Today’s Reflection

WHEN PERSONS COME FORWARD to receive Holy Communion, I look into their eyes to see if they understand Easter as resurrection. A slight smile, a knowing glance, or a moist eye hints that they get it. I feel that until the bottom gets knocked out of our lives, it is difficult for us to embrace the gift of Easter.

Those who have experienced the sadness woven into life’s fabric – sickness, loss, yearning, loneliness, fear, and death – understand the importance of Easter. The childhood memory of my aunt trying to pull my uncle out of his coffin, forcing his eyes open with a scream, “Speak to me!” remains vivid to this day. I heard a parishioner overcome with grief after her husband’s death sob, “He promised not to leave without me.”

Death seems final. No wonder the disciples couldn’t believe the unbelievable. Resurrection rumors could only be idle talk. Even after seeing the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene drew the only reasonable conclusion: someone had stolen Jesus’ body.

Yet the disciples did learn to believe, and they shared the story of a resurrected Christ with others. Peter and John were arrested for their beliefs. But why incarcerate a handful of broken peasants for saying they saw a dead man walk through their locked door? …

The most powerful case for Easter is the resuscitation of hope from hopelessness. Such hope is what made the leaders edgy. “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed” (Acts 4:13). …

These poor, broken, hopeless outcasts were standing fearlessly before the leaders of their time – no longer harmless riffraff but commanding men with unbelievable poise, power, certainty, and conviction. In the disciples’ strength, the authorities beheld the very one they had executed, who challenged the powers and principalities with a rival authority. The issue is not what the disciples believed but what happened when they did believe. …

The evidence for Easter remains the same today. Resurrection means being “born again” after the bottom falls out. Truth of the Resurrection hangs daily in the balance, tested by the willingness of Christians to live and die as Christ for others.

- W. Paul Jones
Becoming Who God Wants You to Be

From pages 46-47 of Becoming Who God Wants You to Be: 60 Meditations for Personal Spiritual Direction by W. Paul Jones. Copyright © 2013 by W. Paul Jones. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Which person do you most identify with in the resurrection story? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:1-3, NRSV

This Week: pray for single parents. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Katherine Drexel (March 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Loving Self

March 1, 2015

Today’s Reflection

HOW DO YOU love yourself
in small ways
taking time out from rushing for tea
a good book
walk outside
a day of nothing

in large ways
retreat until you feel the
solidness of how you stand
until joy and laughter
bubble up in the spaces
of your days

love yourself
oh yes
and breathe
–Ann Freeman Price

Alive Now, Jan/Feb 2015

From “Loving Self” by Ann Freeman Price, page 20 in Alive Now, January/February 2015, a magazine for spiritually hungry people. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What would you tell someone to do to show themselves self-love? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38, NRSV

This Week: pray for single parents. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: J. Gabriel Francis Possenti (February 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Believe into Jesus

February 28, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHAT DOES IT MEAN to believe in Jesus? Reverend Tim Keller, pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, gave an intriguing sermon titled “John Meets Jesus” (4/17/97), in which he noted that whenever we read the phrase “belief in Jesus” in John’s Gospel, the original Greek (which always uses the preposition “eis”) […]

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Humility

February 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection HUMILITY IS SELF-ABNEGATION but not self-defamation. Paradoxically, by accepting ourselves as God’s creature and therefore as a companion creature with others, we also claim our dignity as persons created for communion with God and others. Being humble is not being ashamed; it is being fully aware — aware of the difference between God […]

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Making a Space for God

February 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection IF WE PICTURE all the obstructions between us and God as a wilderness, Lent presents us with time to clear and cultivate a part of that wilderness, to create an open space in it. In this newly opened space, we may live more freely and commune more closely with the divine. We can […]

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A Thirst for God

February 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection “http://daily.upperroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/UR9997_AwkwardSeason190.jpg”/> SOMETIMES, O GOD, my thirst for you is pushed aside, ignored, or simply quenched by something other – something reasonable, something more popular – than you. But you never go away, never stop, never leave the depths of me. Like an underground spring, you are fresh and free, breaking through. Help me […]

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Love Is Our Lord’s Meaning

February 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection LOVE IS OUR LORD’S MEANING, I saw most surely in this and in all that our God made that God loved us, and this love never was satisfied and never will be. All God’s works have been done in this love, and in this love God has made everything that is for our […]

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Overcoming Distractions

February 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection SILENT PRAYER will help you to focus clearly on God. The constant stream of thoughts that run through your mind is like [trying to herd a] hundred cats [up a hill]. At first you go chasing after them, lost in the intrigue of where they go and whether you can catch them. But […]

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God’s Unconditional, Perfect Love

February 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD LOVES YOU perfectly, unconditionally, perpetuallyGod has poured out this love into your heartA love without fear, without doubts, without limitsLove that is patient and is kindLove that does not envy, does not boast, is not proudSo you may freely give as you receive …By loving your neighbour as yourself.–Mabatha Mampura, in Alive […]

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No Darkness At All

February 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHERE THE LOVING eye of the soul is continually fixed upon God, there can be no darkness at all. – A Longing for Holiness From page 42 of A Longing for Holiness Selected Writings of John Wesley, edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe. Copyright (c) 1997 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by […]

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