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 can help us to understand and to develop an appreciation for people—even for people who hold beliefs that oppose our own. A few examples: You might believe that terminating a pregnancy is immoral; yet, when you hear a woman talking about the circumstances that led her to such a momentous decision, you convey respect by listening. You may believe that America needs tougher gun control laws; yet, when you listen to the reasons your neighbor is a proud gun owner, you open your mind to validity of another point of view. Or, more practically, you might not think that your church needs to replace the carpet in the sanctuary this year; yet, when you take into consideration the wishes of the people who do, you create space for living together with difference.

—Elizabeth Hagan, Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

How has listening to someone’s story helped you stay in relationship even amid differences? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
—James 1:19-20 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, grant me the patience and grace to listen, the courage and wisdom to question and speak; and the bravery to create safe space for tough topics.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Churches are not immune to violence, as we have seen from shootings at houses of worship across the nation. The challenge for faith communities is how to prepare for and respond to potential violence. In Whom Shall I FearUrgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, author Rosalind Hughes asks congregational leaders to examine whether their operational and security policies are consistent with gospel values. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Ally Posted July 16, 2023 4:08 pm

    I’m filling in as pianist at a small country church. My friend and her husband who is pastor, asked me to help. My friends and I have mutual respect for each other, even though there are points we don’t agree on. We are able to do this because we listen to each other. We know we won’t agree on saeveral things, but extend grace to each other.

  • Jill Posted July 16, 2023 5:03 pm

    It’s huge. A person’s truth must be honored…by being listened to well. By giving time and space for the telling. For sensitive questioning and conversation. I have learned this by having it modeled for myself.
    Church this morning was wonderful, as we continue to study the Psalms. The music is so perfectly matched with the message.
    Played tennis this afternoon – doubles, as it was warm. Treated myself to a frappuccino on the way home…hit the spot. Now watching the Wimbledon men’s final I had recorded.
    Summer school begins this week. I am not actually teaching. But – MWF – will be in my classroom for an hour and a half for students to stop by and get feedback on their project – if they are working on it this summer. Not sure how many to expect. I anticipate it will be less than a handful each day. The new fiscal year has begun, so there will be some treasurer work to do. Meeting dad at a golf course for some afternoon golf. Hopefully the predicted rain will hold off.

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