Back from the break and I'm greeted by some semicitations. Ah well. Easing back in is fine.
Semicontinuous First Reading - 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
There is a passing reference to 2 Samuel 1 in a footnote in The Large Catechism, First Part: The Ten Commandments, The First Commandment (LC 1.46, n. 48). The context of the citation amassing fame and wealth for yourself in this life. In the larger story of 1 Samuel 18 thru 2 Samuel 2, which is the full citation in the footnote, the point is how Saul and David's story stands as a model of human attempts at creating a lasting legacy (Saul) as compared to God's actions in establishing a lasting legacy in David.
Semicontinuous Psalm - Psalm 130
Did't we just do this? Oh,. Yes, we did.
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
-- Psalm 130:3-4
Verses 3 thru 4 are quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4: Justification (AP 4.58) in a section that reads Jesus into the Hebrew scriptures. The focus, however, is that the psalmist here does not look to works for salvation, but directly to God and God's forgiveness.
Verse 3 is quoted a bit later in the same article (AP 4.179) with several other scriptural passages to show that even saints cannot stand before God's judgment, driving home pleas for God's mercy.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
-- Psalm 130:7-8
Verses 7 thru 8 are cited in Smalcald Articles, Part 3, Article 3: Concerning Repentance (SA 3.3.8) as a reminder that God offers redemption in many ways, not the least of which is in the Word and sacraments.
Jesus cannot help but heal. Even when he isn't doing it intentionally, his presence brings healing through faith. When Jesus is bringing healing intentionally, he can even overcome death.
Now that Jesus has ascended, he heals us in all times and in all places. Not by making doctors irreverent, not by sending illness as judgment for lack of faith, but by showing us how far God will go to bring life to all people--even embracing death itself. For you see, God cannot help but give life.