Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 13, 2021

Isaiah 41:1–16 (Listen)

Fear Not, for I Am with You

41:1   Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
    let the peoples renew their strength;
  let them approach, then let them speak;
    let us together draw near for judgment.
  Who stirred up one from the east
    whom victory meets at every step?
  He gives up nations before him,
    so that he tramples kings underfoot;
  he makes them like dust with his sword,
    like driven stubble with his bow.
  He pursues them and passes on safely,
    by paths his feet have not trod.
  Who has performed and done this,
    calling the generations from the beginning?
  I, the LORD, the first,
    and with the last; I am he.
  The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
    the ends of the earth tremble;
    they have drawn near and come.
  Everyone helps his neighbor
    and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
  The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
    and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
  saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
    and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.
  But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
  you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its farthest corners,
  saying to you, “You are my servant,
    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10   fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
  I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11   Behold, all who are incensed against you
    shall be put to shame and confounded;
  those who strive against you
    shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12   You shall seek those who contend with you,
    but you shall not find them;
  those who war against you
    shall be as nothing at all.
13   For I, the LORD your God,
    hold your right hand;
  it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”
14   Fear not, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel!
  I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD;
    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15   Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
    new, sharp, and having teeth;
  you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and you shall make the hills like chaff;
16   you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
    and the tempest shall scatter them.
  And you shall rejoice in the LORD;
    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

Ephesians 2:1–10 (Listen)

By Grace Through Faith

2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Mark 1:29–45 (Listen)

Jesus Heals Many

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 15 (Listen)

Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

A Psalm of David.

15:1   O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent?
    Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
  He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
    and speaks truth in his heart;
  who does not slander with his tongue
    and does no evil to his neighbor,
    nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
  in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    but who honors those who fear the LORD;
  who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
  who does not put out his money at interest
    and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
  He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 147:1–12 (Listen)

He Heals the Brokenhearted

147:1   Praise the LORD!
  For it is good to sing praises to our God;
    for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
  The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
  He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
  He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
  Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
  The LORD lifts up the humble;
    he casts the wicked to the ground.
  Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!
  He covers the heavens with clouds;
    he prepares rain for the earth;
    he makes grass grow on the hills.
  He gives to the beasts their food,
    and to the young ravens that cry.
10   His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11   but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.
12   Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!

Evening Psalms

Psalm 48 (Listen)

Zion, the City of Our God

A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

48:1   Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
    in the city of our God!
  His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
    is the joy of all the earth,
  Mount Zion, in the far north,
    the city of the great King.
  Within her citadels God
    has made himself known as a fortress.
  For behold, the kings assembled;
    they came on together.
  As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
    they were in panic; they took to flight.
  Trembling took hold of them there,
    anguish as of a woman in labor.
  By the east wind you shattered
    the ships of Tarshish.
  As we have heard, so have we seen
    in the city of the LORD of hosts,
  in the city of our God,
    which God will establish forever. Selah
  We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
    in the midst of your temple.
10   As your name, O God,
    so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
  Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11     Let Mount Zion be glad!
  Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
    because of your judgments!
12   Walk about Zion, go around her,
    number her towers,
13   consider well her ramparts,
    go through her citadels,
  that you may tell the next generation
14     that this is God,
  our God forever and ever.
    He will guide us forever.

Psalm 4 (Listen)

Answer Me When I Call

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

4:1   Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
  O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
  But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
    the LORD hears when I call to him.
  Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
  Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the LORD.
  There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
  You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.
  In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, 367 (January 13)

About the Commemoration

Hilary (his name derives from hilaris, “cheerful”), praised by Augustine as “the illustrious doctor [that is, teacher] of all the churches,” was born in Poitiers, Gaul, about 315 to a wealthy and powerful pagan family. He was baptized when he was about thirty years of age, and in 350, although he was married and a layman, he was made bishop of Poitiers by popular acclamation and insistence. His tenure was troubled by controversy with the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ. In 356 the Emperor Constantinus, because Hilary did not accede to his demand that all Western bishops adhere to a compromised Nicene faith, banished him to Phrygia in Asia Minor. He remained there for three years, writing scriptural commentaries and his great work On the Trinity. He was allowed to return to Poitiers in 360, to the great joy of his people, and from that time on his teaching gained general acceptance in Gaul. He became the most respected Latin theologian of his age, and because of his time in Asia Minor he was able to introduce some of the insights of the Eastern theologians into the Western Church.

