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In NZ Anglican Church this Sunday is Religious Vocation Sunday.

collect/opening prayer reflection for August 21 and the week following (NZPB)

BCP USA (TEC):

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered
together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your
power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The above collect is the 1928 new collect for Tuesday in Whitsun Week. The preamble originates from a Gregorian collect for Friday after Pentecost (# 542). The petition is new.

Common Worship (CofE)

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Regulars will know that each week commentaries are provided on collects (as above). This last week maintaining the collect tradition has been significant here.

The Sunday Gospel is centred on the word-play with Jesus’ nickname for the disciple Simon, whom he called “Rocky” (Peter). It may have been an ironic nickname for his flaky friend.
The reading has a variety of interpretations:

  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a foundation is not passed on to others
  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a role that is passed on to the Bishop of Rome [on the assumption that Peter (with Paul?) functioned as first bishop of Rome. That Peter was in Rome is a legend, but with strong historical likelihood] Why is the role passed on to the Bishop of Rome and not to the Patriarch of Antioch, a church we know for certain that Peter led?
  • That Peter is the rock and is the foundation of the church – a role that is passed on to every bishop.
  • That Peter’s faith, just declared, is the rock on which the church is founded
  • That we cannot see Jesus’ hand gestures, but that he meant “You are Rocky (Peter) and on this rock (with Jesus pointing to himself) I will build my church.

Commentary on the Sunday reading from Waiapu Academy

You can share any comments as well as any resources, ideas, sermon-starters, children’s activities, hymns, prayers, etc. in the comments section below.

image source The giving of the keys to Saint Peter by Pietro Perugino 1482.

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