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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

IN THIS RELATIONAL WORLD of difference, God’s love is at work for right relations and a culture of justpeace. God’s goal for all creation is shalom—well-being and right relations—with God, with neighbor, and with oneself. This is experienced in the reconciling acts of God. In Jesus, we see God is present in our world, suffers with all creation on the cross, and breaks the grip of the principalities and powers through the word of forgiveness on the cross. In the resurrection, we find victory over death and a new creation. Receiving this power-filled gift, we can do likewise, experiencing the spirit and the energy to reconcile with the neighbor as well as ourselves.

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

Today’s Question

How can you participate with God in acts of reconciliation? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
—2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NRSV)

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.

6 Comments

  • Jill Posted January 16, 2020 3:56 am

    A humble heart which recognizes that “I am the least of these”…knowing my own desperate need of forgiveness – this allows space and grace for others and their struggles. Attempting to grasp the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice through suffering, what that separation meant for Him and His Father – might heart must be soft and reconciliation an emphasis when considering strained relationships.
    I am beginning anew – making more of an effort to reach out to my sister. And when I see she is calling me – a quick prayer to God – for compassion and patience, and to be engaged in the conversation.
    My granddaughter, surprisingly, returned to action last night. She does not have her full mobility back, but with her ankle taped and an ankle brace over it – she got “back in the game”. It was a good thing as it was a tightly contested game, with her team prevailing. I believe they are now 12-1, maybe 13-1. They are tied for first place in their league. It is an absolute JOY, watching her love for the game, her leadership with her team.
    Prayers here for those struggling, physically, emotionally, relationally. May He comfort you as He brings healing in His time.

  • Gail Posted January 16, 2020 6:38 am

    A good idea,, to reach out to another.

  • robert moeller Posted January 16, 2020 6:46 am

    While I have more to learn about the proposals the UMC will consider at the upcoming general conference I am hopeful that a protocol reached by a diverse group of UMC members will be added to the proposals and seriously considered. It is evidence that a diverse group can agree on a plan and members can give it their full support.

    I am hopeful that the current atmosphere in the New England Conference will continue, it offers great reconciliation to the LGBT community and makes an all inclusive church. That is one area of reconciliation for me.

    Another is being reconciled with my son. I sense that is underway, but not yet complete.

    Thankful for Jill’s efforts with her sister, and thankful her granddaughter has been able to return to
    basketball.

    “Prayers here for those struggling, physically, emotionally, relationally. May He comfort you as He brings healing in His time.

    “Prayers here for those struggling, physically, emotionally, relationally. May He comfort you as He brings healing in His time.” Yes, Lord, I pray this for all people. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted January 16, 2020 8:24 am

    I thought it was just age and maturity, but as I comtemplated the question, I realized that my Bible reading, daily prayers and the tuteledge of this wonderful group have resulted in my ability to reconcile my relationships. If Megan speaks sparply to me, I tend to “turn the other cheek.” I am better able to forgive momentary barbs and even the habitual surliness of my mother. Mostly I realize that it is often the manner they use to defuse their own angst and it has nothing to do with me.
    Prayers for April, Connie and Betsy.
    Good to see a post from BJ, prayers for you dear friend.
    Prayer for Jill and good to hear about your goddaughter’s quick recovery and her team’s success. Prayers for continued healing for her ankle and continued wins.
    Prayers for Gail and welcome.
    Prayers for Robert and I echo your hopes for the UMC, may they choose the path of inclusion. I believe this is the best for the church and they will not regret being accepting of all God’s children.
    Prayers for Andrea and her daughter, may they find common ground.
    Prayers for Lou, may her heart heal.
    Prayers for Mary, I pray she is on her mission trip. Prayers for Marcy, may she receive her government aid soon.
    Prayers for Rick. May the chaos of the new semester be calmed soon and may he thrive and succeed.
    Prayers and thank you UR

  • Andrea Posted January 16, 2020 1:35 pm

    Thank you, Julie. What you say about you and Meghan is helpful. The barbs and surliness are about their angst. You have much wisdom. God bless you and keep you safe.

  • April Posted January 16, 2020 9:25 pm

    Oh UR Family, how good to read your posts!! I have been away and praying for everyone although not posting. Yesterday I tried but was unsuccessful. I will try again today. Seems the questions for both yesterday and today
    How can you participate with God in acts of reconciliation?
    What helps you connect with God and neighbor?
    have the same answer for me: want to work with others to connect and reconcile. Yes, if I want to do something, I put effort and time into this, for they will not happen on their own nor without my input.
    The other day I read all of my December 25th readings. The one I remember best talked about all the glistening gifts under the tree that we give to others, but the best gifts we can give are the fruits of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self-control, etc. I said to myself, if you want to do this, you can… and so I tried. I am sad to say that my day kept getting worse and worse until finally I just took it all to Jesus and asked for forgiveness and help. He has given me another chance!! Lesson learned: with God’s help and my desire I can do these things, not by myself.
    So now my answer to the questions has moved from what I want, to what I want plus God’s help. And you know what? When I ask for wisdom and include God in my plans, I see progress forward. I pray that this year I might see more progress as you all are too. May we lift each other up and encourage each other and then praise God from whom all Blessings flow. Happy New Year!!

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