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

It might well be that the greatest threat to human survival now confronting us is not the loss of energy or the increase of pollution, but the loss of compassion. We are confronted daily with the pain of human tragedy—the breakup of a family or the sunken face of a starving child—to such an extent that we soon learn to turn off what we see. In order to cope with our feelings of helplessness, we teach ourselves how not to feel. The tragedy in this response, which is probably more widespread than we dare believe, is that we also deaden our capacity for love. For Christians, the cross stands as an ever-present reminder that love and suffering are two sides of the same coin.

—James C. Fenhagen, in Compassion: Thoughts on Cultivating a Good Heart, compiled and introduced by Amy Lyles Wilson (Fresh Air Books, 2008)

Today’s Question

When faced with suffering, what enables you to stay connected to compassion? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
—Isaiah 30:18 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

With my eyes, I choose to see with compassion. With my hands, I choose to give and touch with compassion. With my feet, I choose to go where I can deliver compassion. With my heart I choose to love with great compassion.

(Pause for a minute of silence and imagine how you can show compassion today.)

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The Upper Room’s RESILIENCE: Healing Practices for Mind, Body, and Spirit is just around the corner, September 30-October 2, 2021. This online event will be a time of reflection and interaction, and an introduction to spiritual tools that you can use in your own healing journey or the healing journey through which you lead others. Register today.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted September 16, 2021 5:27 am

    Seeing suffering does not stop my compassion. I try to do what I can. My budget limits what I can do financially, but I advocate for ways to help those in need. And, the need is very great. Global warming / climate change tops the list that includes health and wellbeing physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally for humans and life for all God’s creation. We can’t ignore the situation and must both change our ways now and plan for the future. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted September 16, 2021 8:35 am

    I do feel compassion when I see suffering. However one must distance oneself from all the suffering in the world that bombards us daily. We would become ineffective in giving any compassion if we took in the entirety of the world’s suffering. So, I believe, one must choose what calls to them, where they feel the most need to show compassion and offer help.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for health and a positive answer to the disability application, prayers for Jill and her student’s, for safety and health, prayers for Lou, for connecting with her friends this weekend, prayers for Robert, may he remember onnly happy memories of Soo Ok and be comforted, for God to bless Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and kind words and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Jill Posted September 16, 2021 6:17 pm

    I don’t feel any disconnect when encountering suffering. Empathy and compassion are a natural reaction for me. And when the suffering is personal or to someone in my inner circle – others show their compassion to me – I am blessed by this.
    The time with my students remains life giving to me. However – a circumstance has arisen which will necessitate me having a courageous conversation with a colleague, in order for me to best support my students. I attempted to have it after school today, but my colleague was gone 3 minutes after students were dismissed. I will refrain from commenting on that. This is not going to be pleasant and I keep asking God to give me the right words and tone – to be professional and respectful. I am delaying bringing in an administrator with the hopes of exhausting all other possibilities. I have spoke with 2 trusted colleagues and they have my back and are ready to fully support me should I need to go to administration. Why can’t I just be in my room with my wonderful students and just engage them? Most of them desire learning and want to please. That is the blessing and I must be mindful of that. I must also protect it.
    Mom and dad’s anniversary would have been tomorrow – 66 years. He has been thinking a lot about it. Becky and I both have tried to invite him to spend time with us – but he has plans in the morning and then a late lunch with a buddy – so he feels his day is full enough. Now that he is back to feeling well – he is golfing two days a week, playing bridge two days a week – and has three different men’s groups/Bible studies going on. He also attends his great grandson’s freshman football games on Thursdays.
    It has been a long week – and the added stress at school has made it more tiring. I admit – I have left the building stressed and weary – as this situation is weighing me down. That is why I was hoping to resolve it after school today.
    I met my friend at the Greek Festival downtown today after school. A comfortable early Fall day, and the gyros and calamari were enjoyable. It is a tradition that we attend it. It runs today through Saturday. I was able to get some advice from her – as she is a retired teacher. She says I should go straight to administration. I just feel like with all the fights and craziness at our school – if I do approach the one assistant principal – she will see I took as many steps as possible to resolve it before bringing her in.
    In the midst of all this – I must be mindful of compassion. Whoa – how I struggle to see this colleague as a child of God. Father, please forgive me and turn my heart.

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