Thanks for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 3rd Sunday of Easter.
May your people exult for ever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
There’s a really good lesson about our identity in the Collect this week, and that is - we have been adopted by God. I love how the prayer even tells us that we are in the “restored glory” of being adopted, a place that humankind has been searching for since the fall of Adam and Eve. It was the redemption brought by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection that enabled us to become God’s children.
Adoption, in Biblical times, was a serious matter. In fact, one could disown their own child, but would never break a bond with a child they adopted. That’s how serious God is about adopting us as his daughters and sons.
This realization should make you feel like leaping because that’s what the definition of exult is: leap up, rejoice exceedingly. If you faith feels heavy, if you feel like you have an old soul, this news should make you feel like a kid again!
I’ve observed this lesson right on my own block. A neighbor has recently adopted a child. Her new little daughter has gone from being homeless to being treasured. I get teary-eyed as we see her ride her little bike past our house. The rattle of her training wheels, her legs pedaling as fast as they can, her pink hat that somehow stays on her head, her scarf trailing in the breeze, her huge smile, it must make God rejoice to watch her. God rejoices over us as well, but does he see us rejoice in His goodness like my new little neighbor rejoices in her new home?
What I have been meditating on about this prayer, though, is “the day of resurrection.” Looking with “confident hope” to that day could mean when we pass from this life to eternity, but it could also mean something more.
Resurrection is defined as a rising again from the dead. With that definition, our baptism is a resurrection. Our adoption as children of God is also a “rising again.” We live in resurrection every day.
You know how much I love the “so that” so let’s take a look at this one. Our confident hope to rejoice in resurrection depends on our renewed youthfulness of spirit. Imagine the change in the world if Christians lived their spiritual lives like they’re kids again.
This week as we Lectio the Liturgy, circle the words in this prayer that describe what sets us apart as children of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you places in your life that are not bringing you joy. Spend a few minutes right there and ask God to come and bring healing. Now, in the prayer, change “your people” and “we” to “I” and change “our” to “my” and pray this prayer again, praising God for all he has done for you!
Thank you for praying with me!