How long?

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1)

Isn’t this often our cry.  We have our problems, and they stink.  Parents who loose their job, friends who stab us in the back, a boyfriend or girlfriend who dumps us, and to top it all of it seems as if God is against us too.  We’ve just been through Advent, Christmas, and are now in Epiphany, and we’ve seen and been promised so many things.  A coming Savior, the Godchild is born, and now he manifests himself to us – yet he seems hidden.

He seems remote.  Far off.  He’s abandoned us, but helped our neighbor who seems to have everything go their way.  We think, “When will things go our way?  Why has God forgotten us?”  We then despair that this difficulty is only the beginning of eternal punishment that is yet to come for all the awful things we have done – perish the thought!  Such thinking is merely the devil, the world, and our flesh trying to drive us away from Christ – to make us forever forget Christ!

To this unholy Trinity we must say, “Yes, my problems are many.  And yes, I have done many evil things in my time.  But the Lord Christ that was promised is come.  Jesus has come to take our sins, our problems into himself.  He’s come to be Baptized into our sins so that they leave us and take the devil’s stench of guilt with them.  He’s come to live our problems – was anyone ever more dumped on by those around him with disease, back-stabbing, friends dying, and the one whom he loves kills him?  He’s the one who truly prays this prayer ‘How long, O LORD?’”  He just happened to use different words – “My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me?”

He was forsaken so that we aren’t.  He leaves us the means to bring us to God.  His washing where sins are not placed on us, but taken away.  He gives us a meal where we feed on his body and blood and are united with the church of all time (even the one who first prayed this prayer), and all are saved, all in the presence of the baptized, epiphanied, transfigured, died, resurrected, and ascended Jesus.  No more forgetting, except of your sins, problems and doubts – just living in Christ for all eternity.

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