Sunday, 21 July 2013

The shape of our lives

Since becoming a Christian at the age of 16, I have spent most of that time in churches which are non-conformist, in other words 'non-Anglican'. So I am more familiar with prayers which are spoken spontaneously rather than read from a book. However as I get older I appreciate more and more some of the historic prayers, some of them written centuries ago. One particular type of prayer is what as known as a 'Collect'.

The collects are short prayers which in one form or another have been around since the 5th century, but are largely known in the Western world through the efforts of Archbishop Cranmer who updated them for the first Book of  Common Prayer in 1549.

The collect for today is,
God whose providence is never deceived, we humbly beseech thee that thou wilt put away from us all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Don't worry about the archaic language, but read on for the excellent explanatory comments of Barbee and Zahk from their superb book, The collects of Thomas Cranmer. 

'God whose providence is never deceived, is an arresting phrase. The idea is that the purposes of God in the world, in our lives, and in every circumstance that we can imagine, cannot be turned aside......We can be deceived. The fact that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, is proof that no human being is invulnerable to deception. God is the great exception....This being the case, we can trust the shape that our lives are taking. The plan or big picture will not be derailed , even by the heaviest breathing deception (my emphasis).

Convictions like that should give the Christian believer much quiet confidence throughout life.

Great stuff.
Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...