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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

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

Sometimes the news headlines about the church seem so bad it’s hard to believe the church is really Christ’s body. But the church can be Christ for the world even in its brokenness. We can be Christ for one another and the world by the way we bear with one another, being patient with people who annoy us and forgiving those who wrong us. The very gift of offering forgiveness lies at the heart of God’s mission for the church. With a word, act, or gesture of forgiveness, we make tangible Christ’s grace for another.

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

What do you think about the idea that "offering forgiveness lies at the heart of God’s mission for the church"? Why is forgiveness so important? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
—prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

0 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Even if you are the one behind the altar, wearing the robes and waving your arms, the one who says the prayers and lifts and breaks the bread, it’s amazing how easily you can forget the powerful simplicity of what’s going on here: God is keeping God’s promise to show up, offering God’s self to us in Jesus, to give us life by pulling us into the story of God’s life. Preoccupation with saying the words right, with lifting the loaf high enough, or adjusting your stole can distract from the simple heart of this sacrament.

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

When have you felt God's presence during Communion? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

After taking the bread and giving thanks, [Jesus] broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
—Luke 22:19 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
—prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

The way of silence that has influenced me is the way that involves choosing a prayer word, a short word of significance to you that expresses or symbolizes your desire to be with God. The word I use is Jesus. . . . Don’t get hung up on choosing the right word. There isn’t a right word. Pick one and stick with it.

And then, sitting comfortably in the silence, slowly repeat the word to yourself, half of the word on the in-breath, half on the outbreath. Give this word your attention as best you can. Without trying too hard, simply pay attention to the word as you say it silently in your mind.

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

How often does silence help you meet God? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations;
I am exalted in the earth.”
—Psalm 46:10 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
—prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Like most of us, I have lived Christian history’s ambivalence about our bodies; I have felt alien to my own body. But I began to see in that group of people at the retreat—old and young together, standing and moving freely, offering their bodies to God as a “living sacrifice” as Paul tells us to do (Rom. 12:1)—that our bodies are a gift through which we can learn from Jesus. . . . With our bodies we pass the peace; we sing; we eat the bread and drink from the cup. Our bodies let us rest on the sabbath and offer a cup of cold water in Christ’s name. We live our faith through our bodies.

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

How important to you are body gestures such as bowing the head, making the sign of the cross, or kneeling? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, on the basis of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship.
—Romans 12:1 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
—prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

The Psalms are the prayers of God’s people... Christians, from the beginning, have seen in the Psalms signposts pointing to the life of Jesus. The Gospel writers refer to the Psalms often to make sense of Jesus’ own life, and today we use the Psalms throughout the church year to point us to events in his life. . . . The Psalms point forward to Jesus; Jesus fulfills the Psalms. Through the Psalms, Jesus can be our Teacher.

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

What verses from the Psalms have you hidden in your heart (memorized)? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
—Psalm 100:3 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

0 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

In Christian monasteries over the last fifteen hundred years, a way of reading scripture developed that goes by the Latin name lectio divina—which means “sacred reading.” This approach to reading scripture affirms scripture as more than historical detail, moral advice, or raw material for Christian doctrine. In reading scripture we encounter a person—Jesus. So we read slowly. We reread several times. We linger over words or phrases that stick out to us—that console or challenge us. We pause and ask ourselves, “What is God saying to me through these words that have touched me?”

—L. Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today's Question

Pick a passage from one of the Gospels and spend fifteen minutes with it. Read it slowly. Savor. Pause. Don’t worry about doing it right or figuring it out, just read. What do you notice? [question from What We Need Is Here by L. Roger Owens] Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

[Jesus said,] “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
—Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray;
to see thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.
—prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester, England, 13th century
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join The Academy for Spiritual Formation for a transformative hybrid experience that will empower you to live a more integrated life of peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Spirituality in Practice and how you can apply today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

1 Comments | Join the Conversation.