St. Jerome says that Hilary wrote the first Latin hymns. During his exile Hilary was profoundly impressed with the singing of Greek hymns, and he says that when he returned to the West he brought some of these hymns with him. Most of Hilary’s hymns have perished, but a few, notably Lucis largitor splendide, are with some reliability attributed to him. These hymns, in the judgment of John Julian’s Dictionary of Hymnology, “are not without a certain rugged grandeur, well befitting the liturgical purposes they were intended to serve.” These hymns introduced “the first germs of Latin rhythms” which were to flourish in later Latin hymnody. But Hilary’s efforts at introducing hymns into the Church in Gaul were unsuccessful, and he complained that the Gauls were unteachable in sacred song. Success in introducing hymn singing in the West came with Ambrose.

An inveterate and vigorous controversialist and a tireless defender and teacher of Orthodoxy, Hilary was nonetheless a compassionate and loving pastor. Among his disciples was Martin, later Bishop of Tours (see November 11). Hilary died in Poitiers on this date in 367.

Excerpts from New Book of Festivals & Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints by Philip H. Pfatteicher, copyright, 2008 by Fortress Press, an imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

See also: Hilary of Poitiers


From Book 1 of On the Trinity by Hilary

Almighty God and Father, I regard it as the chief duty of my life to make my every thought and word speak of you. The gift of speech which you gave me cannot have a more noble use than to serve you by making you known as the Father of the only-begotten Son of God, and preaching this to the world that does not know you and to the heretics who refuse to believe in you.

That is what I desire to do. But I need to pray for your help and mercy, so that, when I spread the sails of our faith you will fill them with the breath of your Spirit to drive us onward. I need not be afraid. We have the promise, and he who made the promise is trustworthy, “Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you” [Matt. 7:7].

In our need we will ask for what we lack. We will study the writings of your prophets and apostles with unflagging attention and knock on the doors where meaning is kept. But it is for you, Lord, to give when asked, to be present when we seek you, and to open when we knock.

Our nature is sluggish, and in our attempt to penetrate your truth the weakness of our minds holds us in the prison of ignorance. Nonetheless, we are able to comprehend divine ideas by earnest attention to your teaching and by obedience to the faith which carries us beyond the natural range of our minds.

Help us therefore as we begin this ambitious venture, and bless it with good results. Give us a share in the spirit of your prophets and apostles so that we may understand precisely what they meant to say and express their meaning in appropriate terms. Our subject will be the mystery of which they spoke: you, the eternal God, the Father of the eternal, only-begotten God; you, the unbegotten God and the one Lord Jesus Christ, born of you from all eternity. He is not another god, as though different from you in nature, but he is himself true God, born of you who are the true God and Father.

Impart to us, then, the meaning of the words of Scripture and the light to understand it, honoring the doctrine and confident of its truth.

Trans. PHP, based on that of A Short Breviary by St. John’s Abbey and the International Committee on English in the Liturgy


Almighty God, your servant Hilary defended the divinity of Jesus Christ your Son: Give us, we pray, a deeper understanding of this mystery and help us profess it in all truth, that we may rejoice in having you for our Father, and may abide in your Son, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; who live and reign, one God, now and forever.

PHP, Proper of Poitiers, RS, + LFF

Readings: Psalm 37:3-6, 32-33 or 119:97-104; 1 John 2:18-25; Luke 12:8-12 or John 15:9-17

Hymn of the Day:Father, most holy” (LBW 169, LSB 504, ELW 415); see “Hail this joyful day’s return” (H82 223, 224), a hymn for Pentecost attributed to Hilary

Prayers: For teachers of theology facing opposition because of the adherence to the apostolic faith; For bishops that they defend and maintain the catholic faith; For closer relations between the Eastern and the Western Churches.

Preface: Trinity Sunday

Color: White

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 a challenging year 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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