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

The altar had been stripped of all things shiny and polished, and rough gray muslin and burlap had taken their place. Instead of the bright lights of Sunday morning, homemade paper lanterns were strung up to warm the darkness of a late winter Chicago night. In the flickering shadows of candlelight, I made my way to the front of the small stained-glass-adorned sanctuary. I could smell the oil mixed with the ashes gathered from burning last year’s palm branches as my pastor pressed the gritty mixture into my forehead in the shape of a cross. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” I am dust. I am made of earth. In that moment my earthiness, my fleshiness, my body itself became something holy.

—Anne Cummings, My Body Is Good: Giving Up Diet Culture and Embracing Body Positivity for Lent (Upper Room Books, 2022)

Today’s Question

Does it bother you to think about being made of dust and returning to dust? Why or why not? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You are dust, and to dust you shall return.
—Genesis 3:19b

Prayer for the Week

God of new beginnings, help me to
acknowledge, perhaps for the first time,
the beliefs about my body that I have
held for so long. Guide me in sorting
which beliefs are helpful and which are
harmful. Lead me back to you and
to this body that you called good. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us on March 18, 2023, for an online Academy Day Apart retreat, where we will focus on the spiritual practices of silence and contemplation as we journey intentionally through this Lenten season. We will be guided by Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes and Andrew Wilkes, authors of Psalms for Black Lives. In our time together during this retreat, Gabby and Andrew will help us engage the Psalms to create a laboratory of justice imagination. Learn more and register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Transfiguration Sunday

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


  • Gail Posted February 20, 2023 8:15 am

    No it does not bother me. Now I am in El Salvador, God’s country

  • Julie Posted February 20, 2023 9:49 am

    No that concept doesn’t bother me. The Bible speaks about how we are magnificently made by God in our mother’s womb. God created Adam and Eve from dust but also in his image.
    Yesterday was a day for myself with church in the morning followed by many errands. Our pastor and his wife have Covid. They just returned from a trip to the Holy Land with several church members. Apparently most everyone on the tour got Covid. Our church secretary also has Covid, though she wasn’t on the trip. She does work at her daughter’s antique store so she probably got it there. I may start wearing a mask to church.

  • robert moeller Posted February 20, 2023 4:39 pm

    No this idea doesn’t bother me. Take away the huge amount of water in our bodies and dust is revealed. God made us, in God’s image no less, how can we complain about that? God made the whole world, it’s all God’s country. Each of us identifies with this place or that, My God’s countries are Vermont, a district in Germany, places in Scotland,and many spots in Korea.
    40 days with the Messiah will be this year’s Lenten study. Lyrics and music from Handel’s oratorio . Scripture from the Bible.
    A positive worship-fellowship at CCUMC yesterday.
    Prayers for all with Covid, the new quake in Turkey-Syria, the people of war torn countries, all with medical issues, and caregivers. Thank You, Lord.

  • Ally Posted February 21, 2023 12:07 am

    It bothers me a little to think about returning to dust. I can’t explain why, exactly. I need to ponder this.
    The Dr. called with results of David’s labs. He I had chronic kidney disease and the congestive heart failure is worsening, according to the labs. We had noticed that his feet have had more swelling and his O2 saturation was not as high as it should be. It seems we should be ready for the curve balls, but we get blindsided.
    My sister and her husband made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Kissaboo, the kitty we rescued in 2012, as he had oral cancer which was in his jaw bone. He was a great companion to our mom prior to her dementia worsening. He was to come home with me, but he was so happy at Amy’s, we decided it was best not to uproot him again. He was a beautiful, sweet boy and we will miss him very much. It was a rough blow for Amy, on top of losing her job last week. My oldest kitty Scout, seems to be declining as well. She is not eaten well last 2 days and is a little dehydrated. Im going to give her some prednisone to see if that will boost her appetite. Her arthritis appears worse and I’m going to try her on the joint supplement that Kitty Lewis is on. The President may help that too. She is 17 and has had a great life. I try to remember this.
    I am very weary.

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