Home > Reading > Daily Reading – February 25, 2024

Second Sunday in Lent

In the Gospel of Matthew, a rich young man asks Jesus; “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” As Lutherans we know that we do not enter heaven based on our good works, but rather only through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. In our reading from the book of Romans today, the Apostle Paul addresses a different question than the one asked by the rich young man. Not what must I do to be saved, but rather, what must I do now that I am saved?
Paul explains that baptism is more than an entrance rite into God’s promise of eternal life, but it is also a call to a whole new way of living in the here and now.
He says to the church in Rome, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
I love the image of walking in newness of life. When a baby is first born, its vision is not very developed since it has spent the previous nine months in darkness. A few weeks after birth its vision will go from blurry, and seeing everything in black and white, to seeing things more clearly and in vivid colors. With this new perception the world becomes a fascinating place to the newborn child, filled with new things to see and touch and taste and explore.
In much the same way, our Baptism into Christ opens our eyes to see and experience our world and the people in it in a new way. We are born again into a world filled with hope and possibility. Christ has given us a glimpse of the kingdom of God and encourages us to live each day as if we were already there. But until we reach our heavenly home, He calls us through our Baptisms to work and pray for the day when it “will be on earth as it is in heaven.” He calls us to proclaim the kingdom, and to work to make this world a place where love prevails over hatred, where peace overcomes strife, where compassion overrules indifference and life, not death, has the final word. This is why at every Baptism we quote Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:16. We say these words over the newly baptized as both instruction and prayer: “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to remember this day that in our Baptisms we were not just given the promise of eternal life in Your kingdom, but we were also called to live a new life in this world. We pray that Your light would shine upon us, dispelling our inner darkness and helping us to live lives worthy of our calling. Help us to see clearly that walking in newness of life is only possible when we are walking closely with You. We pray this in Your precious name. Amen 

Devotion written by the Rev. David F. Keener

“Elizabeth Fedde, 1921; Emma Francis, 1945; Deaconesses”

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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