Reflection on the Word in our Worship
This week's prayer, called the Collect for Advent 2 (see below) is an original, Reformation era composition by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. In an important sermon, published and distributed in the early English Reformation, Archbishop Cranmer stresses the value and power of Scripture, which is the Word of God.
The words of Holy Scripture be called words of everlasting life for they be God's instrument, ordained for the same purpose. The have power to convert, through God's promise and they be effectual through God's assistance, and being received in a faithful heart they have ever an heavenly spiritual working in them. They are lively, quick and mighty in operation, and shaper than any two-edged sword, and enter through, even unto the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, of the joints and the marrow. Christ calleth him a wise builder that buildeth upon his Word, upon his sure and substantial foundation.
-A Fruitful Exhortation to the Reading and Knowledge of Holy Scripture,
in The Books of Homilies: A Critical Edition, by Gerald Bray
The Collect for Advent 2
Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
(click below to listen to Incarnation's Advent Playlist)
1 Lord, you have been gracious to your land; *
you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.
2 You have forgiven the offence of your people *
and covered all their sins.
3 You have taken away all your displeasure *
and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4 Restore us then, O God our Savior, *
and let your anger cease from us.
5 Will you be displeased at us for ever, *
and will you stretch out your wrath
from one generation to another?
6 Will you not turn again and quicken us, *
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your mercy, O Lord, *
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will hearken to what the Lord God will say, *
for he shall speak peace unto his people,
and to his saints, that they turn not again.
9 For his salvation is near to those who fear him, *
that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall flourish out of the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Indeed, the Lord shall show goodness, *
and our land shall give its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and he shall direct his going in the way.
(from the New Coverdale Psalter as found in the 2019 Book of Common Prayer)