Reflections: June 13, 2020
By Alexander Lange
O Lord, I have trusted in your steadfast love. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? (From the Introit for the First Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is a beautiful contrast here between the tone of the body of the Introit and the antiphon. In the antiphon, the verse that introduces and concludes the Introit, we say that we have trusted in God's steadfast love and that we will celebrate His salvation. In the Introit itself, we complain, "How long, O Lord? How long will you forget me and hide yourself from me? How long will my enemies prevail over me?"
We live by faith, not by sight. Often it doesn't appear that God is giving us His undivided attention. Often we feel like the world is winning and that the grave is the end. We must trust in God's steadfast love when we cannot easily see His love in our daily experiences.
Where we can see the love of God is on the Cross of Christ. A crucifix is offensive to the eyes. It is ugly—a naked, bleeding, dying man. A crucifix offends our pride. "You expect me to worship something so feeble? You expect me to find salvation in a man who couldn't save Himself?"
That's what the eyes see, but the eyes of faith see the salvation of our God. The Gospel pulls back the veil and we no longer see a feeble man being murdered by His enemies. Instead, we see our Creator laying down His life for us. We see our Savior entering the grave in order to make a way out of the grave for us.
Thus, whenever we pray, "How long, O Lord?" we are not speaking out of despair. We pray even such desperate words with confidence. We pray, knowing that God will consider and answer us. He will not abandon us to the grave or hand us over to our enemies. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Help then, O Lord, our unbelief; And may our faith abound To call on You when You are near And seek where You are found. For You, O resurrected Lord, Are found in means divine: Beneath the water and the Word, Beneath the bread and wine. ("We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight" LSB 720, st. 3-4)
— Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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