Bible Readings for Sunday, March 22, 2020

The First Reading is recorded is Isaiah 42:14-21. There are two references to blindness in this passage, one is that the people who are supposed to follow the Lord have turned from Him and are following idols – they are blind to the Lord, and will be put to shame. But there is also reference to the Lord turning the blind to Him and leading them in His ways. Let us pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to root out our false religious ideas and to be led by the Lord in His paths.
O Lord, You give sight to the blind and lead Your people in paths of righteousness, let Your Holy Spirit turn us from sin and to You alone; enable faith, hope, and love in You to grow in our hearts each day. Open our eyes to see You in our lives, and open our ears to hear the Good News of Your love and mercy toward us, especially in Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Today’s psalm, 142, is a psalm of David from when he was hiding in the cave from king Saul, who was searching for David to kill him. Notice that David realized that he was helpless before king Saul, and that unless the LORD helped him, he would die. Near the end of the psalm David cried out for deliverance from his persecutors. Many of our brothers and sisters in the faith are even now facing persecution, let us keep them in prayer that they will be kept in faith and delivered from persecution.
All-powerful and protecting Lord, hear the prayers of Your people who face persecution. Keep them in faith. Please rescue them quickly. Turn their persecutors from their evil ways, turn them to You in repentance. Deal with unrepentant persecutors with Your justice and wisdom. In the Name of Jesus, Who faced the hardest persecution, we pray. Amen.

The Second Reading is recorded in Ephesians 5:8-14. Notice the theme of light in this passage: the Lord is our light Who reveals God to us. Let us daily walk in the light of Jesus, Who is our light and life.
Lord Jesus, all thanks and praise to You that You are the light of the world, and the One Who enlightens us through Your ministry, life, death, and resurrection. Enable us to walk as Your disciples each day, growing in You as You enlighten us, and then send us out into the world of sin and darkness, shining Your light of love, grace, mercy, and life in and through us to others. Amen.

The Gospel is recorded in John 9:1-41. Notice the man who was born blind: the disciples wanted to treat him as an object of theological discussion as to the source of his blindness; Jesus would have none of that, but rather saw the man as someone who needed to be healed, and Jesus healed him. Through the healing of his physical blindness the eyes of faith were also opened and he came to faith, worshiping Jesus. But, the Pharisees, those who thought they had God all figured out, ended up being the ones who were spiritually blind to Jesus.
May the Lord open our spiritual eyes each day to see Him as the light of the world, as the source of our light and life, and may the Holy Spirit lead us to follow Jesus alone.
Compassionate Jesus, we thank and praise You for opening the eyes of the blind man, and for opening his spiritual sight to see You as the One sent from the heavenly Father to be our Lord and Savior. By Your Holy Spirit, open our eyes and ears to You each day so that we see and hear You in our lives. And, like the blind man who now saw, empower us to believe in and worship You. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

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