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 122, Esther 8:1-17, and Revelation 2:8-11
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.” Doesn’t sound very encouraging, does it? Yet Jesus goes on to say that a crown awaits those who remain faithful until death.
We often like to remain on the mountain top, basking in the euphoria of the resurrection. However, Christ calls us to descend back into the valley to test the things we have changed within ourselves. This valley is different from the one we experienced during Lent, and yet it is similar. Life is a continuing cycle of valley journeys and relatively brief mountaintop experiences. Each time we reach a peak, God bids us to descend down the other side into a new adventure.
Like we discovered last week, God expects us to live the life that we have promised him we would live. Take a moment to ask God to help you do that. You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty God, who has called us to lead holy lives and to continually grow deeper: Grant us grace and strength to be a living sacrifice and to live in accord with your holy will this day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.