Monday, January 10, 2022

Poverty and riches


A collect is a form of prayer, that helps focus our personal prayers according to a shared theme. There are collects for every week of the year, as well as collects for other events or occasions, and the collect for this coming Sunday has long been my absolute favourite:


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.


Here ‘the poverty of our nature’ means a recognition that everything we are and have is a gift. We came into this world with nothing, and we shall take nothing with us when we go. And in-between these two moments, we steward the life given us, the world entrusted to us to hand on to those who will come after us. To recognise this poverty of our nature is freedom from hubris. What might otherwise be tragedy and a cause for resentment is transformed into something beautiful in its time, a life for which we can be truly grateful, by the riches of God’s grace at work in our lives, renewing us, so that the glory of God in whose likeness we are formed is revealed.


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