Home > Reading > Daily Reading – January 4, 2024

Eleventh Day of Christmas

C. S. Lewis in his book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, illustrates the encounter we each have in Christ as He makes us new. Eustace, the dragon, relates his encounter with Aslan, the Lion.
“”Then the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So, I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.
The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know—if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh, but it is such fun to see it coming away.”
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing, I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.”1
The apostle Paul recounts all the things we are no longer because we have been baptized into Christ. He makes us new. We have a new and refreshed life as the Holy Spirit works in us each day. Martin Luther, in his small catechism, reminds us that every day we die to our sin, confessing it before our Father, so that we arise to live in the new life Christ has for us this day.
Jesus peels back your layers of sin, and the old Adam, so that He can refresh you in His grace day this day—and day after day after day. With whom have you shared your story of descaling and transformation by Jesus?
1 C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (New York: Harper Collins, 1994), pp. 113–16.

Prayer: Breathe on me, breath of God; fill me with life anew, that I may love all that You love and do what You would do. Breathe on me, breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with You I will one will—to do, and to endure. In Christ Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Breathe on Me, Breath of God. Edwin Hatch, Lutheran Book of Worship)

Devotion written by the Rev. Shelly D. Schultz

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 several challenging years 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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