Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 11, 2021

10:11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” 12 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14 Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the Lord of hosts is his name.

– Jeremiah 10:11-16

“American Idol” is a long running show. I watched it for a while, amazed at the talent displayed at times, dismayed at other times. I felt sorry for both “groups” as each person was on display for all to see and would deal with the results one way or another. Each person would experience the consequences of not measuring up, or the challenges of fame and wealth and the issues that go with them. What idols do we cling to in life?

As I’m sure you’ve heard in catechism or other Bible studies, there are so many idols. Wealth, power, status, popularity, being right all the time, the list goes on. Regardless of what it might be, Luther called each of them “pretender gods,” things which had no life or power in themselves, but promised all that might be considered good in this life. They can’t, of course, and the ultimate idol is not the thing or idea clung to, but actually the person themselves. As Isaiah 44:9-20 describes well, imagine the lunacy of trusting in something crafted by an ironsmith or carpenter that trusts in the thing that was made by themselves, bowing down to the object of their own imagination, “a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself” (Is. 44:20; Jer. 1:3,4).

What idols are we trusting in these days of our lives? Have we placed trust and faith in institutions, in power or status, well-paying jobs, political parties that promise the world and deliver little, or the like? Are we enslaved to our own ideas and believe in our own delusions (Jer. 10:15), rather than the wisdom of God. Control is always a need we have to get where we think we ought to go. But we do not have any real measure of control, even in the designing of our own idols to those ends. The Lord is the One that creates and sustains the universe with a Word, and His heart is wounded when we follow the ways of the nations. The Lord calls us to rely on His ways and thoughts and not to be dismayed at what the world is dismayed at. Rather, as difficult as it can be, Jesus calls us to repent and abide in Him, and He will abide in us.

Prayer: Lord God of all creation, You are the arche (Rev. 3:14) of all that is. Teach me, Father, to cling to Your Word and Spirit, discerning the false gods that attempt to make themselves at home in the living room of my heart. Amen.

Lenten Response: Examining your values, your thoughts about the state of the world today and your hopes, do you discover an idol or two, hopefully none? If so, what kind of idol is it?

Devotion written by the Rev. Phillip Gagnon

There are no festivals or commemorations on this day.

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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