In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! (From the Introit for the 23rd Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “Why is the Internet so slow?” we ask when the webpage doesn’t load in a nanosecond. “What is wrong with these people, how long does it take to make a Big Mac?” we grumble in the drive-through while waiting fewer than two minutes. The blessing of rapid technological advancement has made us an impatient people.
This coming week in the Church Year will start the process of unlearning impatience. The Last Sundays of the Church Year give us the long perspective about our life of faith and teach us to wait in patient anticipation for the return of Jesus or our entrance into His eternal kingdom with our death. Psalm 31 is an insight into King David’s concern about death, specifically his own death. We can all relate to David’s concern in one way or another. We are confronted by death all the time. A tragic accident here, a heart attack there, and cancer consuming a loved one: It’s all a preaching that this world and its inhabitants are dying.
Amid death and its terrors, David prays with confidence, “In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.” And we, too, can have the same confidence as David because we know to be true what David could only take on faith: Jesus Christ has come to rescue this whole world from death. He does that in a remarkable way: He dies. He is consumed by the sins of the world on the Cross so that all who believe and are baptized receive salvation and eternal life.
Jesus’ bitter sufferings and death are the redemption price paid for you. Baptized into Jesus, you have a confidence that His work has rescued you from the guilt and shame of sin. His righteousness is credited to you and in Him you are delivered. We wait for the ultimate fulfillment of that promise with the return of Jesus in glory. . . or our own death. But we wait patiently on the Lord. He is our rock of refuge and a strong fortress to save. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Take heart, have hope, my spirit, And do not be dismayed; God helps in every trial
And makes you unafraid. Await His time with patience Through darkest hour of night
Until the sun you hoped for Delights your eager sight. (“Entrust Your Days and Burdens”
LSB 754, st.3)