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

Though seemingly legalistic to Christians, Jewish sabbath rules have a deeper purpose than telling us to stop our work. To remember the sabbath and to keep it holy is to honor both creation itself and the Creator who saved the Jews from endless toil under Pharaoh. For Jews, sabbath is the gift of time God granted to a shackled people who did not own their own time.

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

Today’s Question

When have you considered sabbath a gift rather than a commandment from God?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.
—Exodus 20:8 (CEB)

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

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted July 5, 2022 6:28 am

    I think I’m straddling the fence with today’s question. I feel a little of both, Sabbath as a gift and as a command. God knew we needed a rest from work, God stopped from creating, why wouldn’t we need a break. We are to honor God, pay our respects, recognize God’s sovereignty, but also give thanks for the creation given to us. Thank You, Lord. Without You we don’t exist and wouldn’t have a place to live.
    Haven’t found out how the Strawberry Shortcake sale ended. Things were getting busier around 4 pm. It was a long day. I started at 6:30 am. Thankful for good weather.
    Our first discussions of Conversations with God start at 9:30 this morning. This is a very spiritual book with emphasis on feelings, emotion, and experience, only the structure of a conversation .
    Extremely eye opening!
    Lord, help me to remember to view earlier posts today and catch up with NEM.

  • robert moeller Posted July 5, 2022 6:32 am

    Prayers for the people of Highland Park north of Chicago. Recently passed laws haven’t kicked in yet or this shouldn’t have happened. Obviously more needs to be done.

  • Julie Posted July 5, 2022 8:57 am

    I guess I see it as both a command and a gift. But I have never been able to truly observe the Sabbath. Until recently, my Sundays were as close as possible to this ideal in that I had time away from home and my normal responsibilities. I hope to continue to at least indulge in this to a limited extent going forward.
    Today is the aappointment with the lawyer in order to hopefully sign the papers for me to be h’s power of attorney. Please pray that h cooperates and that the lawyer believes h is capable of understanding what he is signing.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for David’s rehab to be successful and to improve his stability and for the Lord to walk with Ally through this new situation and to provide what Ally needs emotionally, physically and financially. Prayers for April and her loved one, Jill and her family, Lou and her family and Rick and Scott. Prayers for Robert and his church, I pray that the church was blessed with a succcessful strawberry shortake fundraiser that raised a large amount of funds for the church and I pray that Robert is blessed for all that he does to support his church and his fellow church members.

  • Jill Posted July 5, 2022 2:16 pm

    I never considered thinking about Sabbath as a gift, and I suppose due to my family traditions, it wasn’t a commandment either. Yes, Sundays were always spent in church. But, we didn’t “rest” from working, school work, etc. My parents didn’t do their job on Sunday – but there was yardwork and that sort of thing.
    The rain this morning, caused dad and I to move our tee time to tomorrow morning. May have the same issue then. I got out for a walk after lunch, before the sun got out and the temperatures got too warm. The humidity was up. I pulled some weeds in the yard, before coming inside to nap.
    Nothing on tap the rest of the day, as there is no tennis this week due to the holiday.
    Tomorrow evening there is a celebration of life service for a person associated with the cancer support group. I befriended her daughter and have been encouraging her the past few months. Her mom passed about three weeks ago. She is trying to navigate this new normal, in the midst of raising 4 children under the age of 13. Lots of questions and tears. Tomorrow will be challenging for all of them.
    My school received the results of our programs testing. I was grateful to see that all my students received passing scores for my course. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I believe there was a generous curve. Won’t know the full details of that until October. I had concerns about 2 or 3 of my students, but they passed. Grateful.

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