What We OfferNew Every Morning | July 5, 2020
We can offer our presence to people amid their complex problems, listen actively, and let go of anxiety that drives us to rid ourselves and others of pain. Our faith can help us. God offers us the truth about pain and suffering through Jesus: “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world” (John 16:33). In Jesus, we cannot have freedom from trouble, but we can have peace. When those around us are suffering, we can pray for peace, for wholeness, and for God’s comfort. We need not offer explanations or speak at length (or at all) about the value or joy in suffering. Our expressions of God’s love can be enough.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
For more from Angela D. Schaffner, read 10 Tips for Leading a Small Group on Zoom.
Is it hard for you to listen to—without trying to solve—the problems of others? Join the conversation.
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!
—John 16:33 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, we praise you for gathering us together like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This Independence Day give back to our service men and women, who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
- Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
- Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13
- Romans 7:15-25a
- Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
It is not hard for me to listen and sit with another in their pain. I feel no urgency to solve their problems; but, rather, to point them back to Christ. So, the assumption is that the majority of these conversations are with other followers of Christ. On the flip side, when speaking with/counseling a student – I do try to be a bit more solution oriented…encouraging them to set attainable goals, have realistic expectations, develop a plan.
Time spent with dad yesterday was good. We sat on his back patio and talked about the book. He wonders what mom is doing currently. Our friend’s daughter-in-law, who took her life a few months ago, always said mom and Wanda would be shopping together, or sitting around laughing, drinking ice tea and eating cookies. Is that what it is like in Paradise? It is so hard to imagine, from our earthly perspective. Dad’s care pastor told him that surely, here on Earth mom prayed for dad. So he is just as sure that mom is praying for dad now.
Dad and I went to a local restaurant overlooking a lake and had lunch. Despite the warm temperatures, the humidity has not kicked in. It was very comfortable and enjoyable.
ZOOM Communion went well. Thankful for that, I can listen, but the urge to take action is there. I HAVE LEARNED TO HOLD BACK. SOMETIMES THAT MAY APPEAR FOOLISH, HAVE TO KNOW WHEN TO ACT.
Painted the underbody of the combine, great accomplishment,
Look to God and medical/scientific community for wisdom on how to deal with the virus.
Thank You, Lord.