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

CLEARLY, a Christian understanding of peace means more than placidity on a personal level or polite resignation on a cultural level. Such simple-minded notions may even be what the founder of our faith renounced when he said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. (See Matthew 10:34.) His own understanding of peace was a fierce and realistic one: that peace is nothing less than the sure sign of God’s presence among us, the be-all and end-all of God’s purpose for us.

—Barbara Brown Taylor, The Wondrous Mystery: An Advent Reader (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

What do you visualize when you hear the word peace? How do those thoughts connect with the fierce and realistic peace of Christ?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
—Matthew 10:34 (NRSV)

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Jill Posted November 19, 2019 3:07 am

    I visualize and hear a steady, quiet stream of water moving. Constant and unending, yet intricately different from moment to moment. It is in the difference that it bends and conforms to a situation or feeling, yet continues to comfort.
    Fierce and realistic…hmmmm. I describe my best friend’s love for her family as fierce. God’s love is so fierce that He is able to provide a peace that looks so “other”. He knows what we need and provides it for the moment. His peace fights for us, sustaining us through the darkest hours and the deepest valleys. Hallelujah, what a Saviour.
    May this peace from our great Father envelop Julie in moments where h is hounding her. Father, be near.

  • Joe Parrish Posted November 19, 2019 7:06 am

    https:// prayer.forwardmovement.org/forward_day_by_day.php?d=19&m=11&y=2019

  • Gail Churchill Posted November 19, 2019 7:17 am

    The movie in which the contestants in the beauty pageant respond that they want world peace. It is more than the absence of conflict. It is where God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Peace is marked by Justice and the inclusion of all people and faith, hope and love. It is Christ the King come to the world, born in a stable. Come Lord Jesus!

  • Julie Posted November 19, 2019 8:15 am

    I love the image you paint, Jill. It is soothing, especially to me as I find gurgling streams to be very restorative, beautiful and peaceful. I must admit that I have never thought of God’s peace as a sword, but it makes sense in so many ways. for example, by defeating the Egyptians the Isrealites were released from captivity and sent on their way to a place of milk and honey. This is where they would find the peace to practice their faith and honor their Lord. Also, in the morning I pray for God’s strength and recite several verses that speak of the strength God provides for our struggles.
    Prayers for Jill and her beautiful words which express the peace she has found. May it sustain her through the holidays with her various relatives that tend to shake her peace.
    Prayers for Mary, may she be well.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may they be well with one another.
    Prayers and thank you UR

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 19, 2019 9:23 pm

      Dear Julie, I’m well. Thank you for your prayers.

      Blessings and prayers for all your well-being!

  • robert moeller Posted November 19, 2019 12:18 pm

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Jesus also says those who live by the sword will die by the sword. He asks that the sword be put away when one of those who came to arrest him had his ear cut off. Perhaps the sword Jesus mentions is not a physical one, but a spiritual one. It’s the one that makes the devil retreat when we call on Jesus’ name. It is the sword that ultimately will defeat the devil.

    Thank you Jill, Joe, Gail and Julie.Wonderful insights. Joe’s comes from the Episcopal church if you check the website. I think there are many facets to peace, some we recognize, others we imagine, and others beyond our ability to think, imagine, or comprehend. There is the peace that passeth all understanding.

    Thankful for the prayers of the UR family, you too are prayed for. Thank You,

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