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

So it goes with the seed of self-love that the Creator planted in each of us—we must nurture it. Jesus obviously understood that when he urged us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. So self-love and love of others are part of the same sacred package. In fact, our love of others soon withers and dies if we do not love ourselves. As we learn to understand and nurture our own needs, we can extend the same compassion to others. “It is like a mustard seed; . . . it grew and became a tree” (Luke 13:19).

—Linda Douty, Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

How can you nurture love for yourself and others? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus said,] “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
—Mark 12:30-31 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for sun and showers.
Thank you for each lovely flower.
Thank you for each stately tree.
Through all these, you speak to me.
A Gardener’s Prayer
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

You don’t have to be at the beach to experience the sea, the sand, the sky, and the glory of the One who created it all. In Beach Calling, author Missy Buchanan’s brilliant descriptions—intertwined artfully with scripture—paint a vivid picture that invites you to a closer, more authentic walk with God. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted April 17, 2024 6:02 am

    Providing an immediate answer to today’s question is very challenging. I think the word care replaces the word love in my situation. These words are not the same. Love goes beyond care.
    It does more. it is more. It sacrifices, endures pain. Care binds up wounds, feeds the hungry. without sacrificing. Love is spiritual, emotional, care more physical. When you truly love someone, you are willing to give up all for them. Jesus did that for us. Thank You, Lord

  • Rusty Posted April 17, 2024 2:55 pm

    Today’s reading helps. I’ve often wondered where in scripture we are told to love ourselves. There are lots of places that support the notion of dying to our own wants and surrendering our will to God (all of which are strengthening and affirming if we see them through a lens similar to “when I am weak [and have to surrender to the Lord], then I am strong [because at that moment I can draw on God’s strength]”.)Again, a principle that truly gives me hope to live.

    But I have always found I needed to find an interpretative way to see love for myself in scripture. Nothing I can cite to a Bible passage about. Today’s reading approaches the question from an interpretation perspective, as well, but it is a good one. “Self-love and love of others are part of the same package.”

    I guess I also turn to the Trinity, as well, with God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all in loving community and communion with one another. “Let us make humans in our image.” God loves within God’s self – and we can too!

  • Jill Posted April 17, 2024 4:04 pm

    Rusty – what you say there in your first paragraph – isn’t that really what self love is…dying to self. True self love and care is what is in our best interests. We must “work” to put to death our natural inclinations and surrender. I think this is the best self love. Not love of our sinful self. But seeking to empty oneself and be filled of/by Him. Live into/out of His strength. Don’t trust our sinful nature for a second.
    How I nurture love for myself begins with my quiet mornings. Being available for conversations, stepping into situations others are not comfortable being in.
    Supposed to meet a friend for dinner in about an hour. But there are tornado watches up, storms moving in. We might cancel. She is going to drive home and see how things are. The restaurant is very close to her house.
    I wouldn’t be sad to stay in tonight and call it an early evening. I was out late (for me) last evening playing tennis, ahead of a tennis competition I am participating in Friday evening.

    • Rusty Posted April 17, 2024 7:31 pm

      Very good point, Jill. Thank you! Sinful self is definitely a dimension I was not considering, but which absolutely I should! Nevertheless, nurturing love for myself is needed, and as you say, quiet is a wonderful place to start.


  • Larry Eugene Dyer Posted April 18, 2024 9:01 am

    How can we expect to love others if we are angry with ourselves ? The family of God is working toward eternity everyday disfunctions forgiven Grace of God !!!

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