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Get Up!

Today’s Reflection

THIS YEAR I’m reading Matthew. I’m in our cold basement (it’s Pittsburgh, and this is the year of the much storied “polar vortex” early in the morning before the sun has even thought about coming up. The date: January 3. In today’s story the angel warns Joseph to take his family to Egypt where they will be safe from Herod who is hunting for the baby Messiah. “Get up,” the angel says, “take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt” (Matthew 2:13).

I have “gotten up.” Six months earlier my family lived in North Carolina, but now we live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We “got up.” I allow my mind to think about how our “getting up” differed from Joseph’s and his family’s.

My family left out of obedience to the voice of vocation, the voice of God’s Spirit that says, “This is where you need to be; this is what you need to be doing.” We made the right move, though our lives didn’t depend on it in the way it did for Joseph and his family.

But in a way, our lives did depend on it, and I can see my family in this story. The stress and imbalance of our life were crushing us. God used this move to rebalance us.

I often prayed the line from a prayer of Thomas Aquinas: “Put my life in good order, O my God.” I’ve been praying that prayer for 15 years, and I now sense that God is answering it. My family and I got up and embraced a way of life that has more space for God to reorder it, and God is doing just that.

– L. Roger Owens
What We Need Is Here

From pages 34-35 of What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality by L. Roger Owens. Copyright © 2015 L. Roger Ownes. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray the prayer by Thomas Aquinas: “Put my life in good order, O my God.” Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth–everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:5-7, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone beginning a good habit. 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: Simeon Stylites (January 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 5, 2016, 4:02 am

    Yes, Father – this is my plea this morning – put my life in good order – O God. Take this slight undercurrent of dis-ease and steady me with Your sure hand. Have Thine Own way and lead me in Your Righteousness. Amen.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 5, 2016, 5:57 am

    Yes, Almithy God, put my life in order!

    When our lives are in order then can we move forward. Otherwise, it is only in maintenance mode. That’s how I felt recently. With the public holiday and the Long weekend, I managed to Declutter my room and get Organised. Then I felt effective and have time to make progress to meet up with old friends and fulfil some of my goals in my to do list.

    Thank you Father God!

  • Betsy January 5, 2016, 6:42 am

    I like this short prayer and have written it down, so I’ll see it everyday. Place me where you need me, Lord, and organize my time for your glory. Amen

    I’m impressed with your “de-cluttering”, Mary. I hope to also begin to reorganize and clean out. There is a sense of clearing and lightness you feel when things are in place. I feel that is a first step in putting not only my personal life I order, but getting ready for putting my spiritual life in order as well. Blessings to our UR family this week.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 5, 2016, 4:22 pm

      Absolutely agree, Betsy!

  • robert moeller January 5, 2016, 6:55 am

    Put God first and all these things will be given to you. Yes, Lord, when You come first in our lives we are set on the right path. Thank You, Lord. I pray that everyone will have this blessing. It is a most precious one.

    Thankful for positive new habits being made, for the many tasks accomplished on yesterday’s outing, for a wonderful lunch, laundry done, and homemade pea soup for supper. We are able because God enables us.

    Prayers for those needing shelter from the cold weather, thankful for the action taken by the governor to provide shelter to all who need it.

    The Lord bless you and keep you all, now and always. Amen.

  • Lou January 5, 2016, 6:56 am

    God through the UR speaks to me daily-
    This will be my constant prayer – put my life in good order, O my God.
    My future is so uncertain – nothing feels secure except for the knowledge that my Lord leads me. Put my life in good order and let me not be afraid.
    Amen

  • Andrea January 5, 2016, 11:31 am

    “O my God, put my life in order.” Gracious God, help me to put my home in order, to take care of the things it is so easy to out off. Give me vigor for the nitty-gritty. Help us as we strive to begin new habits.

    I look back over the past two years and give thanks for the ways God came to me in the darkness. May those who are experiencing a time of darkness know that they are safe in the palm of God’s hand.

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