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

Authentic forgiveness—deep-hearted, full-spirited forgiveness—cannot be forced. Inauthentic forgiveness—words spoken out of obligation or coercion without the heart’s concurrence—is a lie. This lie may deceive both the forgiver and the forgiven, but it does not deceive God. Neither does it incarnate the divine intent of forgiveness: to remove the barriers to a holy and right relationship, where the Spirit can move freely, gladly, and creatively.

—Jean M. Blomquist, in Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past (Fresh Air Books, 2008)

Today’s Question

Have you ever felt obligated or coerced to forgive? What does authentic forgiveness feel like for you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
—Matthew 5:23-24 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

(This week’s prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13, NIV.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Julie Posted September 25, 2021 8:37 am

    Yes. All the time. My hurt feelings are of no consequence and even when I am the wronged party I am expected to apologize and act like it was all my fault. True forgivenenss is when the actual wrong doing person truly acknowledges in their heart that they have caused pain to another and sincerely seeks forgiveness by first stating the action and then apologizing for how it affected the hurt individual.
    Megan and I are going to a another arts and crafts show tomorrow. It is another set in a distant time ago with everyone dressed in period costumes. This one includes recreations of battles of the Indian War. Megan loves these and their are encampments as would have been used back then. Everything is authentic and fascinating. There are many vendors we are eager to see after several years of this festival being cancelled due to Covid.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for health and finances and family relationships. Prayers for Roger’s health and Jill and her students safety and health. Prayers for Robert for safe travel and warm reunions with friends and an enriching convention. Prayers for Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and kind words and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Jill Posted September 25, 2021 2:09 pm

    All the time in my immature years with mom – I was forced to ask for forgiveness and had to wait until she decided to speak with me again. This led to superficialness. I am grateful, that upon maturing – emotionally and spiritually – I have learned the value of authenticity – in listening and in speaking – with another or in a small, intimate group. Sincere truth speaking and forgiveness leads to such freedom and peace.
    I played tennis last evening – somewhat timidly – but came away with no discomfort. I got a little braver as the match wore on, and my partner and I came from behind to win. Unfortunately, we were the only one of our team’s five courts to win. This is a mixed team and league, called fusion. It is a new concept and there are singles and doubles – with men and women and one court of mixed doubles. I was happy to get my feet wet before an important match tomorrow evening with my “regular” team.
    Surprisingly dad cancelled golf today, as there was a possibility of rain. I wasn’t too disappointed as it gave me the day at home to relax, work on school stuff and watch the Ryder Cup. My sister’s youngest son and his wife took a trip to Hawaii – and they are showing their pictures at dad’s house tonight. So – I will be going over there later. It will be good to see my nephew and his wife. Not sure if his brother is coming over. All of them are meeting prior to this for homecoming pictures for my great niece and nephew.
    Prayers for Julie’s health as she faces upcoming surgery. Also, for cooperation from her lawyer with the divorce proceedings and timing. Traveling mercies and an enjoyable time for Robert.

  • Ally Posted September 25, 2021 5:53 pm

    I don’t remember ever being coerced into forgiveness, but I have told myself I have forgiven when I knew in my heart I have not. I know I should forgive, but I have not. Lord, help me to forgive when I don’t want to forgive.
    I thank y’all for your prayers for our situations. Prayers for Robert, that he will continue to progress in his therapy and in his relationship with Erich. Praying for safe travels and an enjoyable trip and good times with old friends.
    Prayers for Julie as she prepares for her surgery and for time to work on her health. Prayers that God will work in the hearts of those who have hurt her and offer authentic remorse and reach out to her. Prayers that Jill got some good rest today and enjoys her time with family. Prayers for her safety at school. Thanks to all for your prayers for David and me. Fiancé’s are indeed dire. Please pray for the family dynamics with David’s girls and that I can forgive his ex for damage she has inflicted on those relationships and for how she has harassed him. I cannot do it on my on. To be honest, right now I don’t want to. I thank God for His grace. Blessings.

  • robert moeller Posted September 25, 2021 7:30 pm

    I think I am in similar circumstances with forgiveness. I have a person in mind who I want to forgive, have tried, but acknowledge that I must actually contact the person to do so, consequently my “try” was not successful. Like the NEM family I’m uncomfortable trying to contact the person. Most likely the difficulty I imagine is over exaggerated.I complicate matters.
    The convention has gone very well, my modeling the CV presentation was well received, I am very thankful. Will visit my boyhood train station tomorrow, then and old friend, before heading home. It has been a wonderful 30th convention. Yes, I certainly lift up All & David, Megan and Julie, and Jill, her Dad, sister, family , friends and students. Thank You, Lord

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