"Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn Thee unto me and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul; O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed." (Psalm 25:15,16,1,2 – the Introit for Oculi)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. The third week of Lent, Oculi, is all about our eyes! Where our eyes? My oculi are ever toward the Lord!
Are they? Are they ever toward the Lord? No, they aren’t. Our eyes are ever toward our stuff, things we want, things we think we need. Our eyes are ever on other people’s stuff. Our eyes are ever on what we feel is right, what we think, what we want to do. Our eyes are ever on ourselves! They are everywhere BUT toward the Lord!
That’s bad! What’s worse is that our inborn religion tries to put our eyes on the Lord too. We strive and struggle to point our eyes on God. Combing the skies, we look desperately for God. We want to find Him. We want to come to Him. We want to set our eyes on Him. We want to do something.
All of this is, of course, the Law and none of it will save us. If we are condemned for not having our eyes ever toward the Lord, and condemned for trying to point our eyes on the Lord, what will save us?
Thank God the Introit doesn’t stop with our oculi being ever toward the Lord! Why are our eyes ever toward the Lord? "For He shall pluck my feet out of the net!" He shall save us!
"Turn Thee unto me and have mercy on me!" What saves us is not our looking for God, but that God turns and has mercy on us. The Father sends His Son to die in the place of sinful men. Jesus suffers for all the times our eyes were on everything but the Lord, for every time we sought God everywhere but where He has put Himself for us. He dies in our place. The Lord turns and saves us.
Where do we set our eyes? Our eyes are ever toward the Lord! The Lord isn’t in the sky or up on some high mountain for us. No, the Lord is where He has put Himself for us – in the Word and in the Holy Sacraments. Through these means, the Lord Jesus comes to us.
Our eyes are ever toward our Baptism, where Jesus washed our sins away! Our eyes are ever toward the Word that speaks us righteousness. Our eyes are ever toward the Supper, where Jesus comes to us in His Body and Blood for the remission of all our sins.
"O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed." 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