Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 5, 2024

Tuesday of the Third Week in Lent

When I first started officiating varsity basketball, my observer offered this evaluation: “Bradosky, you care too much about what other people think. You have to realize that no matter what call you make, 50% of the people love you and 50% of the people hate you. The next call you make, the people that loved you now hate you, and the people that hated you now love you. If you can’t get used to that, get out now.” Then he added, “There is only one person in the stands whose opinion of you truly matters, and that’s me. I know the rules, I know where you are supposed to be on the floor, and I determine your future as an official.” I have reflected on those words many times throughout my ministry. We can never let fan support either encourage us too much, or their rejection deter us from doing what is faithful. Our future does not depend on our popularity. There is truly only one person in “the stands” whose opinion of us truly matters—Christ Jesus our Lord.  
It was only after the disciples witnessed Jesus’ rejection that they were fully prepared to be sent out. They too would certainly encounter a similar fate. He sent them out in pairs so they were never alone, gave them power and authority, and details on how to prepare. No suitcases were permitted. He was honest with them about anticipating both hospitality and rejection. 
With that preparation, they went out preaching repentance, proclaiming the kingdom of heaven, casting out demons, and healing many people. So too our ministry should prepare us for what we are bound to face and in the midst of rejection. We focus on the ministry entrusted to us and the responsibilities of those first disciples—to preach, to teach and to heal, to bring hope through the Gospel, to provide instruction through the Word and to provide faithful caring for people’s needs. 
When we face rejection, rather than dwelling on it, or being overwhelmed by our own emotions, it is a perfect time to refocus on the mission and the One who sends us out to do ministry in His name. Then, go and do it!

Prayer: Gracious Lord Jesus, in the midst of facing rejection from others, help us to remember Your own rejection in Your own hometown among people who knew You and Your family. Let us respond as You did, not turning in on our own emotions but turning our attention outward to Your mission, sharing Your Gospel, bringing hope, life-giving truth, and healing to every person in the world who will receive it. Remind us that rejection is just part of the preparation for what it means to be Your sent ones. Keep us from depending on the world for approval. Let us be undeterred from the world’s rejection. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. John Bradosky

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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