When I say Morning Prayer each day I always use the Book of Common Prayer because I like the beautiful language of the old Prayer Book.
I am always struck by one line of the morning Collect.
The Collect is:
O God who art the author of peace and lover concord,
in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life,
whose service is perfect freedom:
Defend us they humble servants in all assaults of our enemies;
that we, surely trusting in thy defence,
may not fear the power of any adversaries;
through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The part that strikes me each day is the line: whose service is perfect freedom.
We don’t generally associate freedom and service together;
freedom tends to be thought of as doing what I want (the freedom to choose),
while service we associate with what I ought to do, or am expected to do.
Can the two really go together? The Collect tells us they can.
They are joined by us embracing and surrendering to what is ours to do;
by living what is before us rather than merely constantly wishing things were different,
and doing things begrudgingly.
They are joined together by seeing each moment of each day
as an opportunity to recognise and serve God in whatever comes along.
By surrendering to and embracing each moment we will begin to discover
the perfect freedom that the Collect reminds us of.
It is freedom from me wanting my own way,
and that freedom is the road to joy and contentment.
This week we remember Jesus embracing and surrendering to each moment.
Can we begin to learn to do the same?