The Advent Collect
“Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility so that on the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty: to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal: through Him who is alive and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
TRADITIONALLY, in the Anglican Communion, the Advent season marks the beginning of the Christian calendar. At this time, all Anglican faithful and believers are called upon to prepare themselves for the second coming of Christ. He is coming and as He comes, He is to judge both the living and the dead. Therefore, the Advent collect helps the believer to be ready for this second coming. Of course, no one can wish away this His second coming.
Expectedly, the advent collect was meant to be said in all the services (Matins and Holy Communion) and should terminate at the eve of Christmas. As a collect and prayer, the believer requests from God to give him “the grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light …” The believer is not to take it for granted that he or she maybe entangled by the load of sin. The sin may be by omission or commission and so there is every need to get rid of it before one is entangled.
In his days, the Prophet Isaiah found himself in a sinful society and he exclaimed, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5). This portends that believers are not free from sin and if not by the grace of God, they may be doomed. However, there is every need to intensify this prayer of advent collect for God to help His children put away every work of darkness.
Yes, we need to cast away the works of darkness such as armed robbery, kidnapping, killing in cold blood, idolatry, corruption both in high and low places, prostitution among others. There is the great need for God’s children to put on the whole armour and this is in tandem with St Paul’s charge in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Remember, the date of Christ’s coming or the hour is not known and the bible vehemently asserts that: ‘He will come like a thief when nobody expects Him’ (Matt 24:36; Mark13:32;1Thess.5:2). It, therefore, behooves every believer to be ready and expectant for His second coming, which must come to pass. But we must ask ourselves sincerely, are we ready for Him now? Have we sincerely cast away all works of darkness? We pray that our Heavenly Father through His Holy Spirit will enable us to make the right decision at this point.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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