Friday, April 21, 2006

Collect for the Day of the Resurrection (BCP, p. 163)

Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

I think it is most interesting that the collect for Easter Sunday asks God to put into our minds good desires. Why would Cranmer talk about something that seems so simple in principle, but is so hard to accomplish in practice? Perhaps it is because it is just as much a part of the resurrection story as anything else, and it is a part of our response to the empty tomb. We still recognize that we are incapable on our own to do these good desires, but through God's help we might strive to make this a reality.

The special grace that is God's gift to us was bought on the hard wood of the cross. The good desires that we are to strive for should represent our sense of thanksgiving for the grace that God bestows upon each and every one of us. Of course, I am not speaking of good works and desires as something that buys or earns us anything. For there is nothing that we can do in this life to earn or warrant God's grace. It is purely out of thanksgiving and joy that we strive for those good desires on this side of eternity.

May our thanks and praise be offered to our Risen Lord and Saviour, who paid the price for our everlasting freedom.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ Jesus our Lord is risen from the dead!
May we offer him our undying praise and thanksgiving! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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