Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 19, 2022

Monday of the Fourth Week in Advent

Last night my wife Patti and I had dinner out at a restaurant. We made reservations. We didn’t ask the Lord to give us a meal. Nor did the entrees drop down from heaven like manna. Our server brought them, and I paid for them with my credit card. How then does God provide the daily bread that we ask for in the Lord’s prayer? Through the vocations of ordinary people! Martin Luther would say that at dinner, God was “wearing the mask” of the hostess who seated us, the chef who prepared the shrimp risotto, and the farmer who planted the grapes that became Patti’s glass of Moscato. Many hands made this dinner for two possible. Praise God for His provision! And for labor that blesses others.
Praise is the theme of Psalm 145, which extols the Lord’s faithfulness to His covenant name. God redeems His people, makes them holy, provides for them, and loves them forever. Yet we daily rebel against our creator. Like Adam and Eve, we become dissatisfied with God’s provision. Convinced that He is withholding something good from us, we seek more — more food and drink, more wealth and distractions and possessions. Consequently, this craving for “more” often leads to habits that hurt us and the people around us.
Yet even in our rebellion, God provides for us. In Christ Jesus, our idolatrous desires, actions, and habits were nailed to the cross, so that we who were dead in trespasses and sins may be raised with Him to new life!
Each week you are invited to His table, to receive the bread of His presence and the wine of His promises. In the fullness of time, King Jesus will gather us at His banquet table to celebrate His endless provision and victory. Praise the Lord indeed!

Prayer: King of the universe, You show the bright glory of Your reign in acts of mercy and enduring love; raise the spirits of the downcast and restore those who have fallen away, that we may sing for ever of Your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

-Church of England, © The Archbishops’ Council 2005 and published by Church House Publishing

Devotion written by The Rev. Jeff Morlock

O Radix Jesse/O Root of Jesse

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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