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

Sometimes an escape into the church for shelter or sanctuary is valid; it may provide relationships and a place where we can leave behind, even if only temporarily, the trials of daily living. Or we may find an answer to a specific problem in prayer or find closer communion with God. This kind of embrace of the church in times of trouble differs greatly from escaping the world, looking for a place to hide. Faith is not an escape!

—John R. Wimmer, Blessed Endurance: Moving Beyond Despair to Hope (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

When have you experienced the “embrace of the church in times of trouble”? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
—Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Healing God, when we feel alone, hurt, or misunderstood, assure us of your presence and companionship as you guide us toward a more abundant life. Amen. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

“Hymns embed faith into the marrow of the soul,” Rev. Dr. James C. Howell writes in Unrevealed Until Its Season: A Lenten Journey with Hymns. Howell believes in the power of song to teach spiritual truths. His newest book takes us on a 40-day journey through well-loved hymns. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2022 5:46 am

    The “embrace “ of the church was its most thorough the day SooOk passed away. Within a very short time the leader of her small group was at the house and prayed over her, then other members of the small group came and stayed,, the pastor’s wife came and lead a meeting. and the pastor came to help with arrangements. It was very helpful. The memorial services for my Mom and my Dad were also very helpful, very focused on each of them in very personal ways. People who attended knew my parents and that showed.
    Progress yesterday preparing the messages. I’m writing ,, more to do today .. Thankful for help with the message from the worship series we are using.
    Prayers for ALL of you. Safety, well-being, needs met,concerns addressed, problems solved, blessings received, thanks given are all parts of my prayer for you. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted January 26, 2022 8:28 am

    When I began attending church again I felt embraced and welcomed.
    Currently waiting on hold to schedule an upper GI test. I already scheduled an ultrasound. The doctor thinks I need my gallbladder removed. I wish they had done all of this while I was in the hospital. It would have been so much easier.
    Prayers for Ally and David and Jeremy and Roger for improved health. Prayers for Jill’s safety in school. Prayers for Robert as he continues to prepare his message for this Sunday.
    Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Ally Posted January 26, 2022 12:20 pm

    I can think of numerous times my church families have been Christ to me in difficult times. I am thankful for each and every one. You, my NEM friends have embraced me through some of the toughest of times. I thank God Gor each of you and our God, who gives grace upon grace. Praying for the cause of democracy and for peace and justice. Blessings to all.

  • Jill Posted January 26, 2022 3:41 pm

    When I came to my current church in September of 2017 – I was embraced immediately by my small group. As I opened up and told my story, they loved me all the more. Then, months later when dad became sick and mom had her surgery and diagnosis – they were a steady comfort to me in various tangible ways. They were Christ’s hands and feet, here on earth – holding me, encouraging me, supporting me.
    Beautiful to see the sunshine here on a very frigid day. There is a wind chill advisory out for overnight and into the morning. Teachers, and likely students too, are hopeful to get a wind chill day. Of course, I fall prey to this as well and will watch the weather non stop the next few hours. Will also be watching my god daughter’s basketball game live streamed and it should finish up just in time for my small group Bible study this evening. I am grateful to be home, warm and in for the evening.

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