Archive for March, 2013

Collect for Easter Day

March 31, 2013

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through* Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

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Collect for Easter Even

March 30, 2013

GRANT, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying* our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Collects for Good Friday

March 29, 2013

ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest* the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics; and take from them† all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Collect for the Thursday before Easter, commonly called Maundy Thursday

March 28, 2013

ALMIGHTY Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood; Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him, who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal; the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Bible, episode four: a few random thoughts

March 27, 2013

I suppose the series might have been subtitled, “Our Scottish Savior.” This guys playing Jesus (no I have not looked at the credits. Get off my case.) is simply beyond annoying. This program would have been so much better if it had captured the essence of Jesus as an articulate and compelling public person. So that is my big complaint.

My smaller issue lies in the incident of the woman caught in adultery. Since this very familiar story is not included in most of the early manuscripts, one must wonder how it made the cut. I would be interested i knowing why this is in the show and I am very much ready to be instructed.

Wasn’t that walking on water scene amazing? One thing that I most appreciate about this episode is the emphasis on what a kangaroo court did to its own rules. Yes, Jesus should have been arrested and tried in the daylight, but the High Priest knew very well that the evidence (even in first century Jerusalem) would not pass the smell test. By the time most of Jesus’ followers found out what was happening, it was an accomplished fact.

Collect for the Wednesday before Easter

March 27, 2013

ASSIST us mercifully with thy help, O Lord God of our salvation; that we may enter with joy upon the medi-tation of those mighty acts, whereby thou hast given unto us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Tuesday before Easter

March 26, 2013

O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Monday before Easter

March 25, 2013

O ALMIGHTY God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Sunday next before Easter, commonly called Palm Sunday

March 24, 2013

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thoughts on the History Channel’s “The Bible” episode three #TheBible

March 17, 2013

We must all agree, in the first place, that Herod the Great was a very unappealing man. The History Channel’s producers of “The Bible” provide an interesting view of the siege of Jerusalem but drain the deliverance scenes concerning Daniel of any drama, intensity or miraculous possibilities. The biblical Joseph, spouse of Mary, is older than Mary.It is a small thing, but after a while the cumulative inattention to detail becomes annoying. One wants to be careful not to get lost in geekish theological disputes that matter zero to the regular guy.

The doctrine hawks, among which I must be included, are a tiresome bunch and often, to our great discredit, have the most negative effect on those who are looking for Jesus. It would be a mistake to bear down too hard on this, but Mark Burnett may have shown his hand in this evening’s episode. Yes, presenting such an expansive scriptural story is a great undertaking. Indeed, this is an opportunity for well-informed believers to share the gospel message. Truly, Christians may watch and challenge their own knowledge of the inspired texts. I have done this and found myself lacking. All of this is beneficial.

So, did Jesus come down among mortal men “to change the world?” One should observe that the script does not exactly support the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. Jesus’ birth is shown to be a miracle, like many other birth in holy writ.The television story has, so far, not proposed that Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, the God-man, fully human and fully divine, who came among human beings to bring reconciliation between God and fallen humanity. Jesus’ mission was to restore right relations and inaugurate the Kingdom of God.

It is certainly not possible for a secular television program to correctly represent orthodox doctrine, and the criticism of this essay may be premature. Perhaps in the remaining episodes this will be clarified. This is possible, but not likely. In the temptation scene, we meet a very creepy Satan character. Again, the writers have taken drama and reduced it to something sterile and unmoving. The script completely obliterates the true battlefield of these old enemies. Both Jesus and Satan are using the biblical text. The Evil One misuses and distorts the inspired word, while Jesus uses it as a weapon. So we have a mini-series called “The Bible” that submerges the authority of scripture.

To say that Jesus came in order “to change the world,” may contain some truth, but it is a mile wide stretch from the Christian understanding of Jesus unique and completely satisfactory work of salvation. This critique is very conscious of the kingdom aspects of Jesus message. The world is different because Jesus walked upon it. His body, the church, is at work in the world continuing his work of teaching mankind, encouraging his people, and administering the sacraments. We are baptized into his death and resurrection. Our sins are washed in his blood and we are saved by faith in his. Altogether, this is too much of a theological statement for a popular television program and Mark Burnett probably deserves a pass. Christian teachers, and this is all Christians, need to be aware of such things when we explain the biblical message of hope to those who have have never heard of it.