Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 29, 2023

Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Lent

Most years, I provide “End of Life” seminars for my parishioners, always encouraging them to spend time arranging their affairs, including providing guidance for others at the time of one’s death.
At one point, my wife, Susan asked, “Have you done the same?””

I was convicted, so I took some time to consider how I might organize things in my life to make it easier, a bit, for my family at the time when the Lord calls me from this earthly existence, to the Church Triumphant. This includes guidance for my family regarding funeral service and burial! Far from being a morbid or troubling exercise, it brings a certain peace for me, my wife and my children. I have chosen the Good Shepherd theme for my funeral, with the Gospel reading above to be read and every Good Shepherd hymn to be sung. There are few themes in Holy Scripture more comforting and encouraging than to hear that our Lord, Jesus, is the good shepherd who not only lays down his life for the sheep, but “takes it up again”!
While visiting the Holy Land last summer, we saw many shepherds, still in Israel and Jordan, tending their flocks. Our guide told us of a time when a tourist saw someone walking behind the sheep, driving them on. “I thought the shepherd walked in front, leading the sheep,” the person asked. “Yes,” responded the guide. “But that’s not the shepherd—that’s the butcher, and he walks behind the sheep, driving them to slaughter!” The message ought not be lost on we who are the Lord’s sheep today! Are we following the Good Shepherd, or are we being driven to slaughter by thieves, robbers, false teachers, butchers?

May Lent be a time of hearing and listening to the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus—as He leads us to abundant life and eternal life!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Good Shepherd. Lead me and guide me through this season of Lent and the times and seasons of life, that I follow You always. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel

“”Hans Nielsen Hauge, Renewer of the Church, 1824″”, “”John Keble, Priest, 1866″”

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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