The Gift of Sorrow

March 30, 2015

Today’s Reflection

WHAT IS THE GIFT of sorrow? It is so natural to want to come up with a positive side to sorrow. “God must have wanted me to learn _____________.” I think that the gift of sorrow is the same gift that we receive during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. The gift of sorrow is God’s loving and compassionate presence with us – in whatever we are experiencing. God in Christ walked through the human experience of suffering. And God cradles us in our tears, our hopelessness, our grief, and our sorrow.

- Beth Richardson
Alive Now, March/April 2011

From the Editor,” by Beth A. Richardson, page 4 of Alive Now, March/April 2011. Copyright © 2011 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 feelings do you experience during Holy Week? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

John 12:3, NRSV

This Week: pray those grieving the loss of a loved one. 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: Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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Palm/Passion Sunday

March 29, 2015

Today’s Reflection

TODAY IS PALM SUNDAY, and also Passion Sunday: today’s little parade is fanfare, prelude, signaling the arrival of the unholy circus we call Holy Week – whose climax is not three rings but three Roman crosses, stabbed in bloody relief against Jerusalem’s skyline, an eclipse of justice so cosmic as to be mirrored in the heavens on a festival Friday afternoon.

With populist fanfare Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives into the valley of the shadows of his death. And we too, following, make our own sharp descent into the maelstrom of the week’s intrigue. …

It is hard work, the work before us this week. If Jesus’ first followers found themselves wishing to go back to the good days before the unpleasantness began or, like us, jumping ahead to the glory they might have imagined lay ahead, like them we have to remain here for a while. For this hour, to this place, this coming trouble – this is where Jesus journeys, and all his disciples, like it or not, must journey with him.

- Thomas R. Steagald

Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn

From pages 122-124 of Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn: A Lenten Journey with Jesus by Thomas R. Steagald. Copyright © 2010 by Thomas R. Steagald. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How will you observe Holy Week? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

Mark 15:13, NRSV

This Week: pray to view others the way God does. 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: Margaret Clitherow (March 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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Teach Us, Lord

March 28, 2015

Today’s Reflection LORD JESUS CHRIST, you have promised never to forsake or leave us. Teach us day by day the deep rewards of faithful ministry, and most of all, help us to know always the reward of being near to you. Amen. – A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants From page 84 […]

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All Things Come and Go

March 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection WE ARE PART of a larger reality, a vast, vibrant community of meadow and mountain, water and sky, a great rush of life rich with possibility but also bounded by necessity. All things come and go. Whether this be a formula for weary resignation or for tranquil acceptance of the inevitable, the most […]

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Examples of Grace

March 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection O GOD, GROWING OLD makes me unsettled and takes me away from the familiar. Once I had a career, a family to raise, a home to maintain. But now it feels as though my work is done. My purpose is little more than a vapor — a thin, elusive trail of smoke that […]

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Life As Beloved Children of God

March 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection JESUS COMES to proclaim that we are God’s beloved children, that what the government says we are doesn’t matter, that what the powers and principalities want us to believe doesn’t matter, that our brokenness doesn’t matter. We are God’s beloved children, and this is what matter. We are commended to live as if […]

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Born “Anothen”

March 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection JESUS SAYS TO NICODEMUS — not to an atheist, not to an unbeliever, not to a skeptic or a pagan but to a faithful Pharisee, to a ruler of the Jews, to a teacher of Israel — unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God. This text has […]

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Letting Go of Anger

March 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection AT CERTAIN MOMENTS I feel angry with God because God has allowed bad things to happen. Since God is all-powerful and loving, I don’t understand why divine intervention cannot prevent tragedy. Can I forgive God? At a seminar with Father Thomas Keating, that question hit me forcefully. I resisted thinking about it, because […]

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Even When

March 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection EVEN WHEN I pray and heaven is silent, I will trust God. Even when torturing pain keeps my eyes from sleep, I will trust God. Even when the future looks dark and fears threaten my peace, I will trust God. God is my refuge, a shelter a cleft in the rock where I […]

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God, Fill Us With Knowing

March 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection THIS ANCIENT HEBREW PRAYER invites us to see God’s work and celebrate it:Days pass and years vanish, we walk sightless among miracles.God, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing.Let there be moments when your presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk.Help us to see wherever we gaze […]

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