Today’s Reading: Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
(Psalm 122:1-2, 6, 8; antiphon: Isaiah 66:10a, 11a)
Daily Lectionary:Genesis 41:1-27; Mark 11:1-19
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Lent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Psalm 122 is one of several ascent psalms in the psalter, the Old Testament hymnal. In this psalm, God’s faithful people would sing His praises as they made their way to the temple, the Lord’s house, to receive the Lord’s gifts.
Tomorrow in Divine Service we will sing or say together the Introit, taken from Psalm 122. As we sing or say these words together, God is gathering His Church, the new Israel, around His Gifts of Word, water, Body and Blood. As we sing or say these words together we are in the house of the Lord where the Lord has promised to dwell with us to heal, forgive, and save us.
Even the word “Introit” tells us what’s going on. “Introit” means “to enter.” In the Divine Service that’s what we do. We enter the Lord’s house on the Lord’s Day to receive the Lord’s Gifts in Word and Sacrament.
It is good for us to sing the psalms of ascent as we approach our Lord’s table, because all too often we have not ascended to our Lord in praise, but have descended into sin. In our sinful flesh we descend into chaos; we sing the funeral dirge that our sins have earned. We confess that we are poor, miserable sinners. This confession of our sin may not be popular or pretty, but it is good. That’s why we confess our sins just before the Introit of the day.
We start with confession, then receive the Absolution. For all the times we’ve descended into sin, Christ’s forgiveness and love have descended to us to save us. Jesus went up to the Cross, was crucified, died, and was buried. Jesus descended into hell, and on the Third Day rose again. He ascended into heaven. He did all of this so that when you descend into sin, you will be forgiven. And you will sing with joy tomorrow and forever. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through 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.