Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 3, 2021

Deuteronomy 33:1–5 (Listen)

Moses’ Final Blessing on Israel

33:1 This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said,

  “The LORD came from Sinai
    and dawned from Seir upon us;
    he shone forth from Mount Paran;
  he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
    with flaming fire at his right hand.
  Yes, he loved his people,
    all his holy ones were in his hand;
  so they followed in your steps,
    receiving direction from you,
  when Moses commanded us a law,
    as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
  Thus the LORD became king in Jeshurun,
    when the heads of the people were gathered,
    all the tribes of Israel together.

1 John 2:12–17 (Listen)

12   I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13   I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
  I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14   I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

John 6:41–47 (Listen)

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 111 (Listen)

Great Are the Lord’s Works

111:1   Praise the LORD!
  I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
  Great are the works of the LORD,
    studied by all who delight in them.
  Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
  He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
    the LORD is gracious and merciful.
  He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.
  He has shown his people the power of his works,
    in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
  The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy;
  they are established forever and ever,
    to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
  He sent redemption to his people;
    he has commanded his covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is his name!
10   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever!

Psalm 150 (Listen)

Let Everything Praise the Lord

150:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
  Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!
  Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
  Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
  Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD!

Evening Psalms

Psalm 107 (Listen)

Book Five

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

107:1   Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble
  and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.
  Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
  hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
  He led them by a straight way
    till they reached a city to dwell in.
  Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
  For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
10   Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    prisoners in affliction and in irons,
11   for they had rebelled against the words of God,
    and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12   So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
    they fell down, with none to help.
13   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
14   He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
    and burst their bonds apart.
15   Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
16   For he shatters the doors of bronze
    and cuts in two the bars of iron.
17   Some were fools through their sinful ways,
    and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18   they loathed any kind of food,
    and they drew near to the gates of death.
19   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
20   He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
21   Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22   And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
23   Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the great waters;
24   they saw the deeds of the LORD,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
25   For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26   They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27   they reeled and staggered like drunken men
    and were at their wits’ end.
28   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
29   He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30   Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
31   Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32   Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33   He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
34   a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35   He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
36   And there he lets the hungry dwell,
    and they establish a city to live in;
37   they sow fields and plant vineyards
    and get a fruitful yield.
38   By his blessing they multiply greatly,
    and he does not let their livestock diminish.
39   When they are diminished and brought low
    through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
40   he pours contempt on princes
    and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41   but he raises up the needy out of affliction
    and makes their families like flocks.
42   The upright see it and are glad,
    and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
43   Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
    let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

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.

Charles Porterfield Krauth, Teacher, 1872 (January 3)

About the Commemoration

Charles Porterfield Krauth, the most accomplished American Lutheran scholar and theologian of the nineteenth century, was born in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), March 17, 1823. He was graduated from Pennsylvania (later called Gettysburg) College, of which his father, Charles Philip Krauth, was the first president, and from Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary (1841), where his father was a professor. After being licensed to preach by the Maryland Synod in 1841 he served a mission in Canton, Baltimore (1841—1842). He was ordained in 1842 and served Second English Lutheran Church in Baltimore on Lombard Street (1842-1847), Shepherdstown and Martinsburg, [West] Virginia (1847—1848), Winchester, Virginia (1848-1855), First English Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh (1855-1859), and St. Mark’s Church in Philadelphia (1859—1861). In 1844 he married Susan Reynolds. Because of her ill health, they wintered in Santa Cruz, West Indies, 1852-1853; she died in 1853. They had three children, one of whom died in infancy. In 1861 Krauth became editor of The Lutheran and Missionary, a merger of Philadelphia’s The Lutheran and William Passavant’s The Missionary, an influential organ for conservative Lutheran thought.

