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

Through the resurrection, God transforms the cross from a symbol of shame to a source of Christian living. Joy for Christian living flows from the cross. The cross moves us to focus on God instead of self and to conform our bodies to the life of Christ. Spiritual practices like prayer, witnessing, and giving are joyful acts for us as we live gospel-shaped lives.

—Max O. Vincent, Because of This I Rejoice: Reading Philippians During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

How might focusing on joy reshape your spiritual practices? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
—Hebrews 12:1-2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, I give thanks for all you have done, are doing, and will do. Because of this, I rejoice.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

What is Lent? When is Lent? Why do we set it apart? Learn more about this special season from The Upper Room’s Lent 101 resource.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted February 15, 2021 6:00 am

    Had a very good discussion on joy during advent as part of the Almost Christmas Wesleyan experience. In general I have a positive outlook. Even the pandemic has not changed that. Have been more cautious, followed CDC guidelines. Knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of God makes this earthly life in these times easier. Vaccinations are increasing. The tide will turn.

    This has been the busiest holiday, anniversary, eventful weekend in quite some time. Friday had three events alone: Lunar New Year, 51st anniversary of first setting foot in Korea, Lincoln’s Birthday. Britbox dramas, searching for CNR mail-express paint, breakfast with the pastor, a new sound system for the car arrived, and the Trump trial came in addition. Saturday condo association annual meeting, I’m the new secretary, UVM hockey and skiing, and lunch with friends. Today ZOOM worship and sound system installation, not quite done yet. Emily Dickinson
    Drama on Apple TV, more Britbox drama, and attention to email. Snow storm on the way. No paint yet for the mail-express. Have had a couple naps. Face Time with my daughter at 5 pm. Monday President’s day and soon a new email provider. It was a whirlwind weekend. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers focused on the tougher than usual circumstances faced by Marcy, Julie, Ally & David, members of the church I attend, out nation, and the world. Our need for God remains constant.
    Be safe in the big winter weather storm. Thank You, Lord, for all You do.

  • Julie Posted February 15, 2021 8:44 am

    Sorry, but joy is beyond me currently. I am aware that God is with me and listening, but when in pain and amid such uncertainty, I cry out to Him regarding my anguish. I believe that the Bible speaks of God’s acceptance of our cries and weakness. I believe it speaks of God meeting us and holding us through the cries and stress.
    Prayers for Robert and his busy schedule, may he remain safe during the storm.
    Prayers for Jill as she runs in the snow and cold, may she remain safe. May her tooth pain continue to improve.
    Prayers for Ally as she continues to administer her eyedrops, may her eyes continue to respond positively. Prayers for David, may his caution continue until he can have PT. Prayers for Rachel as she continues to learn how to regulate her blood sugar and insulin shots.
    Prayers for April and her family, may they remain safe and well and receive vaccinations soon.
    Prayers for Lou during the storm and cold blanketing her area.
    It is snowing rather hard currently. H has already been screamin at me today. I try (and succeeded today) to respond calmly and quietly.

  • Jill Posted February 15, 2021 9:21 am

    I want my joy to be evident, yet am not sure I come across that way. I believe I am very composed and have been told I have a “poker face”. I know early on in my teaching career I had to come across very stern, as I was a young, petite, white teacher in an urban school setting. I think that subtly became my persona. One of my former students said I could silence a class of 38 (her class size) with just one look. I know I am much more relaxed and personable with my students now – having mature and mostly motivated upperclassmen. I want them to know how much I care for them as people and want them to mature and strive to succeed. I want them to know that my joy is my passion – and it is fueled by something greater, Someone Greater. But – that is a line I must walk very carefully in a public school setting.
    I think my joy is equivalent to my peace – and hope it is evident in the way I carry myself and express myself in everyday situations, in and out of school. So much has changed in 15+ years and all the glory is His.
    My sister and her husband were involved in an automobile accident last evening on the West Virginia turnpike. They were returning to Florida. A semi was driving erratic and cut them off, forcing them off the road. May the people who were behind them be blessed for stopping to check on my sister and her husband, as well as being witnesses when the State Trooper arrived. The car is likely totaled and dad and I are grateful they avoided serious injury. Dad was very upset when he received the call from my sister around 9 PM. I just told him this morning, at least it was her calling, and not the State Trooper.
    Snow was falling quite a bit this morning while I ran, but there is a lull now. It is coming in 2 waves – the other one around dinner tonight. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon – so hoping to get home before the brunt of the storm arrives. Pretty sure we will have a snow day tomorrow as the forecast is calling for 8-12 inches. Nevertheless, I am working on school work now.
    With sleep not coming easily last night after dad called – I had lots of time to think and pray about my sister. My attitude remains very poor and I continue to ask God to change my heart. I cannot do it in my own power and strength. I am ashamed of my feelings, but they nevertheless are what I am feeling right now. I confess them anew to Him and ask Him to do a mighty work in me. Your prayers in this matter would be appreciated.

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