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

SABBATH HAS GIVEN me back a taste of my real life. For those with means to cease from work, the myth of being “too busy” to stop for one day, one afternoon, one morning, one hour, or one minute is a defense mechanism that shields us from the hard work of meaning-making. It’s much easier to have full calendars and martyr ourselves through the days. It’s less work to stay in the American mode of “crazy-busy.”

The toughest part of practicing sabbath is letting go of our maladaptive coping so that we may experience fulfillment through an ancient medicine God put in place for everyone. This elixir works — no matter what century, country, or circumstance we find ourselves in.

If we can swing one entire day off (a privilege that others may not have) or one hour off, we ought not turn to the screen. We can use this time to enrich our lives through activities that may not be valued by our culture or economy. We can take a nap, sit in silence alone, pray, read a devotional, attend a church service, enjoy a slow meal with someone, or offer our time to others in a way that doesn’t benefit us in a material way. When we don’t keep sabbath, we are embezzling time from ourselves, as Rabbi Heschel reminds us. Time is our only nonrenewable resource. Sabbath, then, helps us to number our days rightly.

– J. Dana Trent
For Sabbath’s Sake

From pages 120-121 of For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship and Community by J. Dana Trent. Copyright © 2017 by J. Dana Trent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What are sabbath activities for you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Mark 6:56, NRSV

This Week: pray for the peace of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • robert moeller Posted July 22, 2018 5:53 am

    Sabbath activities mean going to church to worship God and have fellowship with other believers.

    Thankful for book called “Pachinko” given to me. I’m not usually a frequent reader, but like the books of Tolstoi I read in the 70s, it is hard to put this book down. It’s life in Korea from 1910, Japanese annexation, to immigration to Japan, and several generations of life there. My wife’s family experienced, resisted, endured Japanese annexation, came under US and Soviet occupation at the end of WWII, and fled the North during the Korean War. By the 80s immediate family was all in the US.

    Thankful for good walks, yesterday on a rail trail I once rode when trains were still active, produce from the garden, a good nap, and a wonderful supper.

    Prayers for Uncle Jack’s family as he is laid to rest today. Thankful Erich’s nerve pain in his neck and arm seems to be going away.

    Have not received follow up comments from the UR Reflection, will see what I can do to find them. Prayers for needs and concerns of the UR family and thanks for the joys and blessings you have received.

    Have a blessed Sabbath, be at peace in the Lord.

  • Jill Posted July 22, 2018 6:04 am

    Sabbath activities include lingering longer in the morning, being intentional journaling, looking up commentary on a specific passage. This morning it will be spending some time meditating on a passage and reading some commentary on it (full armor of God). My counselor has asked me to meditate on this passage and drew my attention to the wording…”and to stand”. Paul doesn’t say we will be victorious with this armor on, but we will be able to stand. Right now, standing confidently would be considered a plus. I’m not even sure how being victorious would be defined in my current circumstances.
    Had dinner at my friend’s house last evening and then she made a black raspberry pie for my parents. We will take it over to them this afternoon.
    Looking forward to church this morning, receiving the Word, praising Him, being in the presence of other like-minded seekers.
    Prayers of comfort for Robert and Marcy. Continued strength and growth for Lou.

  • Betsy Posted July 22, 2018 7:02 am

    My sabbath activities include worship, including singing in the choir, lengthening my early morning devotional time, resting, reading, relaxing. I usually cook something special for Sunday night dinner withouut rushing. I love to cook when there are no time constraints.

    Love that passage from Ephesians on putting on the armor of God, Jill. He equips us for all the struggles that come our way. I will look that up and meditate on that passage today. Thank you.

    I’ve heard of that book, Robert, that you are reading. I too love to sink into a good book as a sabbath activity. Escaping through the pages of a good book is very restful for me. Also watching old movies when I have time.

    Prayers for all our UR family as we all enjoy our sabbath time today.

  • Connie Posted July 22, 2018 8:41 am

    For many years I was able to “keep it holy”……go to church, keep from busyness I could do another day. However, things changed and that is no longer achievable, so I am glad for the years that it was do-able. I know God knows this is not the way I would like it to be.
    Prayers for my “Sis”, Marcy. Also for Lou and hoping her life is going GOOD! Bless all the posters here today. I read every word.

    • Lou Posted July 22, 2018 12:33 pm

      Thank you Connie
      God is GOOD!
      All the time
      God is good
      So that means I am Good-
      Praise be for you constant presence –
      And your prayers and support
      And for all of the others constancy – Robert, Jill, Mary, Betsy, Julie, Marcy, Andrea – so many faithful
      Blessings to all this day- the Lords day.
      Thankful for church with my son and his girlfriend and a nice time together following worship.

      • Connie Posted July 23, 2018 8:23 am

        “Good” news indeed.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 22, 2018 8:56 am

    For me, i will journal, talk to God, have a nap in the afternoon, listen to music, spend time with my parents, read, watch a movie, sometimes catch up with friends to celebrate their birthdays, usually it is rest and relax.

    Blessings to all and have a great week ahead!

  • robert moeller Posted July 22, 2018 7:09 pm

    Able to catch up with today’s reflection and thankfully read all your posts. Thank you for your prayers for the UR family. They always help. Christianity is coming into the “Pachinko” story. In Japanese occupied Korea some foreign missionaries have gone home, a Korean pastor trained at a seminary in Pyongyang is headed to a church in Osaka, Japan. Pyongyang in those days was the Jerusalem of Korea.

    Today has been a restful, quiet, easy day after church and fellowship. Thankful for those of us at church who have had heart problems that we are all doing well. Attendance was greater than it has been.

    Erich’s nerve pain is going away.

    Thank You, Lord for the blessings of the day and for the rest that has been described and share here today.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 23, 2018 5:46 am

      Praying that Erich will recover speedily.

      May Robert enjoy his book


  • J. Dana Trent Posted July 23, 2018 1:26 pm

    Thank you all for sharing these–they are lovely. I love reading about how others hold and shape their sabbaths.

    Sabbath peace to you all,

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