Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent
O LORD Jesu Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.The first time I heard this collect, as in "hear, mark, learn and inwardly digest", was only a year or so ago. It struck me then that quite a duty is being laid upon the "ministers and stewards of thy mysteries". To begin with, I assumed these are the Vicar and the Curate, and maybe the Churchwardens. A little more thought and I realised that all of us who follow Christ, who believe in the Holy Trinity, who worship God, are included in "ministers and stewards of thy mysteries".
And who are "the disobedient"?
This looks like a call to all of us followers to reach out and share the Good News.
Today I also read the fourth Chapter of the Gospel of St John. I was feeling a little 'off' as yet again I had nearly, but not quite, made it to the 9am service. I could have got there... and then I didn't.
This is the chapter where Jesus meets the Samaritan Woman at the well. The encounter ends with these words from Jesus, ('The Message' version)
The two main thoughts I had on reading this were
firstly that getting to church every week wasn't the main thing to aim for (Phew)
secondly - this is the Good News!