The BCP

Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Author: The Revd Dr Peter Toon

Collect

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.

Collect Commentary

God the Father is addressed as the LORD, the One who has Authority and Strength/Force, not merely authority but authority with power. He is well able to do what in his infinite wisdom and love he chooses to do. And such is what we would expect to be so of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

The Father is also remembered and recalled as the Almighty Lord who is both the maker and the giver of all good things, the One to whom belongs everything that is most excellent. By these words we recall James 1:17, ìEvery good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.î

The petition in this Collect is all about the increase of genuine religion in our hearts, which is only brought about by two divine processes. These are (a) Godís nurturing of what he has planted in our hearts; and (b) his guarding and keeping what he has nurtured.

Our human nature, even when highly educated and formed into good habits, does not love the Name of God, even as a garden does not grow rose trees naturally. God the Gardener has to plant the love of his Name in our hearts, He has to nurture that seed of love as he also has to feed it. It is important to recognise that for the biblical writers, the Name of God reflects his revealed character and thus in loving the hallowed Name we love God and what is made known to us from him.

One obvious duty arising from this petition is that of reading in the Bible of the character of God, of thinking about and meditating upon that character, and even rising to the heights of contemplating God as he is known through his revealed character.

Therefore we ask that God will graft, increase & nourish the seed he sows and will through his Fatherly mercy and affection keep that seed growing until it blossoms and magnifies his Name.

We ask ìthrough our Lord Jesus Christî the One Mediator between God and man and the one, as the Gospel for this week declares, feeds the hungry with good things. Further, we ask through the same Jesus Christ from whom comes to believers ìthe gift of eternal lifeî as the Epistle declares.

 

Epistle Romans 6.19-23

I SPEAK after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Gospel St Mark 8.1-9

IN those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way; for divers of them came from far. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes; and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand. And he sent them away.