....Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.Tonight I went to Evensong, a service which I am very familiar with, but have been away from for a very long time. Yet in the manner one meets an old friend one hasn't seen for a long time, I settled quickly back into the familiar routine, with its familiar words, it's familiar comforts.
The Second Collect has always resounded with me. It has brought me comfort in times of trial and 'earthed' my feelings of loss and aloneness.
Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot giveGod's peace is reachable. It is as accessible to us in the world in 2011 as it was in 1662 through these words above.
At this service a certain priest, not so far away from me, preached on the subject of finding who God wants us to be, and not being defined by our possessions. This line then jumped out, over and over again. God gives us peace, a peace that this world can not and will not give.
I don't know about you...but when I am worried about something this panicky feeling is not just emotional it is physical. I shake, I sweat, I cannot settle. God's peace is the only way to calm this. To say "Yes God, help me, I need you!"
I love evensong, whether sung by some world-class choir in a cathedral, said alone, sung in church with 2 or 3 gathered together, I would still love the essence of evensong. God's people gathered in penitence and praise.