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

YEARS AGO, I traveled with two people from my church to Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago to attend a small-group conference. We intentionally arrived a day early so we could attend their mid-week Believers Bible Service. We seriously underestimated the Chicago traffic. As we were driving to Willow Creek, we realized we would not have time to stop at the hotel and change clothes. We had been traveling all day, and we were all dressed in jeans. I was mortified at the thought of attending a worship service in jeans, especially at a church I had never attended. As we drove, we debated: Should we skip it? Should we stop and change and arrive late? Or should we just go in jeans?

After thoroughly considering all the options, we finally decided to go in jeans. It sounds quaint now that we would even think twice or consider skipping worship because we were dressed in jeans. I’ve come to realize that what I wear to worship God is not important to God. It took me many years to give up my—and many others’—tradition of dressing up to go to church.

—Linda Tower Pevey
We are the Church … Let’s Act Like It: A Study on the Book of Acts

From page 52 of We are the Church … Let’s Act Like It: A Study on the Book of Acts by Linda Tower Pevey. Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Name a tradition in your church. What are the pros and cons of that tradition? Does that tradition ever get in the way of meaningful worship and service? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.
—Acts 2:43, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Lord, help us be the Church you created us to be. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Since World War II, The Upper Room has been sending copies of the daily devotional to military chaplains (and now to prison chaplains) for their ministries. Between Memorial Day and July 31, we aim to raise $100,000 for this valuable ministry. Please help our troops by giving today.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

1 Comment

  • Julie Posted July 12, 2019 8:10 am

    Many traditions come to mind, though I agree the tradition of dressing up is particularly insidious. The Bible even addresses attire at worship and says all should be accepted warmly into the worship community, no matter their attire. Reserved pews is another tradition that needs to change. I am always reluctant about finding a seat in a new church lest I sit in someone’s reservedspot. It also keeps us isolated within our church to only sit near the same people. If we changed seats more we would encounter all of our fellow members and develop relationships with each one.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea and Lowell, Connie and Marcy.
    Prayers for continued sharing and healing for Jill, Larry and Becky and Mary and Molly.
    Prayers for success in their new homes for Betsy, Lou and Robert and Erich.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR family

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