New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

Our churches often avoid topics that might be controversial. Yet, the Jesus I have grown to know and to love is the Jesus who was not scared of conflict. Jesus broke the rules when he asked the Samaritan woman for a drink at the well (see John 4:1-26). He paid no mind to the gossip when he shared a meal with a tax collector (see Luke 19:1-10). He did not remain silent when the Pharisees introduced the woman caught in the act of adultery; neither did he condemn her (see John 8:1-11). As we follow the example that Jesus has set, we learn how to enter more bravely into these sometimes uncomfortable or even contentious conversations. We learn how to love and to wholly embrace people and all the stories they carry.

—Elizabeth Hagan, Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

How does the example of Jesus guide you during moments of controversy? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.
—2 Timothy 2:23-25 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, grant me the patience and grace to listen, the courage and wisdom to question and speak; and the bravery to create safe space for tough topics.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Churches are not immune to violence, as we have seen from shootings at houses of worship across the nation. The challenge for faith communities is how to prepare for and respond to potential violence. In Whom Shall I FearUrgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, author Rosalind Hughes asks congregational leaders to examine whether their operational and security policies are consistent with gospel values. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • Jill Posted July 10, 2023 5:17 am

    Jesus was comfortable being “out of place”. And He never let this “outsideness” to cause Him to boil over or over react. He was conversational and steady. He was interested in “going there” with someone the “religious” leaders of His time would not engage with. He was far from combative, but rather, He was humble. And, I imagine, He took His time with others.
    What an example for us.
    Church worship and cancer support group yesterday were meaningful. Played some tennis in the afternoon with my longtime doubles partner. It was a lovely afternoon, not too hot for singles.
    While I was watering my flowers yesterday, I thought how quickly this summer is going by. I guess, for the most part, life just seems on fast forward. This past school year was the fastest yet. I need to be more mindful of being grateful for the moment, for the day. Celebrate little things, little victories.
    Dad and I are golfing this morning. I see the dentist late in the afternoon – hoping my crown is able to be put back on, as opposed to having to get a new one made.

  • Julie Posted July 10, 2023 9:31 am

    Jesus loved and accepted everyone. Especially those who were considered outcasts and sinners and undeserving. Due to this example, I try to extend the same benevolence to the oppressed and those persecuted by our current society.

  • robert moeller Posted July 10, 2023 3:57 pm

    I should try to be the person described in 2Timothy 2:23-25 , like Jesus. A tall order, but with Gid all things are possible.
    Had a EUREKA moment this morning with my psychiatric nurse practitioner. We’re on the
    same page!!! Very helpful. Have some things to work on. Thank You, Lord.
    Doing ok in spite of all the rain, no severe problems here. Other parts of the Northeast have been hit harder. Prayers for all of them.
    After 30 years as a high school teacher and 25 in the military, I was glad to retire at age 60. Many changes in that time, still had patience, but new conditions required more energy I didn’t have.
    Having a grand time learning about flax and linen in 18th-19th century Hessen. When it died out due to lost markets and crop problems, sheep, wool and cotton weaving came next. Today those are also gone. Life changes, Jesus does not. Thank You, Lord.

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