Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/295http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/295<div class="ExternalClass29DF9F9F9A074B999329CB517AFEF85C">​I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.<br> I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.<br> You said, &quot;I have made a covenant with my chosen one,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I have sworn to my servant David&#58;<br> 'I will establish your descendants forever,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and build your throne for all generations.'&quot;<br> Selah<br> <br>Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said&#58;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;I have set the crown on one who is mighty,<br> &#160;&#160; &#160;&#160;I have exalted one chosen from the people.<br> I have found my servant David;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; with my holy oil I have anointed him;<br> my hand shall always remain with him;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; my arm also shall strengthen him.<br> The enemy shall not outwit him,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the wicked shall not humble him.<br> I will crush his foes before him<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and strike down those who hate him.<br> My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and in my name his horn shall be exalted.<br> I will set his hand on the sea<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and his right hand on the rivers.<br> He shall cry to me, 'You are my Father,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; my God, and the Rock of my salvation!'</div>12/19/2014Hebrews 1:1-4http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/294http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/294<div class="ExternalClassAD60AD6EF33E4F8783F3A1E2388DD488">​Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.</div>12/18/2014Malachi 3:16--4:6http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/293http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/293<div class="ExternalClassD738A0FFF9AD47F69A20BD51E28BF77C">Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.<br> <br>See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.<br> <br>Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.<br> <br>Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.</div>12/17/20142 Kings 2:9-22http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/292http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/292<div class="ExternalClassE60E802DC14B485A967839017B119D2C">When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, &quot;Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.&quot; Elisha said, &quot;Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.&quot; He responded, &quot;You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.&quot; As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, &quot;Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!&quot; But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.<br> <br>[Then Elisha] picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, &quot;Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?&quot; When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.<br> <br>When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, &quot;The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.&quot; They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. They said to him, &quot;See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the LORD has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.&quot; He responded, &quot;No, do not send them.&quot; But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, &quot;Send them.&quot; So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, &quot;Did I not say to you, Do not go?&quot;<br> <br>Now the people of the city said to Elisha, &quot;The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.&quot; He said, &quot;Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.&quot; So they brought it to him. Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, &quot;Thus says the LORD, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.&quot; So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.</div>12/16/2014Ephesians 6:10-17http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/291http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/291<div class="ExternalClass02FB91F44E9540A7890F2B41C95FED9F">​Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.</div>12/15/2014Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/290http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/290<div class="ExternalClassBBFF7B352E5B4758A642D304B81C411C"><strong>​Third Sunday of Advent</strong><br><br>The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; because the LORD has anointed me;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; to bind up the brokenhearted,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; to proclaim liberty to the captives,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and release to the prisoners;<br> to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and the day of vengeance of our God;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; to comfort all who mourn;<br> to provide for those who mourn in Zion — <br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; to give them a garland instead of ashes,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the oil of gladness instead of mourning,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; They will be called oaks of righteousness,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.<br> They shall build up the ancient ruins,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; they shall raise up the former devastations;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; they shall repair the ruined cities,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the devastations of many generations.<br> For I the LORD love justice,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I hate robbery and wrongdoing; <br>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I will faithfully give them their recompense,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.<br> Their descendants shall be known among the nations,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and their offspring among the peoples;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; all who see them shall acknowledge<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.<br> I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; my whole being shall exult in my God;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.<br> For as the earth brings forth its shoots,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; to spring up before all the nations.</div>12/14/2014