One of the things that struck me about the collect this last Sunday, for those of you doing the three years series, was the wonderful use of the word “steadfast.” (The cantor and I sometimes have contests to see how many times we can count the word “steadfast” in the Divine Service. BJS’ers like that word “steadfast.”) Also refreshing was the clear reference to the verbal inspiration of God’s word. It is unchangeably true.
Thanks to the editors of the LSB for giving us collects for each of the three pericopal years. Here is the collect I am referring to from last Sunday.
THE SALUTATION AND COLLECT
P: The Lord be with you.
C: And also with you.
P: Let us pray. (silence is kept) O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
With all the fuss over the rewriting of the LCMS saga of defending the verbal inspiration of God’s word in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I thought it might be interesting (and fun) to invite our readers to rewrite the collect above so that liberal churches could make use of it without being embarrassed by the reference to the truth of God’s word. While you are at it, let’s see a few renditions of a church growth version of this collect. I know that many of them consider themselves fundamentalists who reject woman’s ordination and higher criticism but their need to add to the Gospel gives away their latent disbelief in its unchangeable truth and power to accomplish God’s purposes. So, have at it. I look forward to your rewrites.