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

Note: This week’s New Every Morning follows the format of our featured title, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, which addresses issues of social justice through a compilation of reflections and call-and-response prayers known as litanies.

Telling the truth about pain includes those moments when our bodies cry out in protest against death and violence and the agony we cannot prevent from unfolding. Telling the truth about pain includes the heartbreak of silence and isolation, when the shame of fear and the fear of shame drive us into a corner, far away from the reminders of peace and joy, far away from the embrace of acceptance and wonder, far away and abandoned to chaos. Telling the truth about pain is a hard, honest, mind-body-spirit exploration of the landscapes in which God with us and God for us find their meaning: the ashes that might be replaced by a garland, the mourning that might know dancing again, the parched tongue that might find its voice for praise.

—Rachel G. Hackenberg, “When Holy Days Are Hurting Days: Christmas Litany Amid Wars and Rumors of War & Easter Litany for Long Nights of the Soul,” in Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, edited and compiled by Britney Winn Lee (Fresh Air Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

How might you tell the truth about pain today in the presence of God or a loved one?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

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

Today’s Litany

VOICE ONE: Sometimes pain becomes familiar and love a distant memory.
VOICE TWO: Tears and bandages are good news when all else is taken away.
ALL: Come, bring the spices and oils.

VOICE ONE: Come, bring the spices and oils,
VOICE TWO: And now lay down these preparations for death.
ALL: Feel the dawn on your face and your skin.

VOICE ONE: Take your time. Resurrection doesn’t rush.
VOICE TWO: Christ is here, calling you by name.
ALL: Peace be with you. Peace be with you. Amen.

—Rachel G. Hackenberg, “When Holy Days Are Hurting Days: Easter Litany for Long Nights of the Soul”
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Meet Jesus at the intersection of faith and justice with our new Lenten resource. In Where We Meet, a collective of writers and activists invite you to immerse yourself in the stories of Jesus and the early church throughout the Lenten season. Learn more and download a free sample here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

1 Comment

  • Jill Posted January 14, 2024 3:57 pm

    Not everyone can handle the truth about pain, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. I have been so fortunate to have my tennis friend beside me and me beside her as we have endured pain for over a year now, and have each had surgery in the past few months. We played in pain, we comforted in pain, we are now healing with pain. I see God’s hand in this, just as I can see it clearly in other instances of my life. I can speak to my best friend about any pain I am experiencing and she will listen well. It is a two way street. What I absolutely treasure is my spiritual director – who goes “there” with me, wherever there might be each time we meet. And, my Heavenly Father – each morning – meets me where I am . At times it is quite desperate – and He tenderly enfolds me.
    I choose not to speak with dad or my sister about my pain. Neither would elicit a response that would be helpful to me.
    Very bitter here, wind chill advisories. Too cold to take walks and voracious winds. I picked up my friend and we went to my sister’s place – there is a workout room for their neighborhood. We used the treadmills yesterday and then went to her son’s basketball game. Today, we met there again and then hit a grocery store together. She has come a long way from one week ago – in that ER, unable to support herself. She may go back to work, at least 1/2 day on Tuesday. It is good to see her gaining confidence.
    Church was lovely this morning. All aspects – just right. Settling in for some football this evening while doing schoolwork. Tennis “down under” is also on if the football isn’t interesting.

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