August 30, 2008 - Saturday of the 14th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 12:2-13:5,33-34; 2 Corinthians 8:1-24

Bow down Your ear, O LORD, hear me; For I am poor and needy. You are my God; Save Your servant who trusts in You! (from the Introit for Trinity 15)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The psalms are always, before they are our words, the words of Jesus. But how can Jesus say, “I am poor and needy”? We can say that. We can say we are “poor, miserable sinners” or that we are “sinful and unclean.” But, Jesus is true God and true Man. How can He be poor and needy? How can Jesus, who is God in the flesh, ask the Father to save Him?

When Jesus comes to save sinners, He does it by taking our sins and suffering upon Himself. When Jesus comes in the flesh, He is holy, spotless, sinless and perfect. Yet, when He is baptized in the Jordan, He comes out covered with our sins so that He can take them to the cross. Jesus bearing our sins doesn't mean He carries them in a sack or something like that. It means that when He is looked upon by the Father, He is seen as the one and only sinner—Jesus the idolater, the adulterer, the murderer, the gossip, the thief. Jesus, the damned, cursed with our sins and deserving of a terrible and violent death.

When Jesus carries our sins, He prays the psalms because those words cling to the Father's promise that Jesus will bear our sins, and blot them out by His blood and rise again. Jesus trusts unshakably in the Father as He undergoes His suffering to save the world.

Now, baptized into Christ, we who are poor and needy can pray this way. Because you have been covered with Christ in Baptism and filled with Christ in the Supper, you can gladly and confidently pray the psalms as if you are Jesus Himself. That is, when the Father hears these words on your lips, He hears them as coming from His own Son. With confidence you can be certain that whatever suffering or trouble falls upon you in this life, you can cry out to the Lord and He hears you, for He Himself has suffered for you and puts His own words upon your lips. Poor and needy, cry out to the Lord and have no doubt that He will hear and answer and save you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

To me [Christ] said: “Stay close to Me, I am your rock and castle. Your ransom I Myself will be; For you I strive and wrestle. For I am yours , and you are Mine, And where I am you may remain; The foe shall not divide us. (LSB 556:7)