Collect: Almighty God, You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant Your people grace to love what You command and desire what You promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Reflection:The ultimate goal for the believer is to be in constant unison with God, to live a life acceptable to Him. To achieve that goal requires that we let go of self, let go of our egos, release our fixation on things worldly and surrender our unruly wills To Him; for in Him, with Him and through Him is where true joys are to be found.
It is the duty of the believer to trust and worship God with all their heart, to worship only Him and to love all His people. The duty to love our neighbours as much as we love ourselves comes with the responsibility described in Isaiah 58. The chapter reminds us of some simple gestures of neighbourly love – feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the shelter-less, advocate for the oppressed and the voiceless. Simply said, we should live as selflessly as Jesus did while He was on earth and as God demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son.
The collect is prayed in the context where we know that as human, we are prone to and do err and fall short of His glory – our unruly wills. We know our temptations, but the real challenge is how to avoid or overcome them. This period of reflection and introspection is a good time to revisit what we each need to change about ourselves and what structures we should put in place to keep us in line.
We often make sacrifices during the period of Lent to deny ourselves, but to what end and, are these sacrifices and initiatives enough? Do our sacrifices lead to or provide us with the long-term support that we need to walk away from temptation and to consistently walk in the way of God? It is not too late to revisit your Lenten practices to ensure that they align with how you want your life to be after Lent.
Meditation: He loves us too much to see us go astray. We are not alone in the battle.
Prayer: Grant us, Lord, the strength to tame our unruly wills so that we may delight in serving You more. Amen.
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
21 March 2021