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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

When we fail to observe this God-given gift of sabbath time, we have embezzled our own lives. The cost, in turn, is devastating. We fritter away our time, stealing from ourselves the gifts of meaning, awakening, and deepening our relationship with the Divine and others. Heschel writes that the self that emerges from a day of sabbath is a changed one. Sabbath should be the one-seventh of our lives that shapes the remaining six-sevenths.

—J. Dana Trent, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

How often do you permit yourself to really rest on the sabbath?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
—Exodus 20:11 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, help me find freedom in the gift of sabbath. Guide me to build regular sabbath time into my life. Amen.
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Something More

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Lectionary Readings

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Today's Reflection

For Thurman, all things connect as part of one another. Despite our differences, our common humanity as children of God unites us with one another and the nonhuman world. . . .

We can see God in the face of a stranger or refugee. We can find God’s presence in the realm of nature. We can hear the cries of the poor and listen to the pain of vanishing species. All life is connected.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

Who or what makes you feel connected to God?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together.
—Ephesians 4:2-3 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God who guides us in the quest for justice, awaken my heart to growing edges in my life and in the healing of the world. Amen.
—Prayer excerpted from Bruce G. Epperly, “Prayer of Awareness and Transformation,” The Mystic in You
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Lectionary Readings

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Today's Reflection

One might describe Howard Thurman as a nature mystic. To nature mystics like Thurman, divinity fills the world. Grace courses through your cells and soul, through summer breezes on hot August days, in the chirping of cicadas, and in the sap of oak trees. . . .  All things find their origins and goal in the Spirit breathing through all things.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

What sights and sounds in nature help you sense the presence of God?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
—Psalm 19:1 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God who guides us in the quest for justice, awaken my heart to growing edges in my life and in the healing of the world. Amen.
—Prayer excerpted from Bruce G. Epperly, “Prayer of Awareness and Transformation,” The Mystic in You
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This Independence Day, give back to our servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

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

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Today's Reflection

Only a deep relationship with a cosmic and personal God can deliver us from self-hatred and hatred of our oppressors and inspire us to meet hatred with love. Thurman’s prophetic spirituality, in its joining of contemplation and action, the inner and outer journeys, and spirituality and justice-seeking, shaped a whole generation of prophetic voices. Martin Luther King Jr. often carried Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited in his briefcase and no doubt was inspired by its politics of love.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

What modern prophets inspire you to join contemplation with action in seeking justice?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.
—Psalm 37:28 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God who guides us in the quest for justice, awaken my heart to growing edges in my life and in the healing of the world. Amen.
—Prayer excerpted from Bruce G. Epperly, “Prayer of Awareness and Transformation,” The Mystic in You
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This Independence Day, give back to our servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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Today's Reflection

Thurman knew what it was like to have his back against the wall. He also knew what it was like to discover in these moments that Jesus had his back. . . . His book Jesus and the Disinherited joins mysticism and social transformation. Thurman shows the spiritual stature of Jesus, a poor, oppressed Jew, at the mercy of oppressors and subject to racism and humiliation at every turn. Like today’s young African American men, Jesus is always at the mercy of the authorities. Yet, Jesus teaches a pathway of love. His God-awareness enables him to proclaim his dignity despite the daily impact of violence and racism.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

Which stories of Jesus speak to you of God's love?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

[Jesus said,] “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
—John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

God who guides us in the quest for justice, awaken my heart to growing edges in my life and in the healing of the world. Amen.
—Prayer excerpted from Bruce G. Epperly, “Prayer of Awareness and Transformation,” The Mystic in You
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This Independence Day, give back to our servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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Today's Reflection

Compared to most African Americans of his time, Thurman was fortunate. His mother and grandmother supported his education; he attended America’s best colleges, and he achieved professional status as Dean of the Chapel at Howard University and Boston University. White and black audiences sought out Thurman for his gifted preaching. But he was still black in racially divided America and still faced prejudice, injustice, and hatred for the color of his
skin. . . .

Thurman’s mystic vision showed him that he was God’s beloved child, despite the racism he suffered throughout his life.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

Who has helped you know that you are God's beloved child?
Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
—1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

God who guides us in the quest for justice, awaken my heart to growing edges in my life and in the healing of the world. Amen.
—Prayer excerpted from Bruce G. Epperly, “Prayer of Awareness and Transformation,” The Mystic in You
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This Independence Day, give back to our servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.