Home > Reading > NALC Lenten Devotion – March 20, 2017

Monday of the Week of Lent III

Today’s readings: Jeremiah 7:1-15; Romans 4:1-12; John 7:14-36

“So also David pronounces a blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered…’” (Rom 4:6-7).

When leading Bible studies in the parish, folks were surprised to see how much there is in the Bible about circumcision. It was the sign of the covenant for Jewish males. It was a big deal in the early Church because some believed that men must be circumcised to become part of the Jewish community BEFORE becoming part of the Body of Christ. Paul engages in a detailed discussion of faith and works, circumcision and uncircumcision to deal with this issue. Finally, Paul affirms that what matters in all instances is faith—faith for Abraham, faith for David, faith for you and for me.

We hold that a person is justified—saved—not by “works,” not by fulfilling commandments, but by faith in Jesus Christ who died and was raised for us and our salvation. As David said, it is a blessing that our iniquities—our sins—are forgiven, covered by the blood of Jesus.

If we approach Lent from a legalistic perspective, as if what we do or fail to do—as if our ability to keep our Lenten discipline will gain us favor in God’s sight—we are sadly mistaken. The season of Lent and whatever discipline, activities, devotions we attempt will not save us. Lent and the disciplines thereof are to be in response to the good news that, through Christ, our sins are forgiven and covered. Because we are saved by the blood of Jesus, we are free to joyfully engage in spiritual discipline and devotion for our own growth and the glory of God!

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for Jesus, who covers our sins, that we will be forgiven and saved—by grace through faith! Amen.

Lenten Response: Offer a prayer of thanks to Jesus, who died on the cross and shed His blood to cover our sins!

Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.

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Video of each day’s devotion is available here. The 2017 Lenten Devotional, based on Year I of the LBW and written by Pastor David Wendel, is available for download/printing in two formats and as a daily text/email message.

8.5″ x 11″ large print version for one- or two-sided printing on letter-sized paper

8.5″ x 11″ booklet (folds to 5.5″ x 8.5″) designed for two-sided printing on letter-sized paper

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The 2017 Lenten Devotional is also available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Search for NALC WALK OF FAITH. If you already have the NALC Walk of Faith app, just update it by clicking the “download” button next to the devotional for Lent.