Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 8, 2024

Friday of the Third Week in Lent

Today’s passage about Jesus walking on the water to meet the disciples in their storm-tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee seems to raise as many questions as it answers. Why did He “make” or “compel” them to get into the boat (6:45)? Did Jesus plan to walk on water when He sent the disciples ahead of Him? And why would He appear to walk past them (6:48) as if he was racing them across the water? If any of those details jumped out at you from today’s passage, perhaps these other aspects did as well. Although Jesus had been praying by Himself to recover from His recent ministry activities, He didn’t remain aloof, or content to continue praying for His friends, when He saw they were in trouble. He climbed down the mountain and entered the chaos of the storm. He experienced everything they experienced to meet the disciples where they were. He encouraged them using words that echoed God’s encouraging presence with Israel during their wilderness wanderings—like “I AM” and “do not fear.” With this divine pronouncement, Jesus stilled the storm, bringing calm out of chaos. Finally, He continued with His friends to the destination to which He had appointed them.
This is not a one-time event; this is what Jesus does for us as well.
When we find ourselves tossed about by life’s storms, Jesus does more than pray for us—though He does this, too (John 17:9,20). Through His life, death, and resurrection, He entered the storms of this life. He experienced everything we experienced to meet us where we are (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 2:14-18; 4:15). As the divine Word made flesh, He stills the storm of sin that swirls around and within us—and He accompanies us on our journey through this life to the eternal destination which He has prepared for us. What a beautiful example of divine power and action at work in our world and in our lives!

Prayer: Dear Lord, what a blessing it is to know You pray for us and that You come to us in our time of need. Work through those You have placed in our lives as instruments of Your loving presence —our family and friends, roommates, coworkers, classmates, even those random strangers we meet any given day. May they be a source of encouragement today as You meet us where we are and walk with us into the future You have prepared for us through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Devotion written by the Rev. Dr. Allen Schoonover, STS

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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