Friday, October 19, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 91:9-16, Isaiah 47:1-9, and Revelation 17
Both of our readings deal with Babylon; the Isaiah reading with the earthly kingdom and the Revelation reading with the figurative, symbolic kingdom. In Jewish thought, Babylon was a symbol for all that was evil in the world.
St. John was writing a letter to seven churches in what is now Turkey. He was imprisoned on the island of Patmos, and was trying to make sure his captors would allow the letter through. It is heavy with allegory. He was using classic apocalyptic language and symbols to talk about things that were about to happen – namely, the fall of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70ce. In this case, Rome was seen as the evil successor to Babylon.
Evil will be overthrown, and Good will prevail. But since we are born in sin, it takes God to cleanse us and help us to do good. We can’t naturally do it on our own.
Ask God to help you reflect his light in the dark world. Write your own prayer.