The Collect: Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
It took Nathan telling a parable before David could recognize his own cruelty and greed. Human beings never seem to do too well at loving our neighbors – or even simply managing not to kill them – when we become too powerful, or too isolated: when we lose our ties to community. The exhortation to the Ephesians challenges us to see ourselves not as self-contained, fully autonomous units, but as parts of a Body so much greater and more important than ourselves. We each have gifts to give that are necessary for our life together. We can only ever fully become what God created us to be when we help build up the Body that we try to become together, week by week, when we receive the Bread of Life.