Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 11, 2023

Saturday of the Second Week in Lent

Because of fear, “no one spoke openly” of Jesus. Does that sound like our modern day or modern church? Or, closer to home — us? Have you ever had a time where fear kept you from talking about Jesus? I have. I’ve had opportunities where I could have talked about Jesus with people. But something in me, I’d have to say fear, kept me from doing so. What happened back in John’s Gospel still happens today. I will confess, out of fear there have been times I haven’t talked about Jesus. 
I’ll list some examples of things that have held me back in the past.

– I didn’t want to risk opening up about something deeply personal to me. I was afraid of ridicule or how people would react.
– I grew up in a church that didn’t encourage us or show us how to talk about faith.
– I’ve heard people talk about faith in unhelpful ways, I don’t want to make the same mistakes. My most extreme example, I had a would-be evangelist knock on my door, and when I answered asked me, “If you died tonight, where would you go?” That didn’t help me encounter Jesus.
– I just didn’t have the courage or the comfort to be open about my faith.
I suspect most of us have had times where we held back from talking about our faith. But here is some good news. We can learn! One of the great focuses in the North American Lutheran Church is discipleship. It is assisting people to live out, and deepen, their faith walk. And part of discipleship is learning how to talk about Jesus.    
I’m working on this, and even better, the Holy Spirit is working on me. I’m getting better at it. And in the grace of our Lord, I’m going to keep growing! 

I’ve learned to just be honest. I find hope and joy in Jesus, and I can tell people that. I don’t have to give people long theological discourses or faith testimonials. In fact, those long speeches usually aren’t helpful. It is better to just acknowledge the obvious, my life is given in and made richer by my walk with Jesus. I’ve also learned that the Holy Spirit really is active, and helps us in our growth! Part of my faith journey is learning to trust that!

And to put in a plug here, the discipleship materials that the NALC is sharing are marvelous in showing us how to talk about and share our faith. We don’t have to learn this on our own!

We can grow in our ability to live and talk and share our faith. In fact, that is discipleship and a great focus for Lent. Let’s talk about this Jesus we know!

Prayer: Jesus, give us boldness. Help us and show us how to speak of You! Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Dr. Mark H. Braaten

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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