Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas I: Circumcise our hearts

Almighty God, which madest Thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of Thy Spirit, that our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, may in all things obey Thy blessed will; through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Thomas Cranmer]
NOW I SAY, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. [Galatians 4]
ALMIGHTY LORD, merciful Father, vouchsafe to accept the thanks which I now presume to offer Thee for the prolongation of my life. Grant, O Lord, that as my days are multiplied, my good resolutions may be strengthened, my power of resisting temptations encreased, and my struggles with snares and obstruions invigorated. Relieve the infirmities both of my mind and body. Grant me such strength as my duties may require and such diligence as may improve those opportunities of good that shall be-offered me. Deliver me from the intrusion of evil thoughts. Grant me true repentance of my past life, and as I draw nearer and nearer to the grave, strengthen my Faith, enliven my Hope, extend my Charity, and purify my desires, and so help me by Thy Holy Spirit that when it shall be Thy pleasure to call me hence, I may be received to everlasting happiness, for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Samuel Johnson, January 1, 1777]