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 first thing we need to do is reclaim storytelling as an art form for amateurs. People who love stories can be taught to tell them. Their audience may be two youngsters who are fighting sleep with all their might or a classroom of second graders or a family gathered around a table during the holidays. The size of the audience is not what makes the storyteller!

—Michael E. Williams, Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters Through Story (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today’s Question

Why do you think Jesus told so many stories? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus] told another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”
—Matthew 13:31-32 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Gracious God, thank you for being the original author of the greatest story ever told. Guide us as we learn to tell our own stories and discover how they connect with your story and with the story of humanity. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us for Light from Afar: Experiencing Advent Around the World, an online journey that celebrates the diversity of Advent traditions. Learn more and receive a discount on registration here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted November 9, 2023 6:47 am

    Jesus told stories to teach us. The story was a widely used means of teaching. People remember stories. They were remembered well enough to be written down many years after Jesus was physically on earth Thank You, Lord.
    SNOW!!! Not a lot but enough to cover the ground and it’s still snowing, maybe 3.25”.
    A delightful day yesterday with many activities, a walk with Russ, train simulator, German food for lunch, and zither music. Saw a video about Muslim chaplains in the US military. The more we know about them the less there is to fear. Radicals have taken their religion away from basic beliefs in the Quran. That’s happened in Christianity as well, I’m sad to say.

  • Jill Posted November 9, 2023 8:01 am

    Jesus told stories so that the recipients could do some self reflection. He told stories to make a point, to demonstrate the “upside-downness” of The Gospel. They were encouraging…and I think he wanted the conclusion left up to the hearer, often. He often made a point, but not directly. He didn’t always want to call someone out, but rather let the Spirit stir their hearts and bring them to surrender.
    Dinner with my best friend last night and a concert. A late evening…or should I say an early morning. Running on fumes a bit – but will be ok. One of my 2 classes today is taking a test – so I only have to be “on” for my last class of the day. It is a class of my Year 2 students – and should go well.
    Picking Becky, dad and Don up this evening. They were at the pool one last time, enjoying the beautiful November weather of central Florida. Luckily for them – it is supposed to be sunny here for several days.

  • Rusty Posted November 9, 2023 8:34 am

    Robert and Jill, excellent points. Indeed, the oral tradition and the fact that Jesus’s stories were recalled and documented years after he spoke them only strengthens the Gospel. And “upside-downness” is the perfect way to describe the Gospel. I sometimes mire myself in talking with folks about paradoxes and counterculturalism, and so on and so forth.

    Making it simple makes it real.

  • Julie Posted November 9, 2023 9:30 am

    Jesus used stories instead of saying what he meant straight out because he wanted people to think and for those in the proper Christian mindset to come to their own understanding of the attributes of the kingdom, etc. Many would take days reflecting on his words kepping him and the concepts with them and in their hearts and minds.

  • Ally Posted November 9, 2023 10:13 am

    My daddy was a great storyteller and came from a family of storytellers. That tradition was passed down from their Appalachian ancestors. To hear the stories my family tells brings me great joy. Stories get our attention. I learned to read so I could know the stories in the books I wanted to read. Jesus told stories because a good story is way to teach concepts. We learn through storytelling. My parents and grandparents read Bible stories to my sister and me. Then we read and studied the Bible for ourselves because of the stories.
    I am off work today and tomorrow and got some good rest last night. Today, we are focusing on doing some needed housework and then work to get a car. We appreciate prayers for this process.

    • Rusty Posted November 10, 2023 3:27 pm

      Prayers on the way for you and that car, Ally

Add Comment

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