promise of Jesus to return.
Let us prepare and ready ourselves to receive him.