Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 9, 2023

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

Do you ever get ahead of God? I know I do. Sometimes I make decisions, gather resources, create programs, recruit volunteers, and then ask the Lord to bless what I’ve already done. How much easier and more appropriate it would be to join God in the work that He is already doing! Jesus did nothing of His own accord, but only what He saw His Father doing. This was Christ’s way of asserting that He was the Son of God.Jesus sought first God’s will and kingdom, and then joined the Father in His restorative work, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This way of praying and obeying led Jesus to the cross, where His sacrifice became the means of our forgiveness, life, and salvation. In this passage, Jesus is giving us an example of true sonship, which always involves carrying out the will of the Father.
The pattern of discernment that Jesus describes here simplifies our callings as baptized believers, who are sons of God ourselves (John 1:12). We don’t need to rely on our limited insight, creativity, power, or resources in order to serve our neighbors and make disciples. When we ask God to show us what He’s up to, and then join Him in the work that He is already doing, the outcome is no longer our burden to bear. God is always initiating and acting. In fact, the resurrection of the dead only happens because the deceased hear His voice and are raised!
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain,” Psalm 127:1 reminds us. Any effort that is not God-initiated will eventually fail. As we move toward Easter, are you willing to set aside your own agenda and ask God to order your steps?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, would you show me where the Father is at work today in the lives of those around me? Give us all courage to die to our own wisdom, plans, and desires, so that we may join You in Your work of proclaiming release to the captives and good news to the poor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Jeff Morlock

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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