Hold fast to hope
Let us pray (in silence) [that we are anchored in Christ]
give us such a vision of your purpose
and such an assurance of your love and power,
that we may ever hold fast the hope
which is in Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
NZPB p. 623b
Many still speak of memorising the great Anglican collects, and the value of this to their spiritual life. This collect is certainly worthy of being known "by heart". I cannot trace back its history beyond the 1970 NZ revision where its wording is identical. If anyone knows its origin or author please contact me.
We can see God's purpose, love, and power in all creation. Even through those who highlight the "anthropic principle" in the universe where gravity is roughly 1039 times weaker than electromagnetism. If gravity had been merely 1033 times weaker than electromagnetism, stars would be a billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster. In God's universe the nuclear weak force is 1028 times the strength of gravity. Had the weak force been slightly weaker, all the hydrogen in the universe would have been turned to helium (making water impossible, for example). And so on.
Certainly God's purpose, love, and power appear clear in the process of transformation. Matter is absorbed and transformed into living beings. Matter, plant-life, feeling-moving life, thinking-loving life appear a clear development. One building on, incorporating, and moving forward the previous one.
In the resurrection of Christ we have a pointer and motivator towards God's purpose, love, and power. We are to be transformed into spiritual beings. Not by abandoning our physical, our animal, our human aspects. But by transforming them, as we see them transformed in Christ's resurrection.
• Introduction and context for readings Lent 3, 24 February 2008 (not just a summary)