Because He Daily Bears Us Up
Psalm by Psalm: 365 Selected Readings from Martin Luther from Concordia Publishing House is the perfect book for beginning a new calendar year. As the title implies, every one of the 365 daily readings comes from the Psalms. Consider this:
The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book, if for
no other reason than this: it promises Christ’s death and
resurrection so clearly—and pictures his kingdom and the
condition and nature of all Christendom—that it might well
be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully
and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible.1
In Psalm by Psalm, each daily entry is brief but substantive and opens with related verses from Holy Scripture. Readings denote only a day and month, so selections can be repeated every year.
Why is daily reading important? I recently learned the answer to this question through the response to a similar question.
Surprised by a painful autoimmune condition, I found myself in physical therapy to learn necessary exercises for my hands, wrists, and feet. These exercises were designed for my good, but this single question penetrating my mind suddenly escaped my lips, “How often must I do these?”
The therapist looked at me quizzically. I earnestly wanted an answer, so I exposed my lazy tendencies with this clarification, “What is the least often I must do these exercises in order for them to be effective?” The therapist gave the firm response I did not want to hear: Daily.
As we teach our children from the Small Catechism, so it is for us:
The Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance
be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and … a new
man should daily come forth and arise to live before God in
righteousness and purity forever.2
Yet just as our need abounds daily, so his mercies toward us are new every morning. So we can pause in our day to read Psalm by Psalm: 365 Selected Readings from Martin Luther each morning, noon, or evening – by ourselves or with our families – for our daily and eternal good.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. – Psalm 68: 19-20