October 4, 2008 - Saturday of the 19th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 4:21-40; Matthew 8:1-17

We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. As your Name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness. (Psalm 48:9-10)

It’s terribly easy to lose your way. When you look at the world, when you look in the mirror of the law, when you listen to the voice of your heart and your conscience, you may easily lose your way. We need to be re-oriented, re-centered, re-focused.

There in the midst of the Lord’s temple, where the Word is proclaimed, where the Sacrament is, there God’s steadfast covenant love is revealed, and there our thoughts are focused again. Where the Name of God is, there the praise of God reaches to the ends of the earth. Where the Name of God is, there true worship is to be found.

As we prepare for worship tomorrow, we are reminded that though God is present everywhere, He tells us where and how He wishes to be worshipped. In the Old Testament, worship centered on the temple, the place where God’s glory dwelt, the sacramental presence of God among His people. Yes, God was present everywhere, but He was present here to save, to bless, to forgive.

So, also, in the New Testament, worship is centered on Jesus, the true temple in human flesh. Where two or three are gathered in His Name, there He is in their midst, there God is present to save, to bless, to forgive.

Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in majesty. God’s right hand is “filled with righteousness” precisely because Jesus sits at God’s right hand. And from the right hand, filled with righteousness, comes righteousness given to you, justifying you, an ungodly sinner, declaring you to be righteous for Jesus’ sake through faith in His blood.

“Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus said to His disciples and to us. Do this “for my remembrance.” This is how we remember God’s steadfast love for sinners, how we think on His wondrous love in the midst of His temple - by hearing His Word and eating and drinking His Body and Blood.

Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. In the multitude of Your tender mercies prepare my heart that I may enter Your house to worship and confess Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, my God and Lord. Amen.