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

TO THINK that one day we will be nothing but ashes is a pretty grim reality. Not surprisingly, many of us avoid facing this truth. We don’t want to reflect on it or speak about it or even read about it. After all, when we begin to sense how near to nothing we are, we can easily find ourselves in despair. Being born to die is not good news.
However, the fact that we are marked by the sign of the cross tells us we are infinitely more than dust. We are God’s beloved, and nothing—not even death—can separate us from God’s love through Jesus Christ. Our dust is charged with God’s own life-sustaining and death-defeating breath. We are beloved dust.

—Trevor Hudson
Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days

From page 1 of Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What things make you feel separated from God? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

… you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
—Genesis 3:19, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

On March 1, 2019, the World Day of Prayer, join staff of The Upper Room in responding to prayer requests submitted on The Upper Room Prayer Wall. Click here to learn more about the event.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Julie Posted February 18, 2019 8:14 am

    My pain currently keeps me from God. I cry out to Him, but His answer awaits. Also, the fact that I cannot (nor should not at this time) forgive h. I had a firsthand experience that taught me in no uncertain terms that I am dust. When I had mt one finger partially amputated, they incinerated the piece removed. So a piece of me is alreadt dust or ashes.
    Prayers for Jill and her family may they be strengthened by God.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may she be filled with joy always.
    Prayers for Robert and his continued health, Erich and his continued employment and Anneliese and pain relief.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and may their injuries heal soon.
    Prayers for Connie and may her spirits soar soon.
    Prayers for Marcy and may she be well and receiving care.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, Betsy and her family, April and her family and Rusty and his family.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family

  • Michael P Butler Posted February 18, 2019 8:20 am

    Sin, selfishness, when I allow the distractions of this world to swallow up my time and attention.

  • Connie Posted February 18, 2019 8:30 am

    Sometimes stress brings out the worst in me I must admit. However, “nothing separates us from the love of God”.
    Thankful for:
    A sunrise….it looked like a pale pink stairway to heaven.
    A few tasks accomplished on slippery ice yesterday.
    The possibility of getting around more this week. (???)

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted February 18, 2019 8:45 am

    Sins make me feel separated from God. Thank you God for forgiving me.

    Thanks Julie for your prayers. May you be like Paul to be able to tolerate the thorn in his flesh and continue to be an effective witness for Christ!


  • Rusty Posted February 18, 2019 1:13 pm

    My own inattention to him.

  • Lou Posted February 18, 2019 3:36 pm

    My foolish fears and my focus on this earthly life- and then He sends me a message that quiets my heart and I return to what I know is true- that He loves us.
    Thankful for a snowy morning giving way to sunshine. Thankful that my back is dealing with the shoveling. Thankful for messages from my children today. Thankful for the beauty of the snow, the warmth of the sunshine, work, family, and God’s never failing love. So much to be thankful for.

  • Sarah Buchanan Posted February 18, 2019 4:34 pm

    Ignorance of God’s teachings causes me to be separate from God. When I am deeply saddened and stressed I try hard not to act or react on the problem because it in itself separates me from God, God says to give him our burdens. We are his children and he want to take care of us. Obedience to God keep us from being separated from God.

  • robert moeller Posted February 18, 2019 4:39 pm

    As a human it often seems hard to recognize that God is with us always. It has been some time since I felt God’s presence, but I know that God is there. A recent valley has been travel and I don’t think I would have made it without God. Many other events in my past show me that God was there and thus is here now. A new valley is coming and with God’s guidance I’ll make it through that as well.

    Reassuring that we are beloved dust.

    Thank you, Julie, Michael, Mary, Connie, Rusty and Lou for your comments. Very interesting, Julie, that part of you is already ashes. Had no idea what they did with amputations these days. Thankful for your prayers.

    A church member, Joan, in home hospice with cancer passed on Saturday. Many members who knew her better than I are deeply touched. I talked with her, visited her, and sang for her in the short time I knew her. The funeral is Saturday.

    Prayers for the UMC as it comes to grips with homosexuality this coming weekend. Bible study at church has been helpful. I found John Wesley’s sermon on the Catholic Spirit helpful in addition to examining the Bible.

    God is with us, thank You, Lord. Peace be with you.

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