Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 1, 2023

Isaiah 24:14–23 (Listen)

14   They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
    over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.
15   Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD;
    in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16   From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
    of glory to the Righteous One.
  But I say, “I waste away,
    I waste away. Woe is me!
  For the traitors have betrayed,
    with betrayal the traitors have betrayed.”
17   Terror and the pit and the snare
    are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
18   He who flees at the sound of the terror
    shall fall into the pit,
  and he who climbs out of the pit
    shall be caught in the snare.
  For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
19   The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
20   The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
  its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.
21   On that day the LORD will punish
    the host of heaven, in heaven,
    and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
22   They will be gathered together
    as prisoners in a pit;
  they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days they will be punished.
23   Then the moon will be confounded
    and the sun ashamed,
  for the LORD of hosts reigns
    on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
  and his glory will be before his elders.

1 Peter 3:13–4:6 (Listen)

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Stewards of God’s Grace

4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

Matthew 20:17–28 (Listen)

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

A Mother’s Request

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Morning Psalms

Psalm 51 (Listen)

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51:1   Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
  according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!
  For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
  Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
  so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
  Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10   Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11   Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12   Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13   Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14   Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15   O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16   For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17   The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18   Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19   then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 148 (Listen)

Praise the Name of the Lord

148:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights!
  Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his hosts!
  Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, all you shining stars!
  Praise him, you highest heavens,
    and you waters above the heavens!
  Let them praise the name of the LORD!
    For he commanded and they were created.
  And he established them forever and ever;
    he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
  Praise the LORD from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all deeps,
  fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling his word!
  Mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars!
10   Beasts and all livestock,
    creeping things and flying birds!
11   Kings of the earth and all peoples,
    princes and all rulers of the earth!
12   Young men and maidens together,
    old men and children!
13   Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14   He has raised up a horn for his people,
    praise for all his saints,
    for the people of Israel who are near to him.
  Praise the LORD!


Evening Psalms

Psalm 142 (Listen)

You Are My Refuge

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

142:1   With my voice I cry out to the LORD;
    with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
  I pour out my complaint before him;
    I tell my trouble before him.
  When my spirit faints within me,
    you know my way!
  In the path where I walk
    they have hidden a trap for me.
  Look to the right and see:
    there is none who takes notice of me;
  no refuge remains to me;
    no one cares for my soul.
  I cry to you, O LORD;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
  Attend to my cry,
    for I am brought very low!
  Deliver me from my persecutors,
    for they are too strong for me!
  Bring me out of prison,
    that I may give thanks to your name!
  The righteous will surround me,
    for you will deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 65 (Listen)

O God of Our Salvation

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65:1   Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
    and to you shall vows be performed.
  O you who hear prayer,
    to you shall all flesh come.
  When iniquities prevail against me,
    you atone for our transgressions.
  Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
    to dwell in your courts!
  We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    the holiness of your temple!
  By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation,
  the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;
  the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
  who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples,
  so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
  You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
  You visit the earth and water it;
    you greatly enrich it;
  the river of God is full of water;
    you provide their grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
10   You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
  softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11   You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12   The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13   the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

“Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637”

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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