Today’s Reading: Introit for the Second Sunday in Lent
(Psalm 25: 1-2a, 7-8, 11; antiphon: v. 6, 2b, 22)
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 15:1-21; Mark 5:21-43
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Let not my enemies exult over me. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. (From the Introit for the Second Sunday in Lent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We generally think of remembering something as a purely mental activity. When it comes to God’s remembering, however, it’s more than a mental exercise. When God remembers, God acts. When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, God remembered and sent ten plagues followed by the rescue through the Red Sea. When Hannah prayed to God for a son, God remembered and acted. God gave Hannah a son, Samuel.
So the psalmist cries out, “Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.” When God remembers, He acts. We join the psalmist in praying these words by asking God not only to remember in His eternal, merciful mind, but also to act. To rescue. To save and deliver. And He does. God remembers. God acts. God sends His steadfast love incarnate. The God whose mercy is “from of old” becomes an infant just a few days old. The God who redeemed Israel with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm from Egypt, stretches out His arms on the Cross to redeem you. The God who remembered and acted to save Israel time and time again, remembers and acts to save you once and for all.
Do you remember what the thief on the cross said as they were hanging there dying? “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Remember me. Act. Save and deliver me. That is our prayer in our sin as well. That is our prayer in the hour of trial and distress. In our time of despair and doubt. In the face of death. Remember me, O Lord. Forgive me. Lord Jesus, Son of God remember me in your mercy.
And He does. God remembers. God acts. Jesus is crucified for you. Risen for you. Ascended for you. Seated at the right hand of God for you where He lives and rules and reigns to remember, that is, to act eternally on your behalf. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.