Collect for the First Sunday After Easter
ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Being Children of God
In this week’s Collect, we address God as “Almighty Father” for the first time in the Church’s year. Jesus’ death on the cross enables us to approach the throne of grace, as Jesus has already gone before us. He is our forerunner and we approach God in His steps. We are restored as children to the Father, a father who loves us. It was the Father who sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).” Jesus made our reconciliation with the Father possible. “Christ hath died, and become the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2.2). Sin separates us from God. Jesus’ act on the cross removes sin, and therefore, removes the separation between God and us. Because of Jesus, we can call God “our Father.”
Further, in the Collect we pray, “Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth.” Our new life in Christ begins right now. As God’s children, we are obedient. Jesus is our exemplar for obedience to God.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11.)
Our Old Testament lessons for Morning Prayer during this season are in Exodus. There, we read about Israel’s time in the wilderness. God repeatedly attempts to bring them to obedience. Pray that by the justification of the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, we may also be God’s obedient children.