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

In Christian theology, of course, Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice was not a simple martyrdom, as costly and as precious as that might be. Jesus’ act of nonviolence defeated the forces of violence that hold sway in the world, even death itself. Furthermore, Jesus’ death on the Cross demonstrated something about the nature of God: that God is inclined to self-giving over vengeance, mercy over punishment, restraint over rage, and love over all. The Cross does not, it is important to say, make victimhood glorious but convicts the world of unjust and violent victimization. In dying, Jesus did not succumb to death but undermined the forces that wield it, demonstrating by his resurrection that life is more powerful after all.

—Rosalind C. Hughes, Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

How can Jesus be an example of how to choose self-giving without glorifying victimhood? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
—Hebrews 10:12-14 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Even though I walk through lonely and dark times, I will fear nothing, because you are with me; your guidance and authority comfort me. (Adapted from Psalm 23:4)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • robert moeller Posted July 9, 2021 5:41 am

    From the day Jesus was born He was a target, Herod felt threatened. Jesus goes to Egypt. When His ministry begins, the Devil starts in during the 40 days Jesus spends in the wilderness. His hometown is skeptical, He is forced to leave. His ministry catches the attention of the Pharisees. They see Jesus as violating the law, performing miracles, eating with “sinners”, forgiving their sins, teaching
    that the scripture is being fulfilled when He reads it at the Nazareth synagogue, and claiming to be the Messiah. To Jewish religious leaders Jesus is a blasphemer, a heretic, a threat to their power. Jesus becomes a victim, wishes the cup of suffering to be taken away, but obeys God and does what He came to do – save humankind from sin, once and for all. He’s beyond being a martyr who dies for what he /she believes, Jesus’ death and resurrection actually accomplishes a task, the task above all tasks – saving people’s souls, their very essence.
    Thankful to read the posts of others yesterday as I posted later in the day. I’m an early riser and QT is a well established early morning habit. Continued prayers for all the NEM family, thank you for your prayers, lifting each other up is precious. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted July 9, 2021 8:51 am

    The most profound example of this by Jesus for me is that he did not want to follow through with his task as he now understood the human suffering he would endure. however, instead of playing the victum he quietly submitted to his Father’s will. He met his fate with his head high and his knee bent and with forgiveness in his heart.
    Megan’s father, Bruce came home yesterday. Megan told me she had intended to tell him she just submitted to him living there now if he had not come home. A hard lesson to learn the parent you idolize and adore (the favored parent due to the fact that he was non custodial parent) is not so worthy and has flaws. Also learned that h is now wearing diapers and when asked about the whereabouts of the used ones it was discovered that they were amassing …in his room! I made him dispse of them and watch each morning to ensure that he puts the used one in the garbage outside.
    Prayers for Ally, David and Marcy, for improved health and improved finances including a new job for Ally. Prayers for Robert’s ear infection, may it clear up completely soon. Prayers of thanksgiving that Lou’s daughter and her roommates have found an apartment and are excited. God has a plan and a timeframe of His own. Prayers for Jill and her friends who are all going through their own struggles, may they find strength and comfort together. Prayers for Marti and her tileless work for us.
    Thank you for your prayers and God bless all who visit here today.

  • Ally Posted July 9, 2021 9:22 am

    Even on the cross, Jesus never presented Himself as victim. He pointed to evil being vanquished. Mostly, He put on love: toward His followers and His enemies. By looking to Jesus for our example and by His help, we can do the same.
    At the vet waiting for my 15 year old Scout to be seen. She’s had some pretty serious symptoms which I noticed yesterday. At her age, I know things start to go wrong, even though she has always been a very healthy kitty. A friend and I rescued her and I raised her from a tiny kitten when I lived in Nashville. She is my oldest baby now. Please pray for her. Lifting up to the Lord the things that are close to your heart.

  • Jill Posted July 9, 2021 5:20 pm

    Christ’s intent was always and only to glorify His Father. It can be what we state as our desire, but that internal war with our carnal nature makes follow through challenging, at best. Christ’s sacrificial love and life is all the example we need. For me, I ask Him to assist me to live in this manner, with proper motives and selfless love.
    Well, I thought I had “hooked” my principal. In the end, I was the sucker. He never showed up for the outing. My friend texted him and he said he got called into an emergency meeting. Then he was going to come for the end and bring his registration fee. He never showed. Disappointing. I will pay his registration fee – will give it to my friend this evening – as I finally get to see my god son play baseball – with a local tournament.
    Sun has finally broken through. It was pleasant to golf in shorts and a sweatshirt and no sunscreen. Will take a blanket for the game this evening.
    Ally – prayers for your sweet little girl. Julie – may God continue to sustain you through the difficulties and tumult in your home.
    Got notice that the cancer support group will be moving back to in person in September. This will be a wonderful reunion. I hope most, if not all, are able to come back. I guess there will be discussion this Sunday regarding the possibility of still having a zoom option.

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