Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 24, 2023

Friday of the Fourth Week in Lent

During my growing years, I ate a lot of bread. Whether it was toast in the morning, sandwiches, toasted cheese on Saturday nights, or other rolls and pastries, bread was a staple in my diet. This food always seemed to fill my stomach — temporarily. After a while I was hungry again, wanting more. In John 5:52–59, Jesus reminds us that only the bread from heaven, His body and blood, will truly satisfy us, and allow us to live forever.
When the Jews were told by Christ that He was living bread, they could not understand what he meant. While they were used to animal sacrifice, they struggled to comprehend that life forever would only come through Jesus’ flesh and His blood. As it is written, “”Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks of my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
The Lord tried to show them the difference between the manna God had supplied to the Hebrews in the wilderness and His own body and blood, but they could not comprehend. They could not believe that He was the Messiah, their deliverer. But the Jews were not alone. As the early Christian Church began to meet in Rome, the pagans thought that the believers were cannibals! Imagine that!
Thankfully, as we focus upon the body and blood of Jesus today, we are drawn into the scriptural understanding of Holy Communion. As we receive this Sacrament, a visible sign of God’s love, we are assured that Christ is present in, with, and under the bread and wine through the Holy Spirit. We are assured of the forgiveness of our sins. And we are assured of God’s saving power through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Through a free gift of faith, let us cling to the flesh and blood of Jesus. It is only through Him alone that we can live forever.

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be our Savior. As we partake in His flesh and blood, the true food and the true drink, help us to realize that He abides in us and we abide in Him. Christ is the “Living Bread” sent down from heaven to save us from our sins and provide us life forever. Through faith, let us feed on His body and blood, knowing that He has risen from the dead, and given us life. I pray all these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen!

Devotion written by The Rev. Bradley J. Hales

“”Óscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980″”

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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