February 16, 2013 - Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 3:1-24; Mark 2:1-17

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15 from the Introit for Invocabit)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In Lent, the Sundays are given names based on the first words of the Introit every week. The Introit is the “entrance words,” usually from the Psalms, which is sung between the Absolution and the Service of the Word in the Divine service; the Introit reminds us that we have come into the presence of God and it sets the theme for the day.

Tomorrow is “Invocabit [in-vo-CAH-bit].” He will call upon Me. That's why you're going to church. To call on Jesus. Why do we call on Jesus? Because who else will help us? Who else will take away our sins? Who else will deliver us from death? Who else can rescue us from the devil.

These words remind us that Jesus called upon the Father. After Jesus' death, the Father did answer. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father's right hand and was crowned with glory and honor. Jesus died in obedience to His Father and that death saves you.

Because Jesus died and rose, and because you have been baptized into Him, these words are for you to use, too, in every trouble. When you're sick. Lonely. Sad. Depressed. Miserable. Happy. Joyful. Worried. Whatever. Call upon the Lord and He promises to hear you. How do you know He'll hear you? Because He has delivered and honored you. He has made you holy and precious in His sight in Christ. When you cry out, it is the Lord's delight to listen to you and save you.

Where do we call upon God? Well, whenever we pray and hear His Word but most especially in the Divine Service where we hear His name, are forgiven of our sins, hear His death and resurrection preached and where He gives us His body and blood. In those gifts, Jesus hears you and answers you, delivers and honors you. The phrase “call upon the Lord” in the Bible means people hear God's Word and promises in worship. And so you shall tomorrow as you call upon Him again. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus, I will ponder now On Your holy passion; With Your Spirit me endow For such meditation. Grant that I in love and faith May the image cherish Of Your suff'ring, pain, and death That I may not perish. (Jesus, I Will Ponder Now, LSB 440:1)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.