Devotion on the COLLECT for 2nd Sunday in Lent

25 February 2024 Anno Domini,

the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide


The Collect

Second Sunday in Lent

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

             This COLLECT is taken from the Gregorian Sacramentary which was composed at a time when 6th century Rome was under constant peril from without and within. The Collects of the time reflect that earnest spirit of devotion that was revisited at the time of the Reformation.  The translation of these COLLECTs into English during the Reformation aroused the ire of those from whose country they originated. Rome was furious with the Reformers and, when given the opportunity of power, burned them at the stake or committed some other unmentionable atrocities against them.

There are at least four salient points recognized in this COLLECT:

1) That our God is the Lord that SEES us.

2) That we are powerless to help ourselves.

3) That we seek to be kept under the shelter of His wings of mercy. And

4) That being kept by God in the covert of His shelter, we shall be defended both inwardly, and outwardly, from all perils.

  • The Lord God that SEES ALMIGHTY God, who seest There is an excellent example in

Genesis of the maid, Hagar, whom the Lord saw in her grievous distress. After fleeing from the harsh treatment of Sarai, Abram’s wife, into the wilderness, the Angel of the Lord ‘found” her by a fountain of water. It goes without saying that a person must be lost before they are found; however, the eyes of the Lord followed her every step all the days of her life. He ‘found’ her at the point of need for which He answered that need.  He told Hagar to return to her mistress and that God would bless her progeny. “And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me (Beerlahairoi): for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” (Genesis 16:13) God finds the lost often by the wells of waters just as the Samaritan woman who was found by Christ at Jacob’s Well. There was a second time when Hagar fled into the Wilderness of Beersheba having been cast out with God’s approval from the presence of Isaac and his mother.  Again, in the midst of the Wilderness of Beersheba, her water was exhausted and her child, Ishmael, was famishing. Not able to bear his death, she left him under a shrub and wandered a bowshot distance away. As she was weeping bitterly (God had already provided a well of water at her very feet though she knew it not) again the Angel of the Lord spoke to her in tender and comforting tones (see Genesis 21:14-21). Then were her “eyes opened” and she saw the provision of God before her in the form of a well of water. We are often so blinded by our tears of doubt and fear that we cannot see the blessings that God has provided for us.

  • We have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. What great thing did you bring with you into

the world when you were born, not only penniless but, naked and helpless as well? What power had you then, and what power has you now? It is certain that you shall leave this world with no more than that which you brought into it at birth. Every breath, every heartbeat, every sunset, every comfort of the cooling breeze has been sent to you as a gift of the Almighty; so, of what will you boast? The light from the most remote of star has been sent under the power of God’s creative genius. The cycles of rotation of the planets, their gravitational fields, their weather patterns – all – have been set into motion by the natural laws God inculcated at the moment of Creation. And you He created in darkness so that all of your hairs were number long before you saw the light of day. So, you are some power to reckon with? Maybe not! So, from whence cometh your help? “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2) We have no power to do good apart from that power of the Holy Ghost working in our members.

  • Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls. When the fountains of the

great deep were broken up, and the waters cascaded down from heaven in the Days of Noah, where was the place of safety – IN THE WORLD, OR IN THE Ark of God? Did God tell Noah to GO INTO THE ARK, or did He tell Noah to COME INTO THE ARK? And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” (Genesis 7:1) The place of safe keeping is ALWAYS the Ark of God that He has prepared for us. What is our place of safe-keeping today? It is the Ark of Christ. In Him there is no death or danger. Christ never said GO unto Me, but COME unto Me. The world today is mad and drunken with sin just as it was in the days of Noah. So where shall we seek shelter? We must flee to Christ. He can not only heal and save us, but He can heal and save nations that turn unto Him.

  • What advantage is there in claiming sanctuary in Christ? “…. that we may be defended from all

adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.” We pray for bodily protection so that our souls may serve better and longer. But all that remains when the body decays is the soul and spirit of man. At the hour of our death, if our souls have been made righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, they shall find a good and happy lodging with Christ. If not, they shall be relegated to the only other destination reserved for Satan and his angels – Hell. But the works of God always begin with the inner heart. Once this has been made clean through the shed blood of Christ, then the outward appearance and outward body will reflect that cleanness that is inward. We do not desire to appear as the “whited sepulchers” of the Pharisees that are white and refined on the surface, but full of death and filth within. If our precious treasures are on deposit in heaven, our outward form will reflect the beauty of that bank.

As is always true, we ask these things “…. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Those things that we ask THROUGH and BY the Name of Jesus Christ will always be those things which it is His will to grant, not our own wills prevailing. So, the right prayer will always include the proviso,

nevertheless thy will, not mine, be done.”



By |2024-02-25T15:20:59+00:00February 25th, 2024|Blog|Comments Off on Devotion on the COLLECT for 2nd Sunday in Lent

About the Author: