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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

Reprinted 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.

 

Words of Hope During COVID-19

Sophia K. R. Agtarap, a United Methodist deaconess, has often found herself in the kitchen in this pandemic. Food holds many memories for her. Remember the many hands that worked to bring the food you eat, from the farm to your table, she urges us.

Today’s Reflection

We were created with the purpose of befriending God. Our infinite longings remind us that we are made for the Infinite. We were divinely designed for divine connection. Because this is how we have been wired, the only thing that ultimately will bring us joy and happiness is to know a close friendship with God. It is as if God says to us, “I have placed eternity in your hearts” (Eccles. 3:11, author’s paraphrase). Deep within us there is a hole that only God’s living presence can fill.

—Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

How does your connection with God bring joy to your life? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

—Psalm 16:11 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Dear God, make me a channel of blessing to someone today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

8 Comments

  • Lou Posted May 21, 2020 5:16 am

    Knowing that God loves me, that his mercy surrounds me and that one day I will see Him face to face and live eternally in His glory – that is to know true joy. So often we are (I am) pulled from this amazing truth and immersed instead in the fears and worries of this earthly life. I frequently find myself having to refocus and slow down and rest in the assurance of God’s amazing love. Lately I have been consumed by the virus fears, financial worries, hail damage, basement flooding…and the list goes on…daily life that pulls me in the wrong direction. Thinking I can solve these problems and worries on my own instead of relying and trusting in the Lord to help me through-
    I’m thankful for a new day today- thankful for the prayers of the UR faithful – and I pray for you all today – God will see us through. He is near.

  • Jill Posted May 21, 2020 6:02 am

    The Lord is my Strength; He is my Light and my Salvation; an ever-present Help. It is His joy to be these things for me and when I accept these qualities He freely offers – my joy increases. Trevor Hudson is so right – He created us to be in relationship with Him…a huge hole exists when we are not living as we were meant to live. I am grateful to be “filled up”.
    Tomorrow there will be very small service at the funeral home for our friend’s family. Dad received an invitation to attend – it is by invitation only. I am not sure if the number is capped at 10 – or if it is a percentage of capacity at the funeral home room. He has been pretty much fully isolated – but I encouraged him to go. I just feel like God will protect him, protect all of them during this time. This family needs comfort and support. On Sunday, a member of their church has offered to host an outside gathering for a few hours for people to come by and pay their respects. I reached out to my friend yesterday via text, but she did not respond.
    When I get out of “class” today – I am going to a few local nurseries to buy the remainder of my flowers. Temperatures are to be warming – and I would like to get all my flowers in this weekend. Also will need to mow again, as the fertilizer and the several days of rain has made my grass GROW!
    Prayers of healing for the spot on David’s back. Father – guide Ally as she continues to care for David. Thank you for your words relating how you felt, Ally, while assisting your mom in caring for your dad. Dark is an apt description.

  • robert moeller Posted May 21, 2020 6:36 am

    Being alive is a joy. Yes, there are problems, without them we don’t recognize our need for God, We will make it through the pandemic whether here with God or at home with God. Nothing can separate us from God. LEAD THE WAY, LORD.!

    Be safe, do the Lord’s work. Thank You, Lord.

  • Marcy Posted May 21, 2020 7:16 am

    Hello New Every Morning family and friends!
    Yes, Lou, just knowing God loves us brings the JOY! I connect with God every day. I can’t always comment here, but I have been praying. Always was. When I couldn’t see, God was my Light. Listening to scripture readings, and devotionals kept me connected to God. And although I can’t say I had joy all that time, I did have hope. Christian music brings me joy; so listening to music connects me to God bringing joy.

    Prayers for Lou, as she (we) battle the storms here. People are having real damage done from the flooding. So many things at once. Lord, please answer Lou’s prayers.

    Praying for Jill’s friend, who has arrived for her SIL’s funeral and is performing the difficult task of going through her belongings. Prayers for Jill’s memories of loneliness. Thankful God for the comforts of Roger, who depends on Jill totally, yet manages to make it feel the other way around, providing comfort. Prayers Jill’s Dad stays safe and well as he attends funeral. Praises for gardens!

    Thankfulness for Julie’s Chai and Tazzie, who give her the pleasure, pampering them. Thankful also for Julie’s friendship, her caring heart and her wisdom and example. Please Lord, help her to be able to share burdens of loneliness and not see it as neediness, but helping others combat loneliness as well.

    Prayers as Robert recalls times far from lonely. Even  if only a memory, still to be treasured. May you God fill all the empty spaces, especially in the current situation,  as you always do as long as we turn to you when you call us. Thankful for Robert’s experiences that he has conveyed to us so well, that we too, learn from them. Thankful for the intricacies of the model trains diorama that Robert enjoys so well, but also doesn’t mind sharing with another enthusiast sometimes.

