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

Stories surround us. Rich, deep, and colorful. Stories so full of laughter they wait to burst like warm watermelon. Stories surround us that will lift our spirits and make us want to sing. There are stories in the weather, stories in the trees, stories in the animals we encounter, and stories in the people we see for only five minutes. There are stories around us every day needing to be shared.

Storytellers are remarkably generous, because stories are never personal possessions. They are meant to be given away. God must be pleased when we find the
stories God has hidden for our surprise.

—Ray Buckley, Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith (Discipleship Resources, 2004)

Today’s Question

What stories have you discovered as surprises from God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus] said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit.
—Matthew 13:3-8a (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, help us as we sift through the memories of our lives. Guide us to ponder the power of storytelling and to use our stories to help others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Learn from this week’s featured author, Ray Buckley, and other spiritual guides at our virtual event, RESILIENCE | Practicing Compassion in a World of Conflict. On September 29-30, 2023, we will explore the transformative power of compassion in a world marked by division. Receive $25 off General Admission when you use the code NEW at checkout. Learn more and register today at UpperRoom.org/resilience.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

1 Comment

  • Jill Posted September 5, 2023 4:34 pm

    My own story is a bit of a surprise to me. Especially the part where I weathered the storm of mom’s diagnosis and struggle. Had anyone asked me 5 or so years prior to her diagnosis – how I would react to losing her – I would have thought I would be devastated. But – God surrounded me with His people, some from my church and others who were long time friends – and my foundation was sure. I believe I had an appropriate understanding of His sovereignty and our suffering. Now, that doesn’t mean that days were not incredibly hard. But – in the midst of it all – I had peace. Which came from Him.
    The story of my career path is also one I look back on and shake my head. I was so sure I knew what I wanted, where I wanted to teach. None of it unfolded as I had initially hoped. And, yet, now – in year 31 – I could never have asked for more. So blessed.
    Warm here for another day or two. Running before dawn this morning was like running in a sauna. Reminded anew how wonderful it is to have air conditioning in the building, after teaching without it for 23 years.
    Finally getting my crown put on the tooth which had the root canal about 2 months ago. First it was put off due to surgery. Now it got fast tracked, since my surgery was delayed. Will see the dentist after school tomorrow.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *