The Seventh Sunday After Trinity

Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost.

Pentecost is the day in Scripture and celebrated annually when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Disciples of Jesus who were praying together in the Upper Room. When the Holy Spirit came upon them they began to speaks the ‘mighty works of God’ to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem to celebration the Feast of First Fruits. The Jews heard the message in their own language even though they spoke different languages (Acts 2:1-11). Thus this day marks the ‘birth of the church’ as we know it and signifies to us the purpose of the Holy Spirit and that is to proclaim the works of God that were manifested in Jesus Christ.

Pentecost occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Christ and marks His return to His Father’s throne with His own blood for our sins whereby He sat down at the right hand of the Father reuniting the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Hebrews 1:1-4).

The Christian calendar then marks off each week after Pentecost as a particular week after Trinity until Advent Sunday which is four weeks before Christmas. There are 25 weeks of Trinity Sundays each year.

Now we are in the Seventh Sunday after Trinity and today’s Collect or Prayer for the week is:

“Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”

The Collect and subsequent Gospel and Epistle are read at every service during the week. One benefit is this Liturgical system is the consistent reinforcement of the message. The Morning and Evening Prayer Services designed to be held daily provides a twice daily chance to hear the Collect and Readings and meditate upon them that they would enter your heart and bring forth fruit of their intent through the work of the Holy Spirit.

What does the Collect mean? It asks the Lord for three items: first a love and of course increasing love for the Name of the Lord meaning that we desire His Name to be the Name that is revered above all names in this world. That our actions and prayers for others are ultimately that His name is perceived by the World as the greatest Name ever known and heard.

A man’s name is great who accomplishes much. Think of a great name in business, sport, education, government or the arts. Their name has ‘weight’; you mention his achievements or a quote from him and people listen. Same with the Lord: His Word and accomplishments should be held in the highest esteem by all men.

Second, increasing our true religion is increasing our faith and devotion to the Words of the Lord. You could also say the prayer is asking the Lord to lead us from worldliness and pursuits of sensuality into devotion to the Lord, His mission and His teachings.

Third, nourishing us with goodness is to act upon the exhortations to live a holy life, love our enemies and our neighbor in such a way as to witness to them the presence of the Holy Spirit and it’s power to convert us from being evil and self centered to loving and others centered.

The last sentence tells us these three desires are accomplished through the mercy of the Lord; this means they are not accomplished through our works or determination but through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Finally, since we are only able to receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ we ask the Father for Him to be merciful and do this work in us through the Holy Spirit by His mercy.

In summation you are asking the Lord to continue to work in your to mature you in the faith by the work and presence and power of His own Spirit called the Holy Spirit. You ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above All names (Phil 2:8-10), which is how we approach the Lord and ask the Lord to act according to His mercy towards us. Our singular work is to pray and read the Bible daily and as we ready and pray His Spirit will work in us. Amen.

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