O God, why have You cast us off forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? (Psalm 74:1 from the Introit for Trinity 13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Sometimes it just feels like the Lord is out to get you. Whatever happened in school, at home, with your friends, at your job, in the world. To you or someone else. Bad things. Things that, when you stop to think about them, can only make you conclude that God doesn't care. That He's not there. That He's not paying attention. Or worse, that He IS paying attention and has it in for you! So the Psalmist cried out and so we cry out in the Lord's house tomorrow.
Then the Lord answers with all kinds of ways by which we know our fears are not true. Baptism. Absolution. The Word read. The Gospel preached. The Body and Blood of Jesus received. And what do all these have and give? Jesus.
Look to Jesus to see whether God has cast you off. Jesus. Crucified for sinners. Dead on the cross. Buried in the tomb. Alive on Easter. God can't be against you when He was against His own Son for you! The Lord can't be your enemy when He came as your Savior!
All week long your life is filled with lots of things that can make you wonder whether God has cast you off. But on the Lord's Day, the Divine Service is filled with sure and certain promises of exactly the opposite. Not only has the Lord not cast you off, not only does His anger not smoke against you, He has also taken you in and smiled upon you in the forgiveness Jesus won for you. And that will always be true no matter what the world has going on. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Thou my faith increase and quicken; Let me keep Thy gift divine, Howsoe'er temptations thicken; May Thy Word still o'er me shine As my guiding star through life, As my comfort in all strife. (Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty, LSB 901:4)