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Reformation Day

Today, we celebrate Reformation Day—the day Martin Luther nailed Ninety-Five Theses to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg. Our devotional reading today comes from The Renaissance and Reformation Movements by Lewis W. Spitz, where we learn of the historical impact the Reformation had on the time period.

Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude. Our Gospel for the day comes from John 15:12–21, and our devotional reading comes from Luther’s Works: volume 24, a collection of sermons on the Gospel of John.

Pentecost 20 Devotion on Cain and Abel

Today, on the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, we take our Old Testament Reading from Genesis 4:1–15. In our devotional reading today, Luther speaks on the story of Cain and Abel, understanding God’s reasoning behind His reaction to Cain’s and Abel’s offerings to Him, and offering insight into their relationships with their parents, Adam and Eve.

Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann, Paul Gerhardt: Hymnwriters

Today, we remember influential hymnwriters Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann, and Paul Gerhardt. Our devotional reading about Paul Gerhardt is adapted from Paul Gerhardt as a Hymn Writer and his Influence on English Hymnody by Theodore Brown Hewitt.

Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe: the Faithful Women

Today we celebrate Dorcas (also known as Tabitha), Lydia, and Phoebe, the faithful women of the Bible. Dorcas and Lydia we meet in Acts. Phoebe we learn about in Romans as the woman who delivered Paul’s letters. We take our devotional readings for today from Men and Women of the Word by Jaroslav Vajda.

Devotion for the Feast of St. James of Jerusalem

Today we celebrate the feast of St. James of Jerusalem, brother of Jesus and son of Mary. We take our devotional reading from James, The Apostle of Faith about the Epistle James and its origins.

Books of the Bible Study Questions: 1 Timothy

First Timothy, one of the Pauline Epistles, is written to a young pastor named Timothy. It is the first of two letters written to him from his mentor in ministry, Paul.

Luther noted that 1 Timothy “provide[s] a model to all bishops of what they are to teach and how they are to rule Christendom in the various stations of life, so that it may not be necessary for them to rule Christians according to their own human opinions” (Luther’s Works, vol. 35, p. 388). Today, we trust that all pastors—young and experienced alike—teach and preach the Word of God faithfully.

Pentecost 19 Devotion on Prayer

The Gospel for today comes from Luke 18:1-8. Our devotional reading today is adapted from the Concordia Commentary Luke 9:51–24:53 by Arthur A. Just Jr. 

Fancy Prayers and Simple Words

The number one comment I hear from people about prayer is this: “If only I could pray like that.”

I think we often see the prayers we pray in church or that pour from our pastor’s mouth as “fancy” prayers. I admire lovely words, so on the one hand, I really appreciate prayers that use lovely words in such a way that they sound fancy, holy, and absolutely worthy of a God who is just that—very worthy. Fancy, prewritten prayers definitely have benefits. They keep us on a straight path so that we don’t end up saying something that contradicts God’s Word because we haven’t given it a thought ahead of time.

Devotion for the Feast of St. Luke

Today’s feast is for St. Luke the Evangelist. We take our introduction, devotional reading, and prayer from A Year with the Church Fathers.