Home > Reading > Daily Reading – April 17, 2022

20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

– John 20:19-23 NIV

Dear friends, greetings today in the name of risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! What a wonderful day this is as we remember and celebrate, with Christians throughout the world, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus! After three days in the grave and after paying the full price for our sin, God raised Jesus from the dead and, in so doing, gave to us the promise of life eternal in him.

The celebration of Easter is not one limited to this day. We celebrate our Lord’s resurrection every Sunday in which we gather and every day in which we remember and are renewed in what was accomplished for us in Him.

In the same way, the calling we have been given in the Church is one that is designed and meant to be lived out every day. Through us together, we offer a united witness to Jesus. We share the faith. We have a common and a unifying bond. We also hold to the same teachings and truth revealed to us in Scripture and in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of our Lord.

The same is true of the calling each of us have been given in Christ. We are all called and commissioned to speak his name and to witness to our faith. No matter who we are, what we do for a living, and what part we play in the Church, we are each responsible for sharing our faith and for passing on the Good News of Jesus to those who are part of our lives.

Today’s passage speaks to the calling and commission we share in Jesus. It comes on the evening of our Lord’s resurrection. The truth and the implications of what happened earlier that day had not yet sunk in. The disciples were afraid. John says they were gathered in a room with the doors locked. They had no idea what to do, let alone what they were to believe.

In the midst of their fear, Jesus came and stood among them. We can only imagine what was going through each of their minds and hearts. This One whom they had watched, only a few short days before, suffer and die upon a cross, was now among them. John says, “He showed them his hands and his side…and they were overjoyed when they saw the Lord!” We can only imagine how they must have felt.

And that’s when it happened. Jesus gave them His peace. He empowered them with the Holy Spirit. He gave them the ability and the authority to forgive sins in His name. And He commissioned them, until the day He was to return, to go into the world and tell others of the love God has for them eternally in Christ.

So important is this commission that each of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each have their own version of that same calling. The same is true in the Book of Acts, right before Jesus was to ascend into heaven to be with His Father. He commissioned his disciples to teach. He called His disciples to preach and to speak. And He told them to do this throughout the world until that day comes, known only be the Father, when Jesus will return again.

That commission of our Lord given to the disciples is also one we share in the Church. Together as a body, we witness to the faith that is ours in Jesus. And individually, in each of our lives, we share that faith through our actions and our words. None of us are exempt. None of us are to be left out. The commission is for us, and the calling is to each one, as is the assurance and the comfort and the peace that comes from knowing we have been called and commissioned by the One who was raised from the dead.

As you celebrate Easter today, do so with thankful hearts, knowing that Jesus’ death and resurrection were for you. And as you live out your faith each day, do so with a passion and an urgency that shows to the world how much they are loved in Christ and how important the Easter message truly is for them.

We are recipients of the faith, passed on from those first believers, for more than two thousand years, to us today. It is now our calling and commission to pass on that same legacy of faith to the generations that follow.

Happy Easter to all of you! May our Lord’s resurrection give you encouragement, confidence and peace as you live in the resurrection hope that is ours in Christ..

Prayer: Almighty God, for the gift of Your Son Jesus and for the life we have in Him, we give You our thanks and our praise. We thank You for the reality of our Lord’s resurrection and for the promise of life we have eternally in Him. Help us, through Your Holy Spirit, to be bold in our witness, confident in the words we share, and at peace in this life, knowing that we belong eternally to You. Work in us and through us that the legacy of faith we have received might be passed to the generations that follow, today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Selbo

Isaiah 51:9–11 (Listen)

  Awake, awake, put on strength,
    O arm of the LORD;
  awake, as in days of old,
    the generations of long ago.
  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
    who pierced the dragon?
10   Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
  who made the depths of the sea a way
    for the redeemed to pass over?
11   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
  everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

John 1:1–18 (Listen)

The Word Became Flesh

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 20:19–23 (Listen)

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Morning Psalms

Psalm 93 (Listen)

The Lord Reigns

93:1   The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;
    the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
  Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
  Your throne is established from of old;
    you are from everlasting.
  The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
    the floods have lifted up their voice;
    the floods lift up their roaring.
  Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
    mightier than the waves of the sea,
    the LORD on high is mighty!
  Your decrees are very trustworthy;
    holiness befits your house,
    O LORD, forevermore.

Psalm 150 (Listen)

Let Everything Praise the Lord

150:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
  Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!
  Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
  Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
  Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD!

Evening Psalms

Psalm 136 (Listen)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

136:1   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
10   to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
11   and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
12   with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
13   to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
14   and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
15   but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
16   to him who led his people through the wilderness,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
17   to him who struck down great kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
18   and killed mighty kings,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
19   Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
20   and Og, king of Bashan,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
21   and gave their land as a heritage,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
22   a heritage to Israel his servant,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
23   It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
24   and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
25   he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
26   Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 117 (Listen)

The Lord’s Faithfulness Endures Forever

117:1   Praise the LORD, all nations!
    Extol him, all peoples!
  For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
  Praise the LORD!

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After a challenging year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

Learn More