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The New Year’s Challenge

December 27th, 2007
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Greetings in Christ. Pastor Weedon and I agreed last year to strive to read through the entire BOC, following the order or readings in the front of the book, and read the daily lectionary in LSB last year. He did. I did not. But…I’m glad I tried.

Once again therefore, I’m going to issue the challenge:

Will you join me in reading through the Book of Concord in the next year? And…reading the daily lectionary in Lutheran Service Book? And trying to pray at least one of the daily prayer offices therein? Matins, or Vespers?

Let’s pray for each other that we not only agree to do it, but …. do it!


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  1. Sean
    December 27th, 2007 at 15:11 | #1

    Pastor McCain,
    I am planning to do just that, but I ran into a problem. I’m hoping you can help. You see, I know from past experience I will occasionally fall behind in my readings and have to catch up. At other times I will read ahead a bit. Because my readings will not always precisely match the daily selection, I need to keep track of where I am in order to ensure I cover everything. I can’t simply read “today’s” reading.
    I’d like to have a way to track my progress without littering my “Concordia” reading plan with check marks. It would be helpful if I could simply print a clean copy of the reading plan, track my progress there, and then print a new clean copy next year and begin again. Would it be possible for CPH to offer a pdf or html version of the reading plan for easy printing for just such a use? Thanks for your consideration.

  2. PHW
    December 27th, 2007 at 16:00 | #2

    I’m game….I made it somewhere into the middle of the Apology, I think. It helps that I’m going through it in Bible Study.

  3. Paul T. McCain
    December 27th, 2007 at 17:49 | #3

    Sean, thanks for your post and your interest. I have a couple suggestions:
    First, feel free to photocopy those pages from your book and use them accordingly; second, you might want to try post-it notes.
    I think post-it notes are the greatest invention for book lovers/readers since the advent of moveable type.
    A blessed Christmastide to you and yours.

  4. Gerry
    December 27th, 2007 at 19:42 | #4

    I purchased the new Reader’s edition of the BOC as a Christmas present to myself, a couple of weeks before Christmas. I’m just into the Apology now but I got sidetracked by your suggestion to download the book, The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz. I’m thoroughly enjoying both books.
    I’m a new convert to the LCMS. I’ve been with the church for three years now. I want to simply read the BoC straight through for this first time and not get bogged down with a reading plan or intensive study at this time. I’ll go back again and study in depth.
    Does this sound like a good plan?
    I’m glad I found this blog Pastor McCain, may God bless your work and thank you.

  5. Gleason Snashall
    December 29th, 2007 at 08:48 | #5

    It’s a neat idea. I will track the readings on a weekly basis so that missing a day will still give me that week to make it up. You all have a great deal more discipline than I have. Instead of the Matins, Vespers, … I will pray the psalms for the day. It has been my intention to read the BoC completely and this is an opportunity. I wouldn’t have replied except that it is now no longer a hidden goal. I will pray for yours and the others success and wish you a joyous Christmas season.
    In Christ,

  6. Rev. Al Bergstrazer
    December 29th, 2007 at 09:00 | #6

    I started over on the first week of Advent rather than the first of the new year. Time can be a challenge when you have to start early in the morning, and even if you don’t get through it, at least spend some time reading our confessional documents and the church fathers as well. Also be sure to take notes, whether in the margins or as I sometimes do, keep a small book with notes on what you’ve considered during your reading and study. Repetition is the mother of knowledge! Another help I use when using reading schedules is ‘page points’ you can get them from Levenger, they’re metal tabs that fit on the edge of your page to mark where you stopped (also helpful in Agendas, Altar Books, Accompaniment books, etc.).

  7. Jenna
    December 29th, 2007 at 12:50 | #7

    Well, I’ll take the BoC challenge. However, as I already follow the readings in TLH’s daily lectionary, and pray Matins and Compline, I’d rather stick with that. Frankly, LSB’s biggest drawback as the foundation for daily devotion, in my opinion, is the omission of the collects for each Sunday and the feast and saints’ days of the church year. I like the way they’re arranged, according to the one-year and three-year lectionary, in the Pastoral Care Companion, which I purchased for my pastor for Christmas. I wish the same sort of resource was available for lay people.

  8. Ruth
    December 30th, 2007 at 12:53 | #8

    Can you explain what all of this is? I left the Lutheran church about 18 years ago, became Baptist and recently returned. I’d like to join you but you can you write an entry for those of us who are not familiar with all this? I don’t know what the Book of Concord really is and what is in it exactly. Where can I find the daily prayers? What are vespers? I know I can ask my pastor but since you mentioned it, I thought maybe you could follow up. Like a cyberspace Lutheran 101.

  9. Paul T. McCain
    December 30th, 2007 at 13:02 | #9

    Ruth, first, welcome back home to Lutheranism. This is a challenge to read the Book of Concord, which you can find out about, with a whole series of helpful basic introductory essays at: http://www.bookofconcord.org
    We are talking about reading through this book next year using the reading guide provided in this edition of the Lutheran Confessions:
    God bless!

  10. Don
    January 2nd, 2008 at 11:50 | #10

    I enjoy reading my Condordia, I believe it to be a wonder, wonderful work.
    I usually, take a section and read it, however, never have totally read the whole Book of Concord.
    Looking forward to the challenge, for me it will be one because of a brain disorder, but I will to my best!
    This is a wondeful Blog, I really enjoy it!

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