Unfixing our hearts and rejoicing

Grant us, O Lord our Strength, a true love of your holy Name; so that, trusting in your grace, we may fear no earthly evil, nor fix our hearts on earthly goods, but may rejoice in your full salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

As we near the end of this third week in Lent, we have been living into the idea of being protected by the strength of God. And so again on a Friday, a normal "fast day" we are asking for help in trusting in God's grace - a free, unearned gift of life and love - so that we may be glad that the judgment we fear is actually judgment that removes our sins and reconciles us to God despite our failings. 

This is a joyful collect. It's first petition, asking God to enable us to truly love God in all God's strength and glory, is spelled out as we go along: let us love God the way God is, a God who has decided to blot out our offenses, and thereby let go of our fears and let go of our need to surround ourselves with stuff that we think will protect us or make us feel better. So here is the fasting part - letting go of the false security we seek in our lives so that we can instead be filled with the joy of knowing that God's intention for us is to draw us to God's self for eternity despite the mess we make of ourselves from time to time, or all the time.

Sounds so simple and so freeing. Why is it so hard to accept that God loves us despite all our mess-ups? What happens when we let our fears fall away and trust that we don't have to save ourselves and stockpile stuff to stave off our feelings of unworthiness? 

It may be a Friday in Lent, but it is a day to rejoice.