A Take on Today’s Collect and the Daily Office
Almighty God our heavenly Father, renew in us the gifts of your mercy; increase our faith, strengthen our hope, enlighten our understanding, widen our charity, and make us ready to serve you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The prayer above is the Collect for today. The words leapt out to me, especially in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Typically, the Collect is a prayer meant to focus us and gather our intentions. It is a prayer that helps us turn our thoughts to God, our merciful Lord and Savior. Today’s asks us to call our on Almighty God—All Mighty God—who is our Father in heaven. In calling on Him, we request today that He renews in us his gifts of mercy.
In both Old and New Testament, in both Hebrew and Greek, the root of the words for “mercy” are compassion and tenderheartedness. As we are told in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never cease; they are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.”
Renew in us, All Mighty God, your gifts of compassion and tenderheartedness.
As we continue to live through this pandemic, unable to gather together, unable to go about our normal routine, fearing for our safety, the safety of our loved ones, and the safety of all those on the front lines, for all those deemed essential staff—doctors, nurses, first responders, cleaning staff, postal workers, grocery store clerks, package and food deliverers—we request of our All Mighty God to increase our faith—”that assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Be merciful, compassionate and tenderhearted, All Mighty God, and increase our faith.
And too, as we go through this day and the days to come, All Mighty God, strengthen our hope. Help us to hope, to expect with confidence, that we will make it through this time of trial. In your mercy, enlighten our understanding. All Mighty God, we may not understand the reason for this pandemic, but we understand Your Hand is at work over all.
All Mighty God, widen our charity. How wonderful it is to see so much goodness come from so many in the face of so much adversity and tragedy.
In all this, All Mighty God, you make us ready, working in our hearts and minds, and preparing us to serve you. May we go forth this day, and in the days to come, renewed by your gifts of mercy and increased in our faith; strengthened by our hope; and enlightened by our understanding, widening our charity and always, always ready to serve You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Appointed readings for today: