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

Lent is a season focused on the body, a time of reflecting on the ways God shows up in human flesh, especially in the person of Jesus. But even in a religious tradition that is based on God taking on human flesh, so many of us use Lent as a time to deny our bodies. We give up sweets or meat with a secret hope of losing weight. We take on fitness challenges, claiming the guise of spiritual discipline while in our hearts hoping to work our bodies into submission. This book means to challenge that mentality. It says yes to the body and to the spirit, claiming that there is no way to separate them to begin with. We are word and flesh.

—Anne Cummings, My Body Is Good: Giving Up Diet Culture and Embracing Body Positivity for Lent (Upper Room Books, 2022)

Today’s Question

What does it mean to you that you are created in God’s image? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,[
—Genesis 1:27 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God of new beginnings, help me to
acknowledge, perhaps for the first time,
the beliefs about my body that I have
held for so long. Guide me in sorting
which beliefs are helpful and which are
harmful. Lead me back to you and
to this body that you called good. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us on March 18, 2023, for an online Academy Day Apart retreat, where we will focus on the spiritual practices of silence and contemplation as we journey intentionally through this Lenten season. We will be guided by Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes, authors of Psalms for Black Lives. In our time together during this retreat, Gabby and Andrew will help us engage the Psalms to create a laboratory of justice imagination. Learn more and register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Ash Wednesday

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


  • Ally Posted February 22, 2023 12:31 pm

    I suppose it can be true for men as well, but women have been subjected to subtle and not so subtle messages about our bodies. We are so conditioned as women to believe that certain types of bodies are the ideal. Creation in God’s image means we are like God, in that we see in ourselves, the image of God. We see with God’s eyes and see ourselves as God sees us. God sees us as beautiful. I admit it is hard to accept that I am beautiful and precious in God’s sight.
    It is a sad day, as we said goodbye to our little Scout Finch yesterday. She declined so quickly yesterday. Our wonderful vet helped her pass peacefully and was so sweet. This is the first day in 17 years without my Scout. I’m heartbroken, but thankful for her peaceful passing and that she is no longer in pain. It seems her sweet little presence is still here in our home. Her physical body may have given out, but her spirit was strong. I sang to her as she went, Love Is Here To Stay by the Gershwins. Her body may no longer be with us, but her love is. Thanks to my NEM friends for your prayers over the last 3 years. We are praying for better days. Blessings to all.

  • robert moeller Posted February 22, 2023 1:00 pm

    “Creation in God’s image means we are like God, in that we see in ourselves, the image of God. We see with God’s eyes and see ourselves as God sees us. God sees us as beautiful.” Well said, Ally!
    When we see as God sees we are all beautiful! Thank You, Lord.
    Have two pairs of friends now who recently lost pets, Russ and Jeanne, Ally & David. When we were in VT we lost Isis. It’s always tough. Thankfully in all these cases I’m quite certain that the pets were well loved and cared for. Not to forget Jill lost Roger not so long ago.
    40 Days with the Messiah, Handel’s oratorio, Scripture, and reflections has begun. To the Lutheran church for Ash Wednesday tonight. Haven’t been in a Lutheran church since travels to Germany around Easter in 2010.
    Expecting, hoping for, 6-12″ of snow beginning around 7 pm and lasting until 7 pm on Thursday.
    Blessings to all in this season of Lent.

  • Jill Posted February 22, 2023 5:32 pm

    Created in His image is a high calling to us. This was His choice, His desire – that we be His image bearers. May I not take this lightly, accepting the characteristics He has given me. Also, I think a component of this is not over-burdening ourselves – but taking on His yoke. We are spiritual beings first, living that out physically. Thank You, Father.
    Ally – deepest sympathy on Miss Scout. My heart aches for you, as the wound is still fresh from my Roger. The deep cut speaks to the love that went both ways. How they nestle to the innermost part of our heart and home.
    My two little ones greeted me when I arrived home – and they continue to be a great joy, for which I am grateful. I saw the orthopedic specialist yesterday and he had a different take on my MRI than the radiologist. He thinks there may be a tear in my hamstring. So – I will have an ultrasound in three weeks. If there is a tear, laparoscopic surgical repair is his specialty. Similar to rotator cuff repair. The recovery looks daunting, but I have hope that there finally might be a correct diagnosis and path forward. He, also, did not ask me to cease my physical activity – so will play on for three more weeks.
    Time with Dad, Becky and Don was good. We made the most of the almost 4 days together. As it looks now, I will not be going down for spring break – as tickets are very high and dad would be home for the summer just 3 days later.

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