Home > Reading > Daily Reading – February 17, 2024

John 17:20–26 (Listen)

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


Saturday after Ash Wednesday

The seven verses of our Gospel lesson are part of Jesus’ “high priestly prayer.” So, we need to remember that these verses are part of the whole prayer. Just earlier, Jesus prayed that his disciples “be sanctified in the truth” of God’s Word. This is the vocation of every Christian. To strive to live in the truth of Jesus, the Word made flesh.Now, turning to verses 20-26 of chapter 17. In these seven verses there is one word that occurs nine times! It’s called a “hina clause.” Hina means, “in order that” or “so that” or even as an imperative, “see that… you do thus and so!” Grammatically it is a called a “purpose clause.” Jesus prays that those who come to faith in the future, people like us, would live with purpose—not meaninglessly.
There is not time to look at all nine of these purpose clauses, and there is some repetition. So, very quickly, as our Great Intercessor before the Father, what is Jesus praying—even now?
First, He prays that Christians live in a united communion. That we are one. We must strive for unity with all who confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. One of the things I love about our seminary center in Ambridge is that our students rub shoulders with Christians from other traditions. Our differences do not need to be divisive. Rather, we can learn from others and hopefully bear witness in this world together to the truth revealed in Jesus.
Second, Jesus prayers that his disciples would be perfect. We Lutherans don’t do perfection very well. We know that we are imperfect! But, the word used here conveys a sense of purpose, result, fulfillment, completion, and goal. Jesus is the North Star and our lives need to be guided toward Him. To be with Jesus is to fulfill the purpose of life.
Jesus wants us to see and share in His glory! That will be perfect!
Finally, the very last verse, “that (hina!) the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Here we are simply and profoundly left in awe. Certainly we want the love of God to dwell in us and move us. But, Jesus asks something truly remarkable. He prays that He personally would dwell in believers. Through the Holy Spirit, the crucified and Risen Lord Jesus; dwells in us.
This is the goal, purpose, direction, perfection, and fulfillment of human life. When the Lord Jesus is in, with, and through us. That is what Jesus is praying for you and me.
Lenten Discipline: Find some time to meditate prayerfully on the purpose of your life in light of the Gospel.

Prayer: Gracious Father, we pray for Your holy catholic Church. Fill Your Church with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify us; where it is in error, direct us; where in anything the Church is amiss, reform us; where we are right, strength us; where we are in need, provide for us; where we are divided, reunite us; all for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son our Savior.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Eric M. Riesen

Ezekiel 39:21–29 (Listen)

21 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22 The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. 23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.

The Lord Will Restore Israel

25 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29 And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”

Philippians 4:10–20 (Listen)

God’s Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

John 17:20–26 (Listen)

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


Morning Psalms

Psalm 43 (Listen)

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

43:1   Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
  from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
  For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
  Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?
  Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
  let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
  Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
  and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.
  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

Psalm 149 (Listen)

Sing to the Lord a New Song

149:1   Praise the LORD!
  Sing to the LORD a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of the godly!
  Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
    let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
  Let them praise his name with dancing,
    making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
  For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
    he adorns the humble with salvation.
  Let the godly exult in glory;
    let them sing for joy on their beds.
  Let the high praises of God be in their throats
    and two-edged swords in their hands,
  to execute vengeance on the nations
    and punishments on the peoples,
  to bind their kings with chains
    and their nobles with fetters of iron,
  to execute on them the judgment written!
    This is honor for all his godly ones.
  Praise the LORD!


Evening Psalms

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 several challenging years 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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