Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 13, 2023

Monday of the Third Week in Lent

Some 20 years ago, my wife Cheryl and I were walking through a shopping mall when I noticed a young woman walking toward us at a rapid pace. Today I probably would not have given her a second glance, but back then her strange appearance caught my attention. She was dressed very differently than all the other women in the mall. As I recall, her hair was pink and slicked upward forming a spike pointing out over her forehead. She wore futuristic-looking silver platform boots, lots of jewelry, and a multi-colored outfit that I am confident her peers would have described as awesome. As she strode by, I leaned over and whispered in Cheryl’s ear, “How would you like to see our son bring someone like her home?”
That evening we attended a Christian rock concert with our congregation’s youth group. When the featured band came onto the stage, who do you think was the lead singer? 

This dedicated Christian musician and singer, who throughout the concert did a wonderful job witnessing to our youth, was the same young lady I had seen earlier at the mall, the one I had mocked, judged to be obviously immoral, and not worthy of being welcomed in our home! Of course, our youth thought she was awesome and looked really cool. Let me assure you; Jesus spoke to me during that concert!

Our gracious Lord wants us to know we are not to judge others by their outward appearance or by our assuming the way they are acting is not what God desires.

This is clear in John 7:24a, “Do not judge by appearances”. But what does Jesus mean in John 7:24b when He says to “judge with right judgment”? It means at those times when the situation calls for us to make a judgment of others we must do so in the context of God’s love and mercy, seen most clearly at Golgotha’s cross. Our judgment of others must not use God’s Law superficially, nor should our judgment differ from the righteous judgment of Christ. In other words, to judge with right judgment is to judge as Christ judges.

Remember, in this life we never become righteous by our own efforts. Rather, we simply participate in the righteousness of Christ by faith. At our baptism Jesus clothed us with His righteousness; we did nothing.  I invite you to spend some time today meditating on the implications for your daily life of Jesus’ instruction to judge with right judgement.

Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, by Your Son’s suffering and death on the cross You have loved us with perfect love and freed us from eternal condemnation under Your Law. Grant us Your Holy Spirit’s wisdom and power that when called upon to judge, we will do so in accord with Christ’s righteous judgment; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Dr. William “Bill” E. White

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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