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

The legal status of guns in churches—in pockets in the pews or in the holsters of professional or volunteer security teams—varies across states and denominations and bears close and advised study by any church that is considering inviting guns into the sanctuary. The biblical status of a weapon designed long after the original writers had rested their hands likewise calls for careful, prayerful, and humble examination of the relevant texts. In sections of American culture, the gun has taken on weightier symbolism than its materials might suggest. To some, it is a smelted and cast idol; to others, an heirloom. To some, it is a uniform; to others, an accessory. To some, it is a necessary evil. To others, the phrase “necessary evil” flies in the face of the goodness of God’s creation.

—Rosalind C. Hughes, Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

When determining what you believe about guns, how does the biblical text guide you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.
—Matthew 26:55, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Lord, even though I walk through lonely and dark times, I will fear nothing, because you are with me; your guidance and authority comfort me. (Adapted from Psalm 23:4)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Help make your church a safer place for children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Join us in October for a four-part webinar series introducing Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities. 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 September 17, 2022 6:15 am

    I can’t imagine weapons of any kind in a church. Jesus said those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Use of weapons in the Old Testament occurred on battlefields. I’m not sure if anyone was killed in a synagogue or the tabernacle. I hope there are ways that prevent or effectively deter weapons from being brought to or into a church.
    I am in hopes of returning to NEM later today to read posts and stay connected. A blessed weekend to ALL the NEM family. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted September 17, 2022 8:26 am

    I have not given this any thought prior to this question. But as I am living in the city where a gunman entered a synagogue and killed many people gathered there to pray I have mixed feelings about guns and churches.
    This is the day the junk removal people will be emptying out the storage unit and our basement and if space still available in the truck the shed. Will be a stess filled day due to h not being willing to part with “my stuff.”
    Prayers for all who come to the NEM for wise words and fellowship.

  • Jill Posted September 17, 2022 5:50 pm

    I was intrigued to find out that there were several people per service carrying a gun at the large church I used to attend. My dad said the same is true for his church. Unfortunately, in this day and age, I don’t think we can be too careful. And naivete can be dangerous. This has leaked into the classrooms as some districts in my state are permitting faculty to have a gun at their desk. I would be incredibly uncomfortable with this.
    It was a lovely Fall day for dad and I to golf. Play was slow, but with nothing else to do – it was pleasant to just be outdoors, spending the time together. He gets so frustrated with how he plays – I don’t know how much he enjoys it.
    Tennis last night was enjoyable – due largely to the fact that I did not experience any tightness or discomfort during the match. The last time that happened was July 20. My partner and I also won, a bonus. She and I usually don’t play together – but it was very enjoyable. I feel our games complement each other well.

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