“Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted.” (Psalm 25:16, from the Introit for Trinity 3)
We turn ourselves to the Lord in prayer, anticipating His blessings.
We turn our hearts and minds toward the Lord, confessing our sins and receiving His forgiveness, the absolution from our pastor as from God Himself.
We turn ourselves in early enough this night so we may turn to the Lord in the morning, gathering together with the saints, caught up with angels, archangels and all the company of heaven, seated at the Lamb’s High Feast.
We’d be wrong to say we don’t turn to the Lord. But that is not what saves us, dear Christian. What saves is this: He turns Himself to us!
The psalmist teaches us to pray in faith, asking the Lord to turn Himself toward us in mercy and forgiveness, for Jesus’ sake. That is the faithful prayer of those whose hope is in the Lord, crucified and risen.
Because of Him, the God to whom you look in prayer, in confession and before whose throne you stand tomorrow, expecting help and every blessing – your Father turns to you in love.
That’s why YOU can turn to Him as often as you do, dear Christian.
What saves you is that the Lord has turned His face toward you and from His Son. That happened on the Cross. The Father looked away. The sun refused to shine. The Savior spent a silent day at rest inside the tomb the Saturday after He saved you He spent a day inside the shadow of death, so God might never look away from you again.
If He looks away now, it is only from your sins. But, since He looked away from them completely when He looked away from Jesus on the cross, this is now your prayer: “Turn yourself to me and have mercy on me.”
And He does. In all your times of need. In all your lonely hours and nights. In all your shameful, sinful, torments. He turns, and He looks on you in mercy – because of Jesus. Amen
I look to Christ upon the tree, His body broken there for me; I lay before Him all my sin, My darkest secrets from within. (LSB 616:2)