We are now preparing to step over the liturgical threshold of Ash Wednesday, into the holy season of Lent. We will all benefit by additional time, if brief, spent reading God’s Word, meditating on it and responding to it. This is the aim of this Lenten devotional booklet—to stimulate regular, personal, daily time in the Scriptures in an easy to use format that encourages faithfulness. We also hope that these brief readings and meditations will help those not used to daily Bible reading, to begin, at least during Lent. Perhaps you will continue on with Scripture reading after Easter!
In 2018, we introduced, together with our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church-Canada sisters and brothers, a three-year Daily Bible Reading calendar. We worked together with our LCMS and LCC consultation because we all acknowledge a lack of knowledge of the Bible in our churches.
You can find the Daily Bible Reading Guide on the front page of the NALC website. There are readings listed for each day, in a three-year cycle. If you complete the three years, you will have read through the entire Bible. Also posted on the website with the daily calendar are weekly readings from the book, Luther on Scripture, by Johann Michael Reu. Perhaps you will add those readings to your daily devotional time during Lent and Holy Week. It is meaningful and insightful to learn how Martin Luther understood Holy Scripture.
The daily readings during Lent and Holy Week come from several books, in a mostly continuous series, although I choose readings from both the Old Testament and New Testament. The readings also depart, at times, from the continuous readings to fit special days, such as Ash Wednesday and Easter. You will also note that in a few instances, the assigned reading may be edited/shortened. This is for no other reason than to make the reading and devotion fit the allotted space. I trust you will read the entire passage in your own Bible.
As with all personal devotional practices and especially during the season of Lent, approach these readings with grace. If you miss a day or two, catch up when you have time. Bible reading, meditation and prayer are gifts of God to be enjoyed in freedom, not guilt or compulsion! Yes, we wish to be faithful in our devotional disciplines, but when we stumble, we get up, and by God’s grace, we begin again. There is no prize or award for keeping your devotional routine pure and without blemish!
You may be reading these devotions in booklet form, provided by your congregation or printed on your own printer at home. They are also available on the NALC website or social media, and they are available as recorded video. Consult the NALC website for information on how to find these various formats. Our intention is to make your devotional time as convenient as possible, realizing it is all too easy for time in Scripture and devotion to be squeezed out of our busy days!
May our love for Holy Scripture and our knowledge of the Bible grow, in some small way, as we take a Lenten walk together, through the Word!
For additional information, please visit: thenalc.org/Lent