(2 March 2014, 15 Feb. 2015)
O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are worth nothing; Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before you. Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.
Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 77:11-20; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 18:31-43
With the beginning of Lent just days away, it may be surprising to come across such an emphasis on love today. Yet the Collect rightly expresses that without love (or charity in traditional English) everything we do is “worth nothing.” This is an important reminder as we prepare for the disciplines of Lent – it is only when we carry out these devotions with love for God that they have any lasting spiritual value for us. The Epistle reading, one of the most famous passages in the entire Bible, is a wealth of teaching on what it means for us to love. Alongside this, though, we are also given vivid reminders of God’s love for us (especially through the compassion of Jesus in the Gospel reading), God’s love for all of creation (expressed in the Old Testament reading), and even nature’s love for God (expressed in the Psalm).