Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 10, 2022

2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

– 1 Corinthians 2:14–3:15

Starting something, anything, whether large or small is a wonderful thing. But given our propensity for falling down in our efforts, it can be discouraging when our plans unravel or become frayed. As followers of Jesus, it can be even more frustrating when our efforts seem to be failing — whether it be reaching a friend for Christ, starting a new program in church or perhaps even a larger project or initiative. Beginning well and then seeing things stall or seem dead in the water can make us feel like incapable, failures or at least ineffective. In this passage Paul reminds us that it all begins with God by His Spirit. We are each instruments in the Master’s hands. We all have our part to play and we are not to be so much concerned with success (though we might hope for it in the proper context), but instead be more concerned with faithfulness. Each of us are, without the Master at the helm, rudderless ships blown this way and that, or as useless as piles of ash. In this season of being contrite for our sins and reflecting upon the cost of grace we remember that in being contrite and broken is like the flawed pot being broken and ground to powder, only to be watered and reshaped once again for usefulness by the Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6). It is the Potter who purposes the pottery and there are many steps along the way to the finished work. Paul remarks upon the path to God’s purposes, to the garden of His kingdom, one lays the seed, another waters and another reaps the increase. Each has their role and each are part of the whole of God’s purpose for His kingdom and our lives. What may seem to be a failure can be a step along the way of our own growth. We as individuals and community are reminded to cling to God in prayer and patience. For He is, after all, the Author and Perfector of our faith, the Arche/ἀρχή of our existence and the One who is with us throughout. The Spirit of Christ is the one who begins the work, works in us and through us for His purpose, and on that Day will disclose all things according to His will.

Prayer: Lord God, You are the great Promise Maker and Keeper, with but a word You begin and sustain all creation. Help us as flawed vessels to hold onto Your Word, be renewed and refreshed and then filled by Your Word of life. Bless our mission starts in the North American Lutheran Church, that all would know Jesus and follow Him in faith. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Phillip E. Gagnon STS

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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