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Jesus Walks on the Water

Resources 19th Ordinary – 13 August 2023

Jesus Walks on the Water

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may desire to know what is right and be ready to do it]


Grant to us, Lord [or O God], we pray,
the spirit to always think and do what is right,
that we, who cannot exist without you,
may be able to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The above ancient prayer is used by Roman Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans but on different days. It has a long, shared history which you can find here: Ordinary 19 or below.

It has been said to express as succinctly as possible the whole doctrine of grace.

Lectionary Readings Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading – so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different – often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways.

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Long sleeves would be an indication of not needing (not being able!) to do work. An alternative translation has been “of many colours”. The story, once again, conflates two traditions – children acting it out would notice the change from Ishmaelites to Midianites as well as a shift in who is the good brother.

1 Kings 19:9-18

The larger frame of this story is the Exodus. The author seeks to have us compare Elijah and Moses. “Horeb” is the title for the mountain given by the Elohistic and Deuteronomistic tradition. The Yahwistic and Priestly tradition call it “Sinai”. Some translations of the bible (eg. CEV) even want to correct the sacred author and alter it to Sinai! The composers of the lectionary are in danger by neglecting the frame of 1 Kings 19:3-4 (where he is despairing) of presenting Elijah as having a trusting intimate relationship with God. The RC version(19:9a, 11-13a) even excludes God’s rebuke (19:13b).

Romans 10:5-15

The “New Perspective on Paul” is a paradigm shift within New Testament scholarship since E. P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977). There had been an unfair caricaturing of Palestinian Judaism as legalistic works focused. James Dunn and NT Wright have built on this to move Romans 9-11 from the backwaters of biblical studies and this new context no longer supports an oversimplification of a Catholic-Protestant divide into works contrasted with faith. The RC and RCL carve up Romans slightly differently – RC churches today are reading RCL’s last week’s selection.

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus Boat

In 1986 two fishermen brothers, Moshe and Yuval Lufanan discovered an ancient fishing boat from the 1st century AD/CE on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The remains of the boat are 8.27 meters long and 2.3 meters wide and 1.3 meters high. Although there is no evidence this boat is connected to Jesus, it has the nickname the “Jesus Boat” as it is an example of the sort of boat used for transport and fishing on the lake at the time.

Today’s readings online (link off this site)

Further resources (off this site):
Preaching resources Down Under

Reflection on the Collect

This is my rendering of the Latin Collect from one of the September Eucharists in the Leonine sacramentary (#1015). Fourth of the Sunday Eucharists in Gelasian (#1190). Supplement to the Gregorian (#1153) has it for ninth Sunday after Pentecost Octave, which is the same Sunday it held (9th Sunday after Trinity) in the Sarum Missal and all Books of Common Prayer from 1549-1928. It retains this place in the Roman Catholic Extraordinary Form; in the Ordinary Form it is the collect for Thursday in the First Week of Lent:

Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.

Massey Shepherd says that this collect “expresses as succinctly as possible the whole doctrine of grace.”

largire is imperative.

secundum agreeably to, in accordance with, according to.

cogito is more than “to think”. Deeper reflection, true pursuit in the mind, consider thoroughly, to ponder, to weigh, reflect upon, think.

See also Philippians 4:8-9.

This collect has been used in a variety of forms in South Africa, Canada, Ireland, ASB (CofE). I’m surprised I can’t see in the current Common Worship (CofE). I cannot easily spot it in NZPB.

Cranmer in 1549 had this as:

GRAUNT to us Lorde we beseche thee, the spirite to thinke and doe alwayes suche thynges as be rightfull; that we, which cannot be without thee, may by thee be able to live accordyng to thy wyll; Through Jesus Christe our Lorde.

Cranmer added “by thee” to the original.

In 1662 “which cannot be without thee” was weakened to “who cannot do any thing that is good without thee”, and “able” became “enabled”.

BCP (TEC) Proper 14:

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think
and do always those things that are right, that
we, who cannot exist without you, may by you
be enabled to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.

ICEL (1973):

Father, without you we can do nothing.
By your Spirit help us to know what is right
and to be eager in doing your will.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:

in your boundless mercy
grant us always the desire to know what is right and the readiness to do it,
so that we who cannot exist without you
may direct our lives according to your will.
We make our prayer 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.

ICEL (2011):

Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord,
a spirit of always pondering on what is right
and of hastening to carry it out,
and, since without you we cannot exist,
may we be enabled to live according to your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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image source: Bazzi Rahib, Ilyas Basim Khuri, 1684

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