Home > Reading > Daily Reading – April 6, 2022

10:13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

– Mark 10:13-16 NIV

In this powerful and memorable Scripture, we see a very important story. Parents were bringing their children to Jesus, but the disciples rebuked them for bringing children to Jesus. It is interesting to visualize who is getting in between those precious children and Jesus Christ. I’m sure the disciples were not trying to abuse or mistreat those parents and their children. However, they are trying to prioritize the mission and ministry of Jesus in such a way that there were more important things to do than dealing with little children. It was a matter of prioritization for them.

As far as the New Testament is concerned, there is not a more a critical and salient priority than the mission and ministry of Jesus, dealing with little children. Today let us challenge ourselves and look through all the programs that are being run in our churches and to look at our budget structure in our churches. As we do those reviews let us look at the level of attention that is being given to children’s ministry. That will tell us if children and youth are our priority or not.

This Scripture text is not written just as a critical record on how the disciples mishandled children, but it is written so that it can be a constant reminder and a constant challenge to the mission and ministry that we do today. Jesus openly, boldly and clearly declared by saying, “Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them.” Based on that Word today, are we enhancing or hindering the connection between Jesus and our children? The reason so many churches are dying, and a wide range of cultures are losing Christianity is because of lack of focus on this generational ministry. Today, let’s take this Scripture as a reminder to reorganize our priorities and let the children come to Jesus.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for this reminder about the next generation, especially for our children and grandchildren. Please help us to remember that it is our responsibility to make this a priority and bring children to Jesus. We sometimes unknowingly become a hindrance by either delaying or distracting the relationship between Jesus and children. Today, we confess our shortcomings and ask for constant help and guidance of the Holy Spirit to rectify this priority — to bring this mission and ministry to the children and you; and to recognize it as one of the most important areas of our mission. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba

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.

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