Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 23, 2022

Friday of the Fourth Week in Advent

As a child, December 23 was a challenging day for me. It was almost Christmas; it was so close I could almost taste it. Decorations were up, school was out, carols were playing everywhere I went. The anticipation was real. As an adult the only other times in my life that I felt that same level of anticipation was toward the end of a pregnancy. Being a parent of three, I can honestly say the anticipation didn’t get any easier with child number two or three.
I can imagine this is how Mary and Joseph must have felt as they awaited Jesus’ arrival. I can also imagine the anticipation the disciple John must have felt hearing the words, “Surely I am coming soon” (v. 20).
Scripture teaches us that the Son of God came to us as a babe in a manger, taking on human flesh. He died on the cross and then rose again in the same substance of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), and then ascended into heaven in that body — and He will return again to judge the living and the dead. He did all of this for the forgiveness of our sins, and so that we can live under Him and serve Him in His kingdom where “He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15b).
Thankfully, as we wrestle with anticipation of any kind, we can rest in the sure and certain hope that Christ is coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, King of this kingdom and the next, be with us, guide us and help curb the anticipation we feel as we await Your arrival. Amen.

Devotion written by The Rev. Teresa Peters

“Thorlak, Bishop of Skalholt, 1193”, “O Emmanuel/O Come, Emmanuel”

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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