Coming to know Dietrich Bonhoeffer better and better this year through my thesis, two of his personal habits have impressed me. The first is the correspondence which he maintained with friends and family. He must have written at least a letter a day, if not more. For all the ease of “getting in touch” through technology these days, I’m not actually sure that we do it more (or more substantially!) than when it was more difficult.
The second, related habit is his daily reading of Scripture. Not the reading in itself, but the mode of his reading. Bonhoeffer used, along with many of his friends, family, and colleagues, a daily lectionary. This meant that on any given day, he and many of the people he knew would be reflecting on the same passages. This is reflected in many of his letters from prison, as he speaks to Eberhard Bethge about something he noticed in the day’s passage.
I’ve been using a daily lectionary now for almost a year, there is much to commend about the practice.
- The readings “fit” into the ecclesial year, so that the reading is appropriate for the season.
- I am not left to design my own reading agenda, so I read passages that I might not come to otherwise.
- I am not reading alone, but with any number of other church-folk who read the same passage.
In ecumenical spirit, I have been using the daily lectionary available on the PCUSA’s page. But I did a bit of work to clean it up and put it into a Word document, so I thought I would make that available for anyone who wants to join me in the practice.
Download the document Here.