Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 26, 2019

Is. 21:1–17

21:1 This is an oracle about the wilderness by the Sea:

Like strong winds blowing in the south,

one invades from the wilderness,

from a land that is feared.

2I have received a distressing message:

“The deceiver deceives,

the destroyer destroys.

Attack, you Elamites!

Lay siege, you Medes!

I will put an end to all the groaning.”

3For this reason my stomach churns;

cramps overwhelm me

like the contractions of a woman in labor.

I am disturbed by what I hear,

horrified by what I see.

4My heart palpitates,

I shake in fear;

the twilight I desired

has brought me terror.

5Arrange the table,

lay out the carpet,

eat and drink!

Get up, you officers,

smear oil on the shields!

6For this is what the Lord has told me:

“Go, post a guard!

He must report what he sees.

7When he sees chariots,

teams of horses,

riders on donkeys,

riders on camels,

he must be alert,

very alert.”

8Then the guard cries out:

“On the watchtower, O Lord,

I stand all day long;

at my post

I am stationed every night.

9Look what’s coming!

A charioteer,

a team of horses.”

When questioned, he replies,

“Babylon has fallen, fallen!

All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”

10O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,

what I have heard

from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

the God of Israel,

I have reported to you.

11This is an oracle about Dumah:

Someone calls to me from Seir,

“Watchman, what is left of the night?

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

12The watchman replies,

“Morning is coming, but then night.

If you want to ask, ask;

come back again.”

13This is an oracle about Arabia:

In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,

you Dedanite caravans.

14Bring out some water for the thirsty.

You who live in the land of Tema,

bring some food for the fugitives.

15For they flee from the swords—

from the drawn sword,

and from the battle-ready bow,

and from the severity of the battle.

16For this is what the Lord has told me: “Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.” Indeed, the Lord God of Israel has spoken.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 145

145:1 A psalm of praise; by David.

I will extol you, my God, O King.

I will praise your name continually.

2Every day I will praise you.

I will praise your name continually.

3The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise.

No one can fathom his greatness.

4One generation will praise your deeds to another

and tell about your mighty acts.

5I will focus on your honor and majestic splendor

and your amazing deeds.

6They will proclaim the power of your awesome acts.

I will declare your great deeds.

7They will talk about the fame of your great kindness

and sing about your justice.

8The Lord is merciful and compassionate;

he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.

9The Lord is good to all

and has compassion on all he has made.

10All your works will give thanks to you, Lord.

Your loyal followers will praise you.

11They will proclaim the splendor of your kingdom;

they will tell about your power,

12so that mankind might acknowledge your mighty acts

and the majestic splendor of your kingdom.

13Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom,

and your dominion endures through all generations.

14 The Lord supports all who fall

and lifts up all who are bent over.

15Everything looks to you in anticipation,

and you provide them with food on a regular basis.

16You open your hand

and fill every living thing with the food it desires.

17The Lord is just in all his actions

and exhibits love in all he does.

18The Lord is near all who cry out to him,

all who cry out to him sincerely.

19He satisfies the desire of his loyal followers;

he hears their cry for help and delivers them.

20The Lord protects all those who love him,

but he destroys all the wicked.

21My mouth will praise the Lord.

Let all who live praise his holy name forever.

(NET Bible)

2 Cor. 11:1–15

11:1 I wish that you would be patient with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you are being patient with me! 2For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough! 5For I consider myself not at all inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6And even if I am unskilled in speaking, yet I am certainly not so in knowledge. Indeed, we have made this plain to you in everything in every way. 7Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you could be exalted, because I proclaimed the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so that I could serve you! 9When I was with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia fully supplied my needs. I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12And what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may eliminate any opportunity for those who want a chance to be regarded as our equals in the things they boast about. 13For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.

(NET Bible)

John 1:1–18

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2The Word was with God in the beginning. 3All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.

6A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 12But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children— 13children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.

14Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. 15John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” 16For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. 17For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

(NET Bible)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

[Luther writes]: “If I am to examine the spirit I must have the Word of God; this must be the rule, the touchstone, the lapis lydius, the light by means of which I can see what is black and what white.” … “ is is decisive; it does not matter what name he [the preacher] has, if he only teaches faithfully … has the Word of God as a plumb line.” … “What then, will you do? Will you condemn them? No, I do not want to condemn Benedictum and others, but I will take their books and go with them to Christ and his Word as the touchstone and compare the two.” … “If one says, the church or the bishops decided this, then answer: Come, let us go to the touchstone and let us measure with the right yard- stick and examine whether it agrees with the Pater Noster and with the Articles of Faith and whether he also preach forgiveness of sins. If it agrees with what Christ taught us, then let us accept it and do according to it.” (81)

[Luther writes:] “Paul takes them all together, himself, an angel from heaven, teachers upon earth, and masters of all kinds, and subjects them to the holy Scripture. Scripture must reign as queen (haec regina debet dominari), her all must obey and be subject to. Not teachers, judges, or arbiters over her, but they must be simple witnesses, pupils and  confessors of it, whether they may be the Pope or Luther or Augustine or Paul or an angel from heaven” … —“I let you cry in your hostility that Scripture contradicts itself, ascribing righteousness now to faith and then to works. It is impossible that Scripture contradict itself; it only seems so to foolish, coarse, and hardened hypocrites” … — “We abandon the talk of the Jews and stick to St. Paul’s understanding which, not without cause, emphasizes the little word ‘seed’ and thereby indicates that Holy Scripture in Gen. 12:3 and 22:18 speaks of a single seed not of many, and says plainly that Christ is such seed. Paul does so out of a genuine apostolic spirit and understanding. We Christians do not care if such interpretation does not please the Jews. Paul’s interpretation weighs more with us than all glosses of the rabbis” … — “One letter, even a single tittle of Scripture means more to us than heaven and earth. Therefore we cannot permit even the most minute change.” (82–83)

–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures

This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.

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