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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.

 

Today’s Reflection

Saints have spoken of the “dark night” [of the soul] as a container of holy transformation, a process much broader and richer than a bout with sad feelings. Just as the darkness of the cocoon serves to incubate the growth of the butterfly, so we can use the tough times as rich soil for the growing of our souls. Though we may have to gulp hard to express gratitude for such painful periods, through grace we can be grateful in them, trusting that the holy dark serves as a cocoon rather than a coffin.

—Linda Douty, Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

How could viewing the “dark night” as a cocoon change your perspective during difficult circumstances? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
—Romans 8:28 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for sun and showers
Thank you for each lovely flower
Thank you for each stately tree
Through all these, you speak to me.
—A Gardener’s Prayer
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Through rich and moving stories from various people, author Frank Rogers Jr. shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Start practicing compassion with Rogers.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments

  • robert moeller Posted July 10, 2020 7:03 am

    The concept of a “dark night” being a cocoon is a positive. As a New Englander I’s compare a “dark night” to winter, things may look dead and bleak but the promise of spring is there. Jesus said unless the grains of wheat die there will be no harvest. A phoenix, the symbol of Seoul, Korea, a city that has recovered many times from ruin, is also a reminder that tough times help bring new life. There can be no separation from the love of God, nothing can cause it. That’s a positive and a truth.

    ZOOM breakfast with the pastor in about 30 minutes. A very positive weekly meeting, now on ZOOM, earlier in person.

    Continued prayers for health, recovery, wisdom, sound decisions, well-being, safety, and the love, grace, and mercy of God to all. Here it will be the 15th ZOOM worship on Sunday. Thank You, Lord.

  • Martin Armstrong Posted July 10, 2020 8:16 am

    Holy darkness may simply clarify who and what we should depend on for all of life once the Light returns.

  • Julie Posted July 10, 2020 8:47 am

    I am in a very dark spot and it has grown darker still as h is at a lawyer right now seeking a divorce. He has done this before and not followed through. Financially, this would be devastating. I have already spoken to my lawyer and she has reassured me that nothing on his list of grievances is anything but petty whining. But of course I am still stressed.
    Prayers for Robert and his church as they are doing the right thing to keep people safe. May they feel a connection through ZOOM and their shared caution.
    Prayers, thank you and stay safe dear UR one and all

  • Ally Posted July 10, 2020 11:42 am

    I have asked God many times over the last year or so, “Lord, what are you doing????” It seems that the “dark night of the soul” is when God does major surgery. I must admit that I want to ask the Lord is maybe, just maybe, I am refined enough? Christian artist JJ Heller has a song in which the chorus goes, “ I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know Who You are”. I will emerge from the cocoon a beautiful butterfly. But I’m not ready yet. Then God will use my experiences to comfort and edify others.
    The church where I’m pianist plans to open up this weekend. In order to be allowed back, I had to get tested, even though my exposure was months ago. So I did. Test showed that I had antibodies. This is no surprise. I’m not sure how to convey to our elderly parishioners that I am not contagious and have not been for a long while. I have some decisions to make regarding this position. I want to proceed prayer and do what God wants, not what my emotions dictate. I ask for your prayers. Prayers for David as well, as he has intimated that he has reservations about going back.
    Thank you Robert, for your wisdom and analogy of the darkness to winter and the promise of spring. Martin, thank you for the phrase “holy darkness” . It is a fitting description for the cocoon in which God makes us over. Julie, I pray for a just resolution to your situation with h. Also praying that you can find healthy ways to manage the stress. Sending a hug. Lifting up our regulars and praying all is well. I pray everyone stays safe and feels the Lord’s presence today. Blessings.

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