For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. (Psalm 86:13 from the Introit for Trinity 16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ever felt down in the dumps? Like life's the pits? The worst pits are the ones our sins dig. That uncomfortable knowledge that we've done what we know is wrong. The fear that someone will find out. The nagging whispers of the devil that with such a sin on our record, we'll never really be Christians.
Rejoice! The Divine Service is all about pulling you out of that pit! It's all about the Lord delivering your soul from Sheol, the “depths.” After all, who went down into the depths to grab you? Jesus. Who suffered under the true hell of God's judgment against our sins? Jesus. Who actually went to hell to announce to the Evil One that his power is done and over and that the sins of the world have been answered for? Jesus!
These words, like the words of all the Psalms, are Jesus' words. They remind us that Jesus was lifted from the depths of suffering and hell to rise victorious on Easter. What better day to sing these words than on a Sunday, the day Jesus rose and the day the church celebrates His resurrection every week.
In worship tomorrow, because He's been delivered from the depths, the Lord will deliver you from your depths. Whatever deep spots of sin you have wallowed in this week, the Lord is going to lift you up and out. He'll do it by tracing your baptismal name upon you again. By absolving you with words that cannot be contradicted by the devil. By filling your ears with His forgiving Word and your mouth with His death-defying Body and Blood.
Indeed, Jesus' mercy to you is great. By going down to the depths instead of you, He is able to bring you up from the depths of your sin and give you life and light. Indeed, Christ is the Lord's great mercy upon you and He has delivered your soul from Sheol. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
O love, how deep, how broad, how high, Beyond all thought and fantasy, That God, the Son of God, should take, Our mortal form for mortals' sake! (LSB 544:1)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.