(10 August 2014, 26 July 2015)
O GOD, whose never-failing providence orders all things both in heaven and earth: We humbly beseech you to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jeremiah 23:16-24; Psalm 31:1-6; Romans 8:12-17; Matthew 7:15-21
Last week we were taught about being slaves of God; the Epistle this week expands upon that to show us that we’re also sons of God. This means that we’re not simply yoked to Christ to do the will of his Father, but we’re also yoked to Christ to receive an inheritance as “co-heirs with Christ,” and thus able to turn to God for refuge, as the Psalm describes. This does not take away from the slave image, however, for even as sons we are expected to be obedient to the Father, just as Jesus himself was. The Gospel puts this another way: if we are like a good true (that is, truly sons of God) then we must yield good fruit. On the other hand, bad trees (that is, false sons) bear bad fruit, and the false prophets described in the Gospel and Old Testament readings are examples of such. The Collect captures the balance between God’s providence to care for us as sons by both taking away things that are bad for us, and giving us what’s good for us.