Make haste! These words begin the services of Matins and Vespers. Make haste! It’s almost as if we’re telling the Lord to get moving, hurry up, chop, chop! No time to spare - “Make haste, O God, to deliver me!”
We pray, “make haste” because unless the Lord is with us every moment, we don’t stand a chance. We don’t pray “make haste” in such a way that we think we are bossing the Lord around, but we pray “make haste” in all boldness and confidence in our Lord, who never spares a moment in hastily delivering and helping His people. It is in solemn awareness of our own helplessness and need of deliverance that we desperately plea for the Lord’s help. It is in confidence in the One who has bestowed upon us His Word of promise through the proclamation of the Gospel and the Sacraments that we may plead with such bold and confident words. It is He who is our deliverer, our “ever-help” in time of need, who hears our faithful plea. The Lord loves to be reminded of His promises. “Make haste,” we cry, and He doesn’t spare a second to make good on His promise: He delivers Jesus – our only deliverance and help.
Why then does it seem, when we are in desperate need, as though the Lord is taking His time? Why is it that, amidst the suffering of this life, it appears as though even a thousand pleas to the Lord are heard without reply? It is at precisely these moments when we must all the more boldly and confidently bid our Lord to “make haste.” Even though it seems as if He is doing nothing, in confidence you may trust that He is already your helper and deliverer.
He hastens to deliver and help us but not in such a way that He immediately removes all pains and discomforts of this body and life. On the contrary, it is in such haste that the Lord enters into our suffering and despair. This is the way of the Cross! Jesus did not merely numb the pain of sin and death; He actually entered into it on our behalf. When Jesus enters into our suffering and death, making it His own at Calvary, the suffering and death that constantly seeks to claim our lives is confounded. At your Baptism His name was placed upon you through water and the word. Because His name is upon you, when the suffering of this life would dare to seek your life, it finds nothing other than the death and life of Christ. In the midst of suffering and the cross, we plea, “Make haste,” and the Lord’s word upon you speaks, “You are delivered.” In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 18:20-40; Ephesians 2:1-22
Higher Things would like to thank the Rev. Ryan Fouts for writing this season’s Reflections. Pastor Fouts is Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sugarloaf, IL.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.