O God, who sent your Only Begotten Son into this world to free the human race from its ancient enslavement, bestow on those who devoutly await him the grace of your compassion from on high, that we may attain the prize of true freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today’s collect describes original sin as an “ancient enslavement.” This description aptly shows the true nature of sin. First, sin is never new; it is old, dull, and boring. In our baptismal vows, we reject the false glamor of sin. This is the recognition that “all that glitters is not gold.” Second, today’s collect calls sin an enslavement. Sin robs people of their freedom. A sinner is not as free to love as a saint. Sin takes from oneself and others; love builds up oneself and gives to others. Love is something which all people desire. If people look in the right places for love they will come to God, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). St Augustine calls God’s love the beauty which is “ever ancient, ever new.” With Jesus’ birth at Christmas, this love comes into the world. May we joyfully await Jesus’ birth at Christmas!