The BCP

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Author: The Revd Dr Peter Toon

Collect

O God, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity: Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect Commentary

The petition we offer to God the Father here is firmly based upon the doctrine that we remember in his presence from his Revelation as we make use of the relative clause (ìwho declarestÖî). This doctrine is the amazing teaching that God the Father manifests and reveals his omnipotence primarily when he makes known and shows his mercy and pity to undeserving sinners. And to state this is to speak of the great Event of propitiation and expiation at the Cross of Calvary where the Incarnate Son of God shed his blood as a sacrifice for sin, in order to reconcile us to God, his Father. Here the almighty power and generosity of God, that created the universe and keeps it in motion, dealt with the enormity of human sin and cosmic evil and by overcoming them brought in for the world salvation, redemption, reconciliation, pardon, justification and sanctification.

On the basis of the meritorious death of the Lord Jesus Christ, we ask God in his great mercy to grant us so large a measure of his abundant grace that we may live in such a way as to please him and arrive at our heavenly home. Without grace ñ the personal presence of the Holy Ghost representing the Lord Jesus with us ñ we cannot begin to please him! The way to please the Lord is to live faithfully in the way of his holy law, his commandments, for in such obedience we actually obtain, by his design, his promises concerning his abiding presence and the gift of everlasting life and heavenly reward. In fact, by his grace we shall become joint and fellow partakers of the heavenly reward with all the saints as we not merely walk but run in obedience to his Law. Thus we shall lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.

In the Epistle we read of the Saving Events of the Cross and Resurrection that assured the victory over evil, sin, death, Satan and hell. In the Gospel we read of the right relation we ought to seek and have before God our Father ñ repentant sinners.

 

Epistle 1 Corinthians 15.1-11

BRETHREN, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas; then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep: after that, he was seen of James; then of all the Apostles: and last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the Apostles, that am not meet to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

 

Gospel Luke 18.9-14

JESUS spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.