Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 30, 2019

Is. 24:1–23

24:1 Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth

and leave it in ruins;

he will mar its surface

and scatter its inhabitants.

2Everyone will suffer – the priest as well as the people,

the master as well as the servant,

the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,

the seller as well as the buyer,

the borrower as well as the lender,

the creditor as well as the debtor.

3The earth will be completely devastated

and thoroughly ransacked.

For the Lord has decreed this judgment.

4The earth dries up and withers,

the world shrivels up and withers;

the prominent people of the earth fade away.

5The earth is defiled by its inhabitants,

for they have violated laws,

disregarded the regulation,

and broken the permanent treaty.

6So a treaty curse devours the earth;

its inhabitants pay for their guilt.

This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear,

and are reduced to just a handful of people.

7The new wine dries up,

the vines shrivel up,

all those who like to celebrate groan.

8The happy sound of the tambourines stops,

the revelry of those who celebrate comes to a halt,

the happy sound of the harp ceases.

9They no longer sing and drink wine;

the beer tastes bitter to those who drink it.

10The ruined town is shattered;

all of the houses are shut up tight.

11They howl in the streets because of what happened to the wine;

all joy turns to sorrow;

celebrations disappear from the earth.

12The city is left in ruins;

the gate is reduced to rubble.

13This is what will happen throughout the earth,

among the nations.

It will be like when they beat an olive tree,

and just a few olives are left at the end of the harvest.

14They lift their voices and shout joyfully;

they praise the majesty of the Lord in the west.

15So in the east extol the Lord,

along the seacoasts extol the fame of the Lord God of Israel.

16From the ends of the earth we hear songs –

the Just One is majestic.

But I say, “I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! I’m doomed!

Deceivers deceive, deceivers thoroughly deceive!”

17Terror, pit, and snare

are ready to overtake you inhabitants of the earth!

18The one who runs away from the sound of the terror

will fall into the pit;

the one who climbs out of the pit,

will be trapped by the snare.

For the floodgates of the heavens are opened up

and the foundations of the earth shake.

19The earth is broken in pieces,

the earth is ripped to shreds,

the earth shakes violently.

20The earth will stagger around like a drunk;

it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm.

Its sin will weigh it down,

and it will fall and never get up again.

21At that time the Lord will punish

the heavenly forces in the heavens

and the earthly kings on the earth.

22They will be imprisoned in a pit,

locked up in a prison,

and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished.

23The full moon will be covered up,

the bright sun will be darkened;

for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule

on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

in the presence of his assembly, in majestic splendor.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 149

149:1 Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Praise him in the assembly of the godly!

2Let Israel rejoice in their Creator!

Let the people of Zion delight in their King!

3Let them praise his name with dancing!

Let them sing praises to him to the accompaniment of the tambourine and harp!

4For the Lord takes delight in his people;

he exalts the oppressed by delivering them.

5Let the godly rejoice because of their vindication!

Let them shout for joy upon their beds!

6May the praises of God be in their mouths

and a two-edged sword in their hands,

7in order to take revenge on the nations,

and punish foreigners.

8They bind their kings in chains,

and their nobles in iron shackles,

9and execute the judgment to which their enemies have been sentenced.

All his loyal followers will be vindicated.

Praise the Lord!

(NET Bible)

2 Cor. 13:1–14

13:1 This is the third time I am coming to visit you. By the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter will be established. 2I said before when I was present the second time and now, though absent, I say again to those who sinned previously and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare anyone, 3since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak toward you but is powerful among you. 4For indeed he was crucified by reason of weakness, but he lives because of God’s power. For we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him, because of God’s power toward you. 5Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test! 6And I hope that you will realize that we have not failed the test! 7Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we may appear to have passed the test, but so that you may do what is right even if we may appear to have failed the test. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the sake of the truth. 9For we rejoice whenever we are weak, but you are strong. And we pray for this: that you may become fully qualified. 10Because of this I am writing these things while absent, so that when I arrive I may not have to deal harshly with you by using my authority – the Lord gave it to me for building up, not for tearing down!

11Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(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)

Alternative:
[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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