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Wednesday in Holy Week

I have a member of my congregation who rents properties and manages others, and he has a lot of stories to tell when it comes to bad tenants. Some refuse to pay their rent for months, while others are habitually late. A few abuse the properties, while some won’t report when things need repaired. He’s even encountered those who have actually stolen appliances, and other items, while leaving in the dark of the night. Some tenants have a lot to be desired. And we see this in the parable of the wicked tenants.On this Wednesday of Holy Week, as Jesus begins His walk to the cross, He tells a story about a vineyard that is rented out to some tenants. When the owner of the vineyard, God, wants to collect the rent from the tenants—the religious leaders—they don’t want to pay. When the owner sends his servants, the prophets, they are beaten and killed. Thinking that they would never harm his own son, the vineyard owner sends him to retrieve what is owed. But, believing that if they kill the son the vineyard would become theirs, the tenants decide on that course of action.
Christ is foreshadowing what is going to happen, and it will come true. The Son is going to be killed. He will be crucified on the cross—but His death will not be in vain. It will literally pay the price for the world’s sins, and save both Hebrews and Gentiles alike.
Jesus’ crucifixion does not rid the religious leaders of their perceived “false messiah.” Through the fuel of the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s death and resurrection will spread throughout the world for thousands of years, as people come to saving faith in Christ. Jesus has to die in order for humanity to live.

Prayer: Father, on this Wednesday of Holy Week, we know what is about to happen. Your only Son Jesus will be unfairly persecuted, suffer mightily, and will be crucified on the cross. While the darkness thinks that it wins, it is wrong! Christ will rise from the dead to save the world. In our sadness, let us find hope and joy. Because of God’s love for us, we will live forever. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Bradley J. Hales

“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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