O GOD, the protector of all who trust in thee, without
whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and
multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and
guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we
finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly
Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"Things temporal in their justly insignificant proportion to things eternal are brought before today, in the Collect, Epistle and Gospel. In the Epistle, we are taught that all created things or the whole creation - for such is the meaning of "the creature" - are now, like Joseph, in bondage, waiting for the day when the sons of God shall be glorified.
Even things temporal, after the earth and all that is in it shall have been burned up, are to be reproduced in higher forms, fitted to our glorified nature, in "the new heavens and the new earth," which are promised to the faithful. As we wait for the resurrection of the body, so we wait for the glorious mansions which are to be fitted for the immortal forms in which we shall be clothed for all eternity.
Now, in the Gospel, we find certain rules for passing through things temporal, which are not the rules of our natural characters; but if by grace we mortify the works of the flesh, in keeping these precepts, we shall pass safely through time, and be infinitely recompensed in eternity. How did our Savior live on earth? What was His portion here? "The disciple is not above his Master," and we must take poverty and contempt, if need be, as our Master took them. In proportion as we become "perfect through sufferings," we become more and more like our Master: and we shall be like Him in glory, if we are like Him in humility and submission."
(--from THOUGHTS ON THE SERVICES by Bishop A. Cleveland Coxe, 1860)
(From this week's ACTS OF ST. LUKE'S)