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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

 

Today’s Reflection

WE ARE WHO WE ARE because of our relationships. We know and feel how important relationships are to us, because there is nothing more painful to us than a strained or broken relationship, except the death of a loved one. Our theological worldview is deeply relational and, for Christians, our relationships are not limited by boundaries of nation-states or tribes, or any other walls. All our boundaries are trumped by our baptism into this relationship with God and neighbor.

—Thomas Porter, The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of Justpeace (Upper Room Books, 2010)

Today’s Question

What helps you connect with God and neighbor? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
—Ephesians 4:4-6 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love.
(From the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

We Are the Church… Let’s Act Like It. Journey with Linda Pevey as she discusses practical and biblical ways today’s church can truly be a transformative presence in the world. Learn more about this small group study on the book of Acts.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

8 Comments

  • Jill Posted January 15, 2020 3:33 am

    I am blessed to have a few deep relationships. They sustain me and are a gift from God. What makes them work is a commitment – a commitment of time, a commitment to truth, a commitment to vulnerability. In the past few years I have also formed relationships where I can easily sink in to a deep, vulnerable conversation, while not having that daily or frequent contact. These, too, are treasures and have formed out of my small group Bible studies. The initial premise was good listening, transparency and a love of Christ. God has been very gracious in this area.
    Attended my god son’s basketball game last evening – it had been since before the holidays since I last caught a game of his. Good to watch him enjoy himself on the court. And good to see his mom – my deepest, truest friend.
    School seems quite busy – so grateful for a four day weekend ahead.
    The relationships formed here are blessings as well. The faithfulness and prayerfulness, as well as the honesty – are all encouragements. Thank You Upper Room for providing this space.

  • Joyce Kaiser Posted January 15, 2020 6:44 am

    Hymn words…. “Blessed assurance, jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. (refrain) This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long; this is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long.” Fanny Crosby (definite favorite of mine) wrote the words to this hymn with salvation in mind. I feel blessed, as Jill, to have a few deep relationships….I praise God for each one, and Thank Him for my ‘relationship’ with Him. I use the hymns quite a bit because I play both piano and organ plus grew up in the day of ‘deep religion with hymns.’ Thanks

  • robert moeller Posted January 15, 2020 6:45 am

    Today’s topic is a difficult one for me. The friend who knows me best is Jesus. I have acquaintances, some daily on line friends, the wonderful UR family, but no deep, long lasting, can always count on them friends. Have lived my whole life this way. I don’t feel the worst for it.

    I am most grateful for the UR family, there is a special connection to you. As Julie once noted, this is an oasis in a troubled world. There’s lots of support here. Thank You, Lord.

  • Andrea Posted January 15, 2020 7:19 am

    Thank you, Julie, for your prayers. I too am so grateful for UR prayer friends. I am grateful to read Jill’s biopsy was negative. Robert, I continue to pray for you and Erich, and I hope you are feeling better and better.

    Close relationships can be difficult when one bumps into family of origin issues, particularly when the family of origin was chaotic and dysfunctional. Communication, trust, acceptance, and forgiveness can be difficult at times. This is timely for me because yesterday, out of the blue, my daughter slammed me for something she accuses me of and won’t accept my explanation that it didn’t happen. I am not allowed to have a voice. When this kind of conflict arises with her, I become deeply worried about her as well as deeply offended and wounded. I ask for your prayers for her, for me, for this conflict.

    Prayers for all UR friends and visitors. May you all have a blessed day.

  • Julie Posted January 15, 2020 8:39 am

    All my life I had one very close friend, but since I moved I have been unable to find anyone. I live in the Pittsburgh area and the people here tend to have grown up here. They have friends and family that are well established and seek no more. I have heard and read that we are a very lonely people now and I believe this.
    I am so very thankful that Megan and I share such a close relationship. I pray for both Robert and Andrea and for the special pain of being at odds with ones children.
    I also agree with Robert and Jill that this special group is more than just fellow commentors but people I call friends.
    Prayers for Andrea and her daughter and grandson, may all remain close while having disagreements.
    Prayers for Joyce and her wonderful ability with music. You are blessed.
    Prayers for Robert as he continues his dental work and may his church volunteer work bear much fruit.
    Prayers for Jill and her close relationships with several dear friends. Prayers for her godson and his basketball team.
    Prayers for April, BJ, Betsy, Lou, Mary, Marcy and Rick.
    Prayers and thank you UR, both those that visit here and those that have created this wonderful space

    • Bj Posted January 15, 2020 8:56 am

      Blessings to you, Julie. We are yet on the land of living with the help of our Loed and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the 15th day of this new year, some has grown very weary or deceased.

  • Bj Posted January 15, 2020 8:51 am

    God is for us! Thank You, Lord. Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”(KVJ) Day by day our times are in Jesus’ hand. I must admit, the spirit is with this group. May we continue to lift up one another through praying. May all have a blessed day. For some odd reason readon to me, is this writing is so small and want let me see bigger prints in these posts. Still having problems submitting.

  • Rick Posted January 16, 2020 2:08 am

    I have had a busy and stressed week. So much going on. I have been reading the posts and have appreciated all the posts this week. So much vulnerability and honesty, as well as hope and strength here.

    What helps me connect with God and neighbor? As Jill stated, venerability and commitment as well as respecting and having boundaries. I have found much strength in my home group and working with others. I also attend workshops and small group bible studies in faith and spiritual growth. I’ve been blessed with a few life long friends and especially my Scott.

    This week has had its challenges with school, classes being dropped and scrambling to find alternate ones to work with my class schedule. I’ve not had a lot of energy and feel like I fighting a bug… It’s been hard to focus and meditate. Scott found out Friday that we may have to move to Dallas by September. I admit i don’t always like change and i want to fight and resist it. I know that i need to let go and let God. I’m thankful for all my Blessings.

    keeping you all in my thoughts and Prayers as Julie so beautifully posted.

    Blessing,

    Rick

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