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

That is the challenge Jesus brings: to view community and kinship in ways that turn long-standing traditions of relationship upside down. It is the challenge to experience community and kinship with those unrelated by blood, with those unrelated by commonalities of political persuasion or gender attractions or economic status. It is the challenge to affirm that community in Christ is founded solely on the grace of our being named by Jesus as brother and sister and mother, and our ensuing call to do the will of God as done by Jesus.

—John Indermark, Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus, A Lenten Study (Upper Room Books, 2008)

Today’s Question

How does Jesus challenge you to view community and kinship in new ways? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
—Mark 3:34-35 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, challenge me today to see the world as you see it. Challenge me to seek your way and to not settle for what might be the norm.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

At times, life seems like a jumble of loose ends, but God sees from another perspective—weaving a tapestry of life and redemption for the whole world, with each person’s story as part of that narrative. Discover God Was with Me All Along: A Guide for Capturing Your Memories and Telling Your Story, new from Upper Room Books.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Lou Posted February 23, 2021 8:21 am

    Because I live 7 hours from my family of origin I have been privileged to build a family in my community of friends – church friends and kids school friends alike – friends that I have had for 30 years- they are the non blood family that God has blessed me with. I’ve had to rely on them more than my blood relations at times. My moms church group is the group that helped me pack up the kids child hood home during a difficult time- I like to tell those friends that that was the only move in my life that nothing was broken because of their careful loving packing. God has blessed me with wonderful blood and non blood family!
    Wonderful to hear from BJ and April- thank you for your uplifting post April and for your kind prayers.
    Prayers for all today- especially for Robert. We miss his steadfast presence here and pray for his health and safety.
    Prayers for all of the UR faithful- God be with you all today and everyday – you are family that God has blessed me with too!
    Thankful that the sun is shining, thankful that the icicles are falling and the snow is slowly melting and with the exception of one small spot my leaky basement has been dry!!!!! Thank your for your prayers- a bigger melt will begin today as the temps reach 40! A heat wave for Chicago. Prayers for everyone in the Midwest and in Texas dealing with the weather crises. Thankful for continued dropping rates and vaccinations occurring in this pandemic. Thankful for teachers who are struggling now with the challenges of hybrid learning here in my town and elsewhere. Thankful for my family – related or not. God has surely blessed me.

  • Julie Posted February 23, 2021 8:32 am

    By bringing me to this site, God has shown me the love of, and offered me the opportunity to love, others I have never met. We pray together and fret for those missing and offer words as well as actions of solace and aid.
    Prayers for Lou, may her basement remain dry during the “larger melt”.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may David have a correct diagnosis and effective treatment and pain relief. May Ally be sustained through the many trials she faces.
    Prayers for April and thank you for your wonderfule insights and songs.
    Prayers for Jill and her students as theyy trasition to in person learning. May they be patient with one another.
    Prayers for BJ and her mother, may they be safe and well and so glad to here from her especially knowing they live in the south.
    Prayers for Robert, may he be safe and well and may he comment soon.
    Megan took the black cat to the vet during the night. He apparently suffers from extreme nerves and this affects his ability to urinate. Yesterday was an especially trying day with h screaming almost nonstop and saying some very nasty words. This obviously stressed the cat beyond anything before and it became physical.

  • Ally Posted February 23, 2021 12:35 pm

    Morning, good to be with you today. I’m not sure exactly how God is challenging my view of community. I am very close to my immediate family and several other family members. As I pondered the question, it came to me that in the family of God (I realize this is not that original, but I know there are others in similar positions), we often have differences to overcome. There are many examples in the Bible of Jesus’ disciples, apostles, and members of the early church who had differences of opinion based upon theology and other things. Paul encouraged members of the7 churches and of the churches to whom he addressed his letters to be one in Christ and work together and be family despite those differences. It is hard. Paul himself had a major rift with Bananas over whether Mark would accompany their second missionary journey. It is thought the 2 men never spoke again. Today I ask the Lord to help me put on love and not love despite differences.
    David’s fall was a week ago today. We have not been back to ER and he has seen a little improvement in pain and mobility. I re-read the instructions from his ER visit. His injury can take 4-5 weeks to heal and may take longer. Usual timeline for improvement is at least a week. He’s been sitting in his wheelchair because its easier for him to get up and down with aid of his walker. His feet and legs are swelling some but seem better today. He has a regular Dr appointment on Thursday, so we can address everything. Dr has ordered physical therapy. We are going to ask if some home health aid can be ordered to help me get him a bath. I’m scared he will fall.
    Lou, family is definitely more than blood. My sweet “daughter” is coming tomorrow to help me clean. I’m thankful your weather is improving. Julie, many prayers for your kitty. I pray for you and Megan: for your safety and the process of divorce. May you receive justice. Praying as you seek God regarding your next steps. I was a “lurker” here for several year before I commented. I Have appreciated Robert’s insight and wisdom. I pray he is ok and we hear from him soon. Praying for all impacted by the winter weather and that things improve soon. Lifting up those who lost loved ones. Praising God that distribution of vaccine seems to be improving and positive cases are going down. Thanks to all who have prayed for David and me. Love and blessings to all!

  • Ally Posted February 23, 2021 12:40 pm

    Autocorrect and predictive text can be frustrating. In my comment I typed Barnabas and it was “corrected” to “Bananas”. It is bananas.

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