Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 11, 2022

Third Sunday in Advent

I traveled to Israel several years ago and had the opportunity to baptize an Australian in the Jordan River. What was so fascinating was that there were other Baptisms going on all around us. Differing Christian groups, nationalities, languages, and songs of praise — all joined with the power of the Holy Spirit and taking place in the name of Jesus Christ.In John 3, the disciples of John the Baptist were struggling with the fact that Jesus was also baptizing on the other side of the Jordan. They questioned His actions and His motives. But John reminded them that he himself is not the Christ, but Jesus had come as the anointed One of God. John was sent before to prepare the way. As Jesus is the bridegroom, John is the friend of the bridegroom — the one ordained to bring the bride and the bridegroom together. The one who was called to connect Jesus and Israel. John and the rest of the world would rejoice greatly at the bridegroom’s voice! That is why John knew the Lord must increase, and he must decrease.
During this Advent season, let us realize that it is not about us, but it is all about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We ourselves have been born to make the Lord known to others in our neighborhoods, places of work and in our relationships. 
We are today’s messengers of the “Good News.”

Prayer: Father, we thank You for sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world. Help us to realize that we are not Christ, but we’ve been born to make Jesus known to others through words and actions. Please provide us with the strength and the courage to be your daily missionaries. May others see the loving, forgiving, and the hope filled Lord in us. We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Bradley J. Hales

“Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, Missionary to India, 1910”

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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