X

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

Reprinted 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 truth is I don’t know much about Christian community—what makes one tick, how to break into one, how to commit to one, or why Christ considered belonging to one so essential. And I can’t figure out whom to blame: the churches I’ve walked in and out of for the past decade or me, myself, and I? Methinks it's a complex question I have raised, but I am willing to point all fingers at all the various churches whose doors I’ve graced in the past five to ten years. But that wouldn’t be completely fair—mostly true but not 100-percent fair. So let me confess a few things about myself. I have always been somewhat of a solitary figure, a moody person who gets nervous when I start to feel my personal space threatened by too many people or activities or hard-and-fast requirements like job responsibilities, paying my taxes on time, and sending Christmas cards.

—Enuma Okoro, Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community (Fresh Air Books, 2010)

Today's Question

When have you struggled to belong to a community? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
—1 Corinthians 12:26-27 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Forgive me when I am reluctant to engage as you call me to do. Surround me with a faith community that encourages and challenges me to participate in God's unfolding drama.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Do you have a story to tell? The Upper Room daily devotional guide is the only devotional guide written entirely by readers. Learn more about writing for The Upper Room here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

I am just a regular person trying to live my regular life. Except that my regular life largely includes being a Christian who doesn’t really like church or many of the people I find in church. The even trickier part is I’m also a Christian who believes that Christ calls us to live in the community of the church and to love our neighbors. So things have been kind of sticky most of my adult life. I am a well-raised, charming, highly educated young woman who can get even a mute person to tell me her or his entire life story in less than an hour. But that doesn’t mean I know about neighborliness and servanthood. It basically says I know how to work a room. Working the kingdom of God, on the other hand, is a whole other story.

—Enuma Okoro, Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community (Fresh Air Books, 2010)

Today's Question

What have you learned from your experiences with Christian community? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
—Hebrews 10:24-25 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Forgive me when I am reluctant to engage as you call me to do. Surround me with a faith community that encourages and challenges me to participate in God's unfolding drama.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Do you have a story to tell? The Upper Room daily devotional guide is the only devotional guide written entirely by readers. Learn more about writing for The Upper Room here.

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

Unless Jesus is an active agent in the world, unless Jesus is alive—unless the One we seek is seeking us—then everything about seeking beauty in Jesus rather than beauty itself, seeking justice in Jesus, and seeking truth in Jesus is just pure semantics, a pious way of continuing life as it already was. But if Jesus is alive, if the One we seek is seeking us, then we have nothing less than what the Bible calls the gospel: the good news that everything we’ve been chasing, everything we’ve ever wanted, everything we need for abundant life is found in a person, and that person is alive and at work in the world.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today's Question

What hope do you find in believing that Jesus is alive? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him.”
—Matthew 28:5-6 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Give me the patience, focus, and strength to pause, listen, and reflect on what you ask of me. What do you ask of me today?

(Follow today's prayer with a moment of silence and stillness. Focus on your breath. Repeat the words of the prayer if that helps center you.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Let your life be shaped by the Word. Discover The Upper Room Disciplines.

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

Jesus affirms a couple of our hunches about life: the centrality of relationship, the importance of justice, our responsibility to the poor, the preciousness of beauty, the value of meaning and purpose, the elusive significance of truth. Before long, we start to get a sense that Jesus is headed where we’ve wanted to go all along, and we start to follow him, trusting that he knows the best way to get there. To be sure, Jesus takes some puzzling turns along the way—moments where our nascent trust is put to the test. We may find ourselves answering even more questions: Will I find my purpose in life by laying it down for others? Does justice require me to take the short end of the stick? But, over time, our hunch becomes conviction, and bit by bit we’re willing to follow Jesus’ counterintuitive turns along the road.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today's Question

How do you trust in Jesus, even when there are puzzling turns along the way? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD is a rock for all ages.

—Isaiah 26:4 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Give me the patience, focus, and strength to pause, listen, and reflect on what you ask of me. What do you ask of me today?

(Follow today's prayer with a moment of silence and stillness. Focus on your breath. Repeat the words of the prayer if that helps center you.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Let your life be shaped by the Word. Discover The Upper Room Disciplines.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

5 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Jesus again anticipates this problem and has a secondary question ready to address it: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” From the start, Jesus recognizes what we so often fail to see: Our experience of worry ironically exposes the cause of our worry and, at the same time, its uselessness. We worry because we recognize that things we care about are fundamentally out of our control. Even the most fundamental goal of our biological existence—the extension of our life itself—is beyond our control. But the fact that the outcomes that we so desire are beyond our control demonstrates just how useless our worry is, which means that, as with material goods, getting what we want is hardly the solution to our worry.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today's Question

What worries do you need to release in the presence of Jesus? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
—Matthew 6:34 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Give me the patience, focus, and strength to pause, listen, and reflect on what you ask of me. What do you ask of me today?

(Follow today's prayer with a moment of silence and stillness. Focus on your breath. Repeat the words of the prayer if that helps center you.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Let your life be shaped by the Word. Discover The Upper Room Disciplines.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

5 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Amid a runaway sense of what ought to be “enough,” we have an opportunity to stop and think about God’s promise to provide for our necessities. We can consider the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, how God always supplies them with what they need. We can assure ourselves that God has similarly promised to supply us with what we need—and we would be right to do so. God is generous, and we can depend on God for what we need. When we live in dependence on God’s provision, we will find God extravagantly generous.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today's Question

How have you seen God generously provide for your needs? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?
—Matthew 6:26 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord,
Give me the patience, focus, and strength to pause, listen, and reflect on what you ask of me. What do you ask of me today?

(Follow today's prayer with a moment of silence and stillness. Focus on your breath. Repeat the words of the prayer if that helps center you.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Let your life be shaped by the Word. Discover The Upper Room Disciplines.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

6 Comments | Join the Conversation.