Home > Reading > Daily Reading – February 27, 2023

Monday of the First Week in Lent

Once, by some stroke of luck, I was able to attend discussions with the late philosopher and author Dallas Willard. Between his talks and his book, The Divine Conspiracy, I gathered a wealth of guidance and encouragement.However, one conversation in particular has always stuck with me. He recalled, as chair of the philosophy department at the University of Southern California, how he was challenged by the chair of the chemistry department to defend Christ’s first miracle — the one performed at the wedding at Cana in today’s reading.
“It’s just not possible,” the chemist insisted. “The heat generated by changing water to wine would have melted those clay pots.” Dr. Willard simply and eloquently answered, “If Jesus knows how to change water into wine, He can handle the pots too.” That is what we can reflect on today. Rather than look at the multi-faceted nuances of this passage, the first miracle John records, we should instead look at how Christ knows how to change us too.
Martin Luther put it this way: “So the movement is from the Law to the Gospel, as the Lord made wine out of water” (LW 11:286).
The law of this world presented Jesus with a seemingly impossible problem: to supply an enormous amount of wine when all that was available was water. He solved that problem with divine grace and power from above. At this wedding party, the Law was replaced with the Gospel.
We as broken sinners can focus too much on the Law in our hearts and minds—but Christ comes to us too with the promise of the Gospel. By faith we believe His promise and can answer our doubting hearts by reworking Dr. Willard’s quote a bit, “If Jesus knows how to change water to wine, he can handle my sin too.”

Prayer: Gracious Lord, I pray today for my hope to be in the One who changed water to wine. While the Law surrounds and convicts me, I trust in Jesus to transform me as well — not by the same Law, but by the Gospel He promises. In the name of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Marvin Combs

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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