Reflections: Saturday of the 12th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Introit for the 13th Sunday after Trinity

(Psalm 74:1-2, 19b, 21b; antiphon: v.20a, 21a, 22a, 23a)

Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 9:1-13; 10:18-29; Philippians 2:12-30 

Do not forget the life of your poor forever. Let the poor and needy praise your name. (From the Introit for the 13th Sunday after Trinity) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Psalm 74 is not full of cheerful thoughts, fluffy teddy bears, and bright rainbows. It speaks about the temple in Jerusalem lying in ruins and there being no more prophets who proclaim the Word of the Lord. The psalmist even goes so far as to say that the Lord God who is their shepherd has turned bright red in anger, smoke billowing from His ears, and the sheep are the source and recipients of God’s anger. Not a happy thought. Life for the psalmist is about as depressed and cheerless and miserable as it can get. Ever felt that way? 

Of course you have. We all have. That’s part of sinful human existence. Sin has corrupted us through and through, breaking and destroying God’s good creation. This is the beauty of the psalms. They get you. Ever feel like God has forgotten about you? So did the psalmists. Ever feel like God just doesn’t care what happens to you? So did the psalmists. The Word of God which they wrote speaks to every human condition and emotion. 

Most of all, the psalms point you to Jesus. God does not forget His children. He does not abandon them. What He does is send His only-begotten Son into the world to save the poor in spirit, those who feel downtrodden and abandoned and hopeless. The poor and needy of the Scriptures are those who have been so broken by sin that they have nothing left but to cry to Jesus for salvation. And salvation they received. Freely. All gift because Jesus has taken your sins and brokenness and hopelessness to Himself on the Cross and gives to you His glorious life, death, and resurrection. Jesus has purchased and redeemed you, as the psalmist begs. All the prayers of the psalms, all your prayers, are answered in Jesus. Therefore, you who were once poor and needy, praise the Name of the Lord your God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the midst of His congregation for He has remembered and redeemed you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

In suff’ring be Thy love my peace, In weakness be Thy love my pow’r; And when the storms of life shall cease, O Jesus, in that final hour, Be Thou my rod and staff and guide, And draw me safely to Thy side! (“Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me” LSB 683, st.4)

-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.