Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 27, 2023

Monday of the Fifth Week in Lent

It seems to me that there are basically two kinds of people in this world when it comes to sin: those who are hung up on sin, and those who pretend that sin isn’t a thing. For some, pointing out the sins of others is easy to do, easier than seeing our own sinfulness. For others who deny the reality of God, sin is not a factor. This group would readily tout, “I’m a good person!” 
In our gospel lesson for today the disciples posed a question to Jesus about a man whom they noticed begging on the street. Perhaps he had been there for so long that the citizens of that area ceased to actually notice him. That happens when we are confronted by the realities of poverty, illness, and homelessness on a regular basis. We aren’t quite sure what we can do to help the situation so we often times look away and move on with our daily routine. 

The disciples wondered aloud, “Who sinned? This man or his parents?” The implication is that someone had to be responsible for him being born blind. In ancient days it was believed that sin was the root cause of illness and human suffering. The “neighbors” in this story were hung up on sin. They wanted answers! “Who should be held accountable for this man’s condition?” “How were his eyes opened?” “Is this the man who was blind from birth?”

Jesus’ answer turns everything upside down. “No one sinned,” He said. Not the man and not his parents. Rather, this situation is for the purpose of displaying God’s mighty works. Imagine the shock as Jesus spits on the ground and makes some mud with His saliva and the dirt. Then He rubs the mud on the man’s eyes and tells him to go and wash in the nearby pool of water, and lo and behold the man returns fully sighted! Jesus has enacted a miracle on the man and he can see for the first time in his life! Those who witnessed the miracle though were more interested in sin, blame, and concrete answers rather than rejoicing with this fellow who now had the gift of sight. God was glorified indeed — but many were focusing on the wrong thing. 

We can be blind to God’s goodness quite often, actually. We can find things to fuss and fume about, laying blame on whoever or whatever is convenient. But Jesus shows us a better way, and He opens our eyes to see His love and mercy in ways we could never imagine. 

Prayer: Loving Lord, help us not to get hung up on sin, or to dismiss the reality of our blindness. Instead, grant us the grace to see clearly Your great love for us, that You have freed us from bondage to sin and death and have opened our eyes to see Your glory. We give You thanks for Your mercy and tender care for Your beloved children. We pray this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Amy C. Little

“”Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines and of Western New York, 1929″”

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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