Home > Reading > Daily Reading – March 17, 2023

Romans 6:5 (Listen)

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.


Friday of the Third Week in Lent

The Lenten season is a time for reflection and spiritual growth. We are encouraged to draw near to God and to be mindful of His presence in our lives. One way to do this is to explore the writings and lives of spiritual leaders like St. Patrick, especially meditating on the powerful prayers they left behind.St. Patrick’s Breastplate is one such prayer that has been used for centuries to draw the faithful closer to God. It is a beautiful lorica (a Latin word for “body armor”) prayer—a “binding” prayer of protection—in which the petitioner invokes all the power of God as a safeguard against evil in its many forms. Thus, St. Patrick’s lorica also acknowledges God’s power and presence in all aspects of life. The prayer speaks of seeking God’s guidance and protection in moments of danger and difficulty. It is a reminder of the power of faith and the importance of relying on God’s strength in all things—particularly relevant when battling the evils of the world, the flesh, and the devil during this forty-day Lenten season.
While there are many loricæ throughout history, St. Patrick’s is unique for his time in that it specifically calls upon the Triune God, rather than pagan deities, petitioning for true communion with and participation in Christ and his power (reminiscent of the reminder Paul gives us in our New Testament passage today)—it also serves as a form of creed. One translation renders the beginning of the prayer: “I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity. Through belief in the Threeness, Through Confession of the Oneness, Of the Creator of Creation.” This is a powerful reminder that we are called to draw closer to God during Lent, to rely on His strength and guidance as we journey toward Easter.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a beautiful reminder of the power of faith and prayer. It encourages us to seek God’s protection and guidance in times of difficulty and to trust in His power and strength. As we reflect on this powerful prayer during the Lenten season, may we remember the importance of drawing close to God, seeing His presence as “God-with-us,” and relying on His strength and guidance.
There are many musical adaptations of St. Patrick’s Breastplate. An excellent paraphrase of the first half of the prayer by Cecil F. Alexander can be found as “I Bind Unto Myself Today” in the Lutheran Book of Worship (#188). However, there are other modern adaptations as well, most notably “Christ Be With Me” by David Gungor and John Arndt (collectively known as the band “The Brilliance”), and “The Lorica” by Steve Bell, a friend to the NALC and musical performer at several NALC Convocations.

Prayer: Faeth Fiada, or “The Lorica of Saint Patrick”
Literal Translation by James Henthorn Todd (1864)

1. I bind to myself to-day,
The strong power of the invocation of the Trinity:
The faith of the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the elements.
2. I bind to myself to-day,
The power of the Incarnation of Christ, with that of his Baptism,
The power of the Crucifixion with that of his Burial,
The power of the Resurrection, with the Ascension,
The power of the coming of the Sentence of Judgement.
3. I bind to myself to-day,
The power of the love of Seraphim,
In the obedience of Angels,
(In the service of Archangels,)
In the hope of Resurrection unto reward,
In the prayers of the noble Fathers,
In the predictions of the Prophets,
In the preaching of Apostles,
In the faith of Confessors,
In purity of Holy Virgins,
In the acts of Righteous Men.
4. I bind to myself to-day,
The power of Heaven,
The light of the Sun,
(The whiteness of Snow,)
The force of Fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The velocity of Wind,
The depth of the Sea,
The stability of the Earth,
The hardness of Rocks.
5. I bind to myself to-day,
The Power of God to guide me,
The Might of God to uphold me,
The Wisdom of God to teach me,
The Eye of God to watch over me,
The Ear of God to hear me,
The Word of God to give me speech,
The Hand of God to protect me,
The Way of God to prevent me,
The Shield of God to shelter me,
The Host of God to defend me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the temptations of vices,
Against the (lusts) of nature,
Against every man who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
With few or with many.
6. I have set around me all these powers,
Against every hostile savage power
Directed against my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of smiths and druids,
Against all knowledge that binds the soul of man.
7. Christ, protect me to-day
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
8. Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
(Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot-seat,
Christ in the mighty stern.)
9. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in the eye of every man that sees me,
Christ in the ear of every man that hears me.
10. I bind to myself to-day,
The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity,
The faith of the Trinity in Unity
The Creator of the Elements.
(Salvation is the Lord’s
Salvation is the Lord’s
Salvation is Christ’s
May thy salvation, Lord, be always with us!
Amen.)

Devotion written by The Rev. Dcn. Andrew S. Ames Fuller

Romans 6:1–11 (Listen)

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

John 8:33–47 (Listen)

33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”


Morning Psalms

Psalm 22 (Listen)

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

22:1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
  O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.
  Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
  In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
  To you they cried and were rescued;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
  But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
  All who see me mock me;
    they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
  “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
  Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10   On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11   Be not far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.
12   Many bulls encompass me;
    strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13   they open wide their mouths at me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.
14   I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
  my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
15   my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.
16   For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
  they have pierced my hands and feet—
17   I can count all my bones—
  they stare and gloat over me;
18   they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.
19   But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
    O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20   Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
21     Save me from the mouth of the lion!
  You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
22   I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23   You who fear the LORD, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24   For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
  and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.
25   From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26   The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
    May your hearts live forever!
27   All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the LORD,
  and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
28   For kingship belongs to the LORD,
    and he rules over the nations.
29   All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30   Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31   they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

Psalm 148 (Listen)

Praise the Name of the Lord

148:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights!
  Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his hosts!
  Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, all you shining stars!
  Praise him, you highest heavens,
    and you waters above the heavens!
  Let them praise the name of the LORD!
    For he commanded and they were created.
  And he established them forever and ever;
    he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
  Praise the LORD from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all deeps,
  fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling his word!
  Mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars!
10   Beasts and all livestock,
    creeping things and flying birds!
11   Kings of the earth and all peoples,
    princes and all rulers of the earth!
12   Young men and maidens together,
    old men and children!
13   Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14   He has raised up a horn for his people,
    praise for all his saints,
    for the people of Israel who are near to him.
  Praise the LORD!


Evening Psalms

“Patrick, Bishop, Missionary to Ireland, 461”

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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