Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 1, 2020

Is. 26:1–21

26:1 At that time this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city!

The Lord’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure.

2Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter –

one that remains trustworthy.

3You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith,

for they trust in you.

4Trust in the Lord from this time forward,

even in Yah, the Lord, an enduring protector!

5Indeed, the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place,

he brings down an elevated town;

he brings it down to the ground,

he throws it down to the dust.

6It is trampled underfoot

by the feet of the oppressed,

by the soles of the poor.”

7 The way of the righteous is level,

the path of the righteous that you make is straight.

8Yes, as your judgments unfold,

O Lord, we wait for you.

We desire your fame and reputation to grow.

9I look for you during the night,

my spirit within me seeks you at dawn,

for when your judgments come upon the earth,

those who live in the world learn about justice.

10If the wicked are shown mercy,

they do not learn about justice.

Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly;

they do not see the Lord’s majesty revealed.

11O Lord, you are ready to act,

but they don’t even notice.

They will see and be put to shame by your angry judgment against humankind,

yes, fire will consume your enemies.

12O Lord, you make us secure,

for even all we have accomplished, you have done for us.

13O Lord, our God,

masters other than you have ruled us,

but we praise your name alone.

14The dead do not come back to life,

the spirits of the dead do not rise.

That is because you came in judgment and destroyed them,

you wiped out all memory of them.

15You have made the nation larger, O Lord,

you have made the nation larger and revealed your splendor,

you have extended all the borders of the land.

16O Lord, in distress they looked for you;

they uttered incantations because of your discipline.

17As when a pregnant woman gets ready to deliver

and strains and cries out because of her labor pains,

so were we because of you, O Lord.

18We were pregnant, we strained,

we gave birth, as it were, to wind.

We cannot produce deliverance on the earth;

people to populate the world are not born.

19 Your dead will come back to life;

your corpses will rise up.

Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground!

For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,

and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.

20Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms!

Close your doors behind you!

Hide for a little while,

until his angry judgment is over!

21For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,

to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.

The earth will display the blood shed on it;

it will no longer cover up its slain.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 1

1:1 How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand in the pathway with sinners,

or sit in the assembly of scoffers!

2Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands;

he meditates on his commands day and night.

3He is like a tree planted by flowing streams;

it yields its fruit at the proper time,

and its leaves never fall off.

He succeeds in everything he attempts.

4Not so with the wicked!

Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.

5For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment,

nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.

6Certainly the Lord guards the way of the godly,

but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.

(NET Bible)

John 1:29–42

1:29 On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’ 31I did not recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.”

32Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining – this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”

35Again the next day John was standing there with two of his disciples. 36Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Jesus turned around and saw them following and said to them, “What do you want?” So they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39Jesus answered, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. Now it was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

40Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. 41He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated Christ). 42Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

(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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