Collect Meditation for the 5th Sunday after the Epiphany Part II

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Previously, we meditated upon how God keeps us as His Church in His true religion. This is relational language. True spirituality and religion in Christ are relational. Both religion and spirituality become false when Christ and relationship are removed, replaced with self and isolation. The second part of this prayer speaks to how God keeps us, “that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”In the walk of faith, we often become our worst enemies. We often lean only upon self. In such, we quickly lose hope for there is no real hope in us. It is the hope of God’s heavenly grace bestowed to us in Christ that we can continually live in His true religion. He defends us by His mighty power. This is contrary to everything this world teaches. We want to believe that we are capable of self-defense without outside help. This leans only on self or upon man made things that we turn into idols. Leaning upon the things of this world for grace, help, and protection always ends in disappointment. We must repent where elements in our lives are exposed in leaning on all the wrong things and people for false hope. We must pray that we lean upon Christ alone, increasingly in dependence upon the sure hope He provides in His heavenly grace.