Monday, November 26, 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 76, Daniel 7:19-27, and Revelation 11:1-14
Our readings today are heavy with apocalyptic prophesy. It is easy to get so lost in trying to explain everything that we end up afraid of what might happen. God is not a god of fear, though, but one of power and might. If we simply follow Jesus, we will be just fine.
St. John was trying to get a message to believers in seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), but he had to write in “code” so that his Roman captors would allow his letter to be delivered. He used metaphors and images that his readers would understand but the Romans would not. We can’t exactly take Revelation literally.
The prophet Daniel was also writing in heavy metaphor. Both he and St. John were trying to describe dreams or visions they had seen about things that were happening in God’s presence. Both visions concern nations in the future. Different scholars have argued over the years about what it all means, but it seems that both are talking about the Roman empire.
But what does all this have to do with us today? For one thing, we know that God is in control. No matter how terrible it may seem to be, God is still God, and Jesus is still King. For another thing, we don’t need to let visions of the end of time (or even just future events) scare us into doing foolish things. If you’re Jesus’ follower, then you’re going to be okay. There may be some unpleasant things that happen, but God takes care of his people.
Ask God to help you remain focused on him, even when things seem scary. Write your own prayer.