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

MANY OF US learned about social boundaries in our high school cafeterias. We sat at tables depending upon what sport we played, or if we played at all. We sat at other tables if we were deemed popular or unpopular. Sometimes we sat at a table because of our race or the language we spoke at home. If we were studious, we chose one area; if we had more or less money, we sat in another. … Teenage social boundaries are difficult to cross.

Adult social boundaries are not much easier to negotiate. Now we wonder how to reach out to the woman downstairs who doesn’t speak English. Driving onto the ramp of the interstate, we see a man with a sign asking for food and work. We can’t imagine how to cross our social boundaries to include him in our lives. A man and his partner visit the church today. Will we be the first to cross a social boundary to welcome them?

James urges his hearers to honor the poor in accordance with God’s plan. We invite poor and other oppressed people to our tables and ask to sit at theirs. As in high school, we find it tempting to stay in the comfort zones of our neighborhoods, our biases, and our past experiences. If we can cross our social boundaries and care for those who have been dishonored by our world and even by our churches, we will fulfill God’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

– Elaine Eberhart,
Disciplines 2015

From the reading for September 5, 2015 by Elaine Eberhart, in The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2014 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What are the boundaries you see that faith can cross? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:14, NRSV

This Week: pray for caregivers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Leoba (September 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • robert moeller Posted September 28, 2018 6:27 am

    Thankful that Jill, Mary, Julie, Andrea, Connie, and April all have experienced contentment. Yes, it can come and go. Learning to be content as Paul is in the verses April quoted is a challenge.

    Prayers for Jill, Becky, Gloria and Larry as the deal with cancer. Thankful for good times with a god child and her brother as well as the joys of teaching.

    Prayers for Connie and her husband.

    Prayers for April, thankful for the quote from Paul. I appreciate him, but also wonder at times if it is he who is talking or God speaking through him.

    Mary’s peace and contentment is a blessing. That you are able to be content in trying times at school is amazing.

    Thankful for the good news from Andrea about her daughter’s upcoming licensure. There are waves in our relationships no matter how close we are. Without the waves how would we know calm.

    Thankful for Julie’s prayers at a time when her situation is unsettled. Tough situations try, test our faith, that is to be expected. Even in a rose garden there are thorns. May God’s wisdom and guidance be with you , Julie.

    Prayers for Marcy and all who have serious life challenging needs. Lord, help us perfect our faith in You.

    Thank You, Lord for the wisdom, support, encouragement, and guidance You send us through fellow believers. Each helps us understand and trust out faith in You.

  • Jill Posted September 28, 2018 6:32 am

    The Cross is the ultimate chasm spanner. Christ’s arms – spread wide – welcoming all, beckoning all. Father – stretch our arms, widen our eyes to see beyond our too tiny circle. Opportunities abound, might we heed the call, Your call.
    Grateful for sharings of answered prayers here. Grateful for simple words of love for each other here, as we pray throughout the day. Prayers of safety and enjoyment while Betsy continues visiting. Prayers of resolve for Julie. Prayers for Mary’s weekend ahead – a time to replenish. Prayers of gratitude that the brief storm between Andrea and her daughter ended quickly; for nurturing of her little grandson. Prayers for Erich and Robert, as they continue to strive for a better environment for Erich’s employment. And prayers for Marcy – her noticeable absence – good to know that Our Father knows the number of hairs on her head, and loves her so deeply – may she experience it most assuredly today.
    Father – may we seek our contentment in You.

  • Julie Posted September 28, 2018 8:03 am

    Yes, there are chasms that Christians find it hard to cross. This is one reason I have stopped attending my former church. There is a group of people that would not be welcome at this church (one mentioned in the reflection) and I believe ALL should be welcomed into the church.
    Prayers for God to lead Robert and Erich where He wants to use them.
    Prayers for Jill and her family and god daughter and her family.
    Prayers for Connie and her family (and hummingbirds – may they be safe during winter).
    Prayers for Andrea and her daughter and grandson. May this season of warmth within their relationship be long lasting.
    Prayers for Mary and a weekend free of work and full of family.
    Prayers for Betsy and safe travel.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be in less pain today. I also call Chai my Stare Bear because he will stare at me when he wants to eat. He is also very vocal!!! We think he would make a good opera singer because it is hard to believe that such a loud noise can come out of such a small package. He also has remarkable lung capacity because he can wail for a very long time without taking a breath! He gets very upset when we laugh at him.
    Thank you for your prayers. I pray God has a plan to use me somewhere. I pray that He leads me to the job He wants me to have and helps me to succeed despite my difficulties.
    Prayers for all the warm and loving UR members.

  • Connie Posted September 28, 2018 8:18 am

    Love crosses all boundaries-
    with faith in God and an open heart.
    Thankful for:
    Pumpkins-I need to get one.
    The one last flower on the hanging basket. I believe there is a frost predicted this weekend.
    Our neighbors who are so kind.
    Julie, Jill, Robert and all my Reflection Friends.

  • Andrea Posted September 28, 2018 11:51 am

    “In My Father’s house are many rooms.” There are many denominations in the Christian church. Despite differences in beliefs among Christians, faith in God gives a path for transcending boundaries. The path is Jesus’ teachings, exemplified in the Beatitudes; and, “love your neighbor as yourself;” ” love one another;” and, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me; inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to Me;” We can serve and pray together no matter what our particular church affiliation is. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Might I walk more faithfully on Jesus’ path.

    I had a wonderful time with my 3 1/2 y.o. grandson yesterday afternoon while my daughter ran errands and took time for herself. I am so thankful that my daughter has not dressed my grandson in girls’ clothing for a couple of months now. I am thankful too for a fun Twins baseball game last night with my husband (which they handily won).

    Missing Marcy and praying she is gaining strength and finding alleviation of pain. Blessings and prayers for all.

    • Connie Posted September 29, 2018 8:46 am

      “Entertaining Angels Unaware”

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