Home > Reading > Daily Reading – December 31, 2019

Is. 25:1–12

25:1 O Lord, you are my God!

I will exalt you in praise, I will extol your fame.

For you have done extraordinary things,

and executed plans made long ago exactly as you decreed.

2Indeed, you have made the city into a heap of rubble,

the fortified town into a heap of ruins;

the fortress of foreigners is no longer a city,

it will never be rebuilt.

3So a strong nation will extol you;

the towns of powerful nations will fear you.

4For you are a protector for the poor,

a protector for the needy in their distress,

a shelter from the rainstorm,

a shade from the heat.

Though the breath of tyrants is like a winter rainstorm,

5like heat in a dry land,

you humble the boasting foreigners.

Just as the shadow of a cloud causes the heat to subside,

so he causes the song of tyrants to cease.

6The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain.

At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine –

tender meat and choicest wine.

7On this mountain he will swallow up

the shroud that is over all the peoples,

the woven covering that is over all the nations;

8he will swallow up death permanently.

The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from every face,

and remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.

Indeed, the Lord has announced it!

9At that time they will say,

“Look, here is our God!

We waited for him and he delivered us.

Here is the Lord! We waited for him.

Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!”

10For the Lord’s power will make this mountain secure.

Moab will be trampled down where it stands,

as a heap of straw is trampled down in a manure pile.

11Moab will spread out its hands in the middle of it,

just as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim;

the Lord will bring down Moab’s pride as it spreads its hands.

12The fortified city (along with the very tops of your walls) he will knock down,

he will bring it down, he will throw it down to the dusty ground.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 150

150:1 Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary!

Praise him in the sky, which testifies to his strength!

2Praise him for his mighty acts!

Praise him for his surpassing greatness!

3Praise him with the blast of the horn!

Praise him with the lyre and the harp!

4Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing!

Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute!

5Praise him with loud cymbals!

Praise him with clanging cymbals!

6Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

(NET Bible)

John 1:1–28

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 13– children 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.

19Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He confessed – he did not deny but confessed – “I am not the Christ!” 21So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not!” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No!” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23John said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. ) 25So they asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not recognize, 27who is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal!” 28These things happened in Bethany across the Jordan River where John was baptizing.

(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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