COLLECT OF THE WEEK
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 219
As I read Paul’s Letter to the Romans Chapter 11, I began to understand that being a Christian did not automatically assure entry through the gate of heaven. Like many Christians, I just assumed I was going to heaven. I was born into a Christian family and baptized. Wasn’t it like being an American because I was born in the United States? Paul explained in his letter that Christians (Gentiles) were like grafted wild olive branches on an olive tree. The olive tree may be holy but, like the grafted branch, we received God’s kindness only as long as we have faith in Him. If we lost faith then, like a bad branch, we would be cut off the tree. On the other hand, here is where the good news of the ministry of Jesus comes in. Jesus spoke of a loving and compassionate God. Whether Jew or Gentile, Jesus only asked that we have faith in Him and it is only through Him that we have faith in God. Let us keep that in our hearts, that Jesus only asked for faith in Him in return for all of the wonderful things that He and God have brought into our lives.