    Prayers that God fill empty spots we aren’t even aware of existing. David has done just that for Ally. What a blessing! Prayers as Ally recalls caring for her parents on her own. (Please tell me your, or should I say David’s cats names). Joyful thankfulness when our cats welcome us home when we have been absent. They don’t know where we’ve been; just that we’re home. Blessings that David is home from the hospital and doing well. I’m not aware of Ally’s health needs, but I am praying!

    Prayers for Rick, Andrea, Edwin, April, Connie, Rusty, Mary, Francesca, Betsy and Grace, Gerri, Pam, Ami, Jean, Joan, Louise, Chloe and Paige , Carol and Robin, and all who visit. Prayers for those in the BALCONY and beyond. Let’s connect with God and bring JOY to our lives!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love; and the greatest of these is LOVE! 🙏⚓❤   🐱🐈🐾

  • Gail Posted May 21, 2020 8:46 am

    God gives me glimpses of heaven. Things happen that are answers to prayer, or something happens that I know is God’s doing, and it is marvelous in my eyes.

    • April Posted May 21, 2020 9:54 am

      Gail, glimpses of heaven….I love that!! I will add that as another blessing I receive from Blooming and/or being in the kitchen.

  • Julie Posted May 21, 2020 8:50 am

    When the troubles of this earthly life loom, I turn to God and feel a connection through His strength, His care, His love. I try, as much as possible, to give Him my burdens to carry so He may replace them with His peace. I do not always succeed as I am human, but I continue time and again to give it back to Him.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry as they seek to stay safe but also comfort a grieving family. May they stay safe while also giving a comfort only those with the same perspective may give for they have and are living with the same type of grief.
    Prayers for Lou and her many earthly problems, may she give them to God to carry and be filled with His peace.
    Prayers for Robert who has the unique perspective of a life lived under many circumstances.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may David’s spot on his back heal well and soon. Prayers for the painful memories Ally shared yesterday, may she someday remember those days with fondness for the time spent with her mother.
    Prayers for Marcy and Lucy and Roxy, amy all be blessed with health and safety. Megan instructed me to relate the full extent of the kitties spoilings, at least in relation to the bed. They have a large tempurpetic, memory-foam dog bed which is covered with the electric blanket, which is covered with a fleecy blanket! The large bed is because they like to sleep curled up together. The fleece blanket is because Chai likes to sleep under a blanket.
    Prayers and thank you and stay healthy dear UR

  • Ally Posted May 21, 2020 11:04 am

    One of my dearest friends always says to me, “don’t let others or things steal your joy”. I am afraid that I do this regularly. This last week I have let situations get to me. I get bogged down in trivialities. There is much in my life that should bring me joy and those are the things i should focus on, like David’s recovery from COVID-19. I certainly felt joy as I watched today’s video, which invoked memories of gathering at the table with my family when all the dear ones were still with us on earth. Their memories bring such joy, as do memories of the delicious meals we shared. Dear Lord, help me to think of the mercies and the joys.
    David continues to progress. His occupational therapist is working with him today on getting in out the the shower and performing other self -care tasks. I myself feel a little stress. Working, then coming home, caring for David and our felines, preparing meals, keeping the house clean by myself is exhausting. I don’t mind, but I’m very tired all the time. We do have friends who can help, but I hate to keep asking. Pray I can prioritize, pace myself, and not beat myself up when I can’t get everything done.
    Jill, prayers continue for your friend and her family as they mourn her sister in-law. I pray your dad will attend the service with you. Thank you Gail, for the reminder that God is working and is with us. thank you Robert, for reminding me that nothing can separate us from God’s love, not even COVID-19. Julie, thank you for reminder that God is present when life happens and we can turn to Him. Lou, like you i get bogged down in the stuff. I lift you up as you recover from the storms. Marcy, David and I call ourselves Yours, Mine, and Ours. When we married almost 3 years ago, I had Lewis, who is 13 and is a big tub of love. Scout is 14 and has calico-tude in abundance. She is mommy’s girl. Jeremy (aka J. Puma) is a big old orange tabby who thinks he is a puma. He is really a big baby who is scared of girl kitties and thunder. Dixie is also a calico and is the most confident cat I have ever seen. She is also sweet and affectionate. David brought to our home Lucy, a beautiful, silky, somewhat round girl with big eyes. She loves her Daddy and missed him terribly while he was away. Patrick Panther is a sleek, shiny house panther with big green eyes. He loves giving nips to show his love. He is so cute! Several months ago, we adopted a little homeless kitten who needed a home. His name is Mickey and he is the most talkative kitty I have ever met. He has the most beautiful, plumy tail and is into everything. Our babies keep things lively, for sure. They are very spoiled. I pray all have a good, Godly day.

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