November 22, 2008 - Saturday in the 2nd Last Week

Daily Lectionary: Daniel 2:24-49; Revelation 19:1-21

Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me | by Your strength.

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. (Introit for the 2nd Last Sunday of the Church Year)

The Introit is that special part of the liturgy that happens right at the beginning; it’s usually sung responsively by the congregation and a Cantor or the Choir. The Introit serves as an opening prayer for the congregation for all that is to take place in the rest of the liturgy. It is our first petition before receiving Holy Absolution, hearing the words of the Gospel proclaimed, and then receiving the Lord’s true Body and Blood, given and shed for you.

Today, we pray that the Lord would save us by His name. We pray this after having begun the Divine Service in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is the same name that we were baptized into, and it was there at Baptism that the Lord saved us from ourselves. In Holy Baptism, Jesus takes on our sin so it might no longer damn us eternally to hell.

Our prayer tomorrow in church, in the Introit, is answered even before we pray it. And so we don't think that the Lord will not answer it again, we move into the Rite for Holy Absolution. This is where you confess your sins before God and man, and your pastor faithfully delivers forgiveness into your ears and into your hearts. There again, the Lord points us back to our Baptism and we see that in His Blessed Forgiveness we are forgiven, yet again.

Our Lord’s vindication is found in these gifts, too, and even more still as the Divine Service presses on. We find ourselves at the altar of the Lord to receive His very Body and Blood given and shed for you. Here at the Sacrament of the Altar, the Lord clears us of all our sin and any blame we might have before the eyes of God the Father. He does this as He makes our sinful flesh holy by giving His perfect flesh to us with the Sacrament.

Today, we pray for the Lord’s deliverance, that He would save us in His name and clear us of our guilt so that we might rejoice in eternal life. The Lord answers. He says I havedelivered you, I amdelivering you and I will continueto deliver you from all your sin. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior, Turned away God’s wrath forever; By His bitter grief and woe He saved us from the evil foe. (LSB 627.1)