1st Sunday after Easter, 24 April 2022 Anno Domini
the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
The First Sunday After Easter
ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER COLLECT: This prayer continues to echo the beauty of the resurrection of Christ. Had Christ only died for our sins, we would not have been benefitted with life; but He rose from the dead – and that makes our justification authentic. We, too, may enjoy life eternal through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We are justified by the law by the death and resurrection of Christ because the sin-debt has been paid by Him. ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification. The sinner is declared righteous through that righteousness of Christ who bore our sins. Therefore, we are justified and guiltless before the Lord. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18) We are justified in Heaven by the penalty Christ paid, therefore, all charges are dropped, and we are without fault insofar as the Law is concerned.
Malice and wickedness are poisons that not only eat away at our souls, but enlarge themselves as a cancerous tumor. If they go un-weeded, they are just like the leaven that causes bread to grow larger than its unleavened ingredients would have done. Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness. False doctrine, too, thrives on wickedness in the heart. Christ told His disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees which was false doctrine. Such false doctrine can be found in most churches in our day for we have abandoned the God of our fathers. Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matt 16:6) How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matt 16:11-12) False doctrine puffs up a church or people. It makes them appear larger than they naturally should appear. The mega-churches of our day illustrate this very principle.
Without allowing Christ to rid our hearts of this wickedness and malice, we can do nothing worthy of a Christian disciple. “…that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Remember that in our proper worship, we must not worship in truth ONLY. Nor must we worship in Spirit only, but in both Spirit AND in Truth! To live in pureness of heart, we must also live in the Truth of the gospel message. Jesus is the Way, but not the Way only. He is the Truth, but not the Truth only. He is the Life, but not the Life only – for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Does your life reflect this three-dimensional quality of Christ? Do you walk in the right Way in Truth. Do you walk the right Way in Truth and in the spirit of Life?