Febuary 19, 2005 - Saturday in the First Week of Lent

"Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving-kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Let not mine enemies triumph over me; God of Israel, deliver us out of all our troubles. Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul; O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed." (Psalm 25:6,2,22;1,2 – the Introit for Reminiscere)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. Reminiscere means, "Remember!" It’s an imperative, a command!

With all our sins, all our forgetting of the Lord’s commands and His promises, who do we think we are to tell the Lord to remember anything? Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to command the living God of Israel to do anything, even to remember?

Yes, you bet is! That’s the Gospel! It’s precisely because of the Lord’s tender mercies and His loving-kindnesses that we can pray in the imperative, "Remember, O Lord..."

Is God merciful? Yes, He is! But God is not merciful and kind in the way the world thinks. The world thinks of God as if He is an old grandfather who overlooks our faults and sins because He remembers something lovable inside us. No good news for us there! For the last thing we want God to remember is something inside us! Inside you and me is nothing but evil all the time. God of Israel, deliver us out of our troubles!

The tender mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord is seen in His only-begotten Son, Jesus, hanging dead on the Cross, having answered for all our sins. That is the tender mercy and loving-kindness of God! There is no promise, no good news, apart from God’s kindness and mercy in Christ Jesus. He has delivered us not just from our troubles, but from all our sins, our death, and the power of the devil, "...not with silver or gold, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death."

When you look at the Cross in your church tomorrow, you are looking at God’s tender mercy and loving-kindness. The Lord delivers His tender mercies and loving-kindnesses to you in your Baptism, in His Absolution, and in the Lord’s Supper. These gifts deliver the Cross of Christ to you!

This week’s Introit is a prayer for sinners who desperately need a Savior. We need God to remember not our sins, but the suffering and death of His Son in our place. We need Jesus to be the Jesus who was crucified for us! We need God to be merciful and show His loving-kindnesses to His people, even to you and me.

Reminiscere, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses; for they have been ever from O Lord. O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed. Reminiscere, O Lord, Jesus’ cross for me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev. George F. Borghardt III, Assistant Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX