Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany BCP 216)
The collect for this coming Sunday is meant to remind us that without God's grace, we cannot do anything good in our lives. All goodness, all kindness, all love, flows from God to and through us. You've heard the saying, "We love because He first loved us." Christians throughout the ages have relied on God's grace and love in order to follow Jesus' commandments to love others, love themselves, and love God.
It is one of those theological mysteries which take pondering to understand how what inside of us that wants to do good and to love others is an outpouring of God's love for us. We can only love God because God gives us love, which we share in return. That which spurs us forward through valley, darkness, or trouble to seek God, is in fact, God inside of us already.
The seasons of the church year, Advent to Christmas, Epiphany to Lent to Easter, take us on a journey through light and darkness. On the journey we go through seasons where we see the goodness of God plainly highlighted in each story and we rejoice in our redemption, and then seasons where everything is hidden and paradoxical, where we remember our sins. Epiphany is a season where light is shown on the goodness, where we rejoice in the Good News, where Jesus is revealed as the Savior of the World. I hope that in the midst of the cloudy weather, you can see the light and have the mystery of Love revealed to you.
See you in church!