(2 February 2014, omitted in 2015)
O GOD, who know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Samuel 10:17-24; Psalm 97; Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 8:23-34
The week’s epiphany is the manifestation of the power and authority of God in Christ. The power of God over all of creation is celebrated in the Psalm. Then, in the Gospel reading, Jesus fulfills the images of the Psalm by demonstrating his power over physical creation (in calming a storm) and spiritual creation (in casting out demons). We learn that he is so powerful that there is no authority on earth that is not from him. Therefore, even earthly governments are “instituted by God” and to resist them is to incur the judgment of God. The story in the Old Testament reading of the selection of Saul to be the King of Israel is provided as an example of how God works in seemingly ordinary human political affairs. Understanding that all power and authority is from God, the Collect then guides us in a prayer of total reliance upon him.