When the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia was founded in 1864 he was named Norton Professor of Dogmatic Theology. Four years later, in addition to his work at the seminary, he became Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1873 he became vice-provost of the university. In 1880, authorized by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, he traveled to Europe to research a life of Luther, which he was not able to begin, and, in addition to his other duties, in 1881 he was named Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1855 Samuel Simon Schmucker of Gettysburg Seminary published his Definite Platform … An American Recension of the Augsburg Confession in which he charged the basic Lutheran confession of 1530 with five errors, among which were, he said, baptismal regeneration and the real presence of Christ in the sacrament; moreover, he made radical changes to twelve of the twenty-one doctrinal articles of the confession. An opposition conservative party emerged, and one of its principal leaders was Krauth, strongly supported by his Pittsburgh parish. In his inaugural editorial in The Lutheran and Missionary (1861), Krauth wrote, “We are ‘American Lutherans.’… [Our church] must not be afraid to trust herself on this wild current of the quick life of America. She must not cloister herself, but show in her freedom, and in her wise use of the opportunity of the present, that she knows how robust is her spiritual life, and how secure are her principles, however novel or trying the tests to which they are subjected. … And yet we are not American Lutherans, if to be such means that we are to have a new faith, a mutilated confession, a life which abruptly breaks with all our history, a spirit alien to that of the genuine Lutheranism of the past.” The controversy in the Lutheran Church between those who sought accommodation with the prevailing American Protestantism and those who sought to form Lutheran identity as a distinct voice among the American churches led to a division in 1866 and the formation of the General Council out of the leftward-moving General Synod in 1867. Dr. Krauth (he had been awarded the D.D. degree by Pennsylvania College in 1856) was the leading theologian of the General Council, serving for ten years as its president (1870-1880), and contributing mightily to the creation of its liturgical compendium, The Church Book (1868). His thorough scholarship was widely recognized outside the Lutheran Church. His great work was The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology (1871). In addition to many books and essays in the fields of theology and philosophy, he wrote poems, translated hymns from Latin and German, and was a frequent contributor to religious periodicals. His daughter, Harriet Reynolds Krauth, became the wife of the eminent Lutheran pastor, Adolph Spaeth, and also herself translated hymns from German and the Scandinavian languages and was music editor for The Church Book with Music (1893) and the complement to the Church Book, the Sunday School Book.

Krauth died in Philadelphia January 2, 1883, not yet sixty years old.

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: Charles Porterfield Krauth


From The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology by Charles Porterfield Krauth

Well might Luther write upon the table at Marburg: “This is My body;” simple words, framed by infinite wisdom so as to resist the violence and all the ingenuity of men. Rationalism in vain essays to remove them with its cunning, its learning, and its philosophy. Fanaticism gnashes its teeth at them in vain. They are an immovable foundation for faith in the Sacramental mystery, and the gates of hell cannot shake the faith of the Church, that our Lord Jesus Christ with the true body and true blood which He gave for our redemption on the Cross, is truly present in the Holy Supper, to apply the redemption through the very organs by which it was wrought out. The sacrifice was made once for all—its application goes on to the end of time. The offense of the Master’s Cross now rests upon His table, and thither the triumph of the Cross shall follow it. On the Cross and at the table the saints discern the body of the Lord, and in simple faith are determined to know in both nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

…[I]f it be granted that the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper is one which is fixed, absolute, and unchanging, then it must be substantial. and not imaginary; not a thing of our minds, but of His wonderful person; not ideal, but true; faith does not make it, but finds it, unto life; unbelief does not unmake it, but, to its own condemnation, fails to discern it. The sacramental presence is fathomless, like the Incarnation; like it, also, it is in the sphere of supernatural reality, to which the natural is as the shadow. The presence of the communicant at the Supper belongs to a lower sphere of actuality than the presence of the undivided Christ in it; and the outward taking and eating is the divinely appointed means whereby the ineffable mystery of the communion of Christ’s body and blood is consummated, a communion heavenly and spiritual in its manner over against all that is earthly and fleshly; but in its essence more true than all earthly truth, more real than all earthly reality, more substantial than all earthly substance. The body and blood of Christ are more truly present in the Supper than are the bread and wine, because their sphere of presence is divine; the bread and wine are but the gifts of the hand of God, the body and blood of Christ are inseparable constituents of God’s incarnate person.

Charles Porterfield Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology(Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1871; Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1899), 619, 647—48.


Almighty God, source of knowledge, wisdom, and faith: We praise you for the gifts you richly bestowed on your servant Charles Porterfield Krauth; and we pray that, by his teaching and example, we may honor the tradition that has been entrusted to us, cherish it, and hand it on in its fullness to generations after us; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Readings: Proverbs 3:1-7; Psalm 119:89-104; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16; Matthew 13:47-52

Hymn of the Day:The bells of Christmas chime once more” (LBW 62, ELW 268), trans. C. P. Krauth (original: “The happy Christmas comes once more” (SBH 28, CSB 23)]; “Wide open are your hands” (LBW 489), trans. C. P. Krauth

Prayers: For a renewed appreciation of the tradition of the church; For a deepened concern for truth and doctrine; For scholars, teachers, professors, and administrators; For charity and understanding in times of quarrel and dissent.

Preface: Christmas/Incarnation

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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