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The Right Thing To Do

Today’s Reflection

AS A THREE-TIME WINNER of the Indianapolis 500, Hélio Castroneves has probably never had a blue flag waved at him in a race. This flag means you are about to be lapped, and it tells you to move to the outside lane to make way for the car that’s a full revolution ahead of you. Hélio jokingly says a blue flag “means someone else is having a better day than you.”

Heeding the blue flag isn’t mandatory. There is no penalty for ignoring it. That’s why it’s also called “the courtesy flag.” You obey it Hélio says, because “it’s the right thing to do.” That’s his philosophy both on and off the track: Many of the important things we do in life are done not because we have to do them. We do them because they are right. “Being humble,” Hélio says, “takes you far.”

– Rob Fuquay
Take the Flag

From page 41 of Take the Flag: Following God’s Signals in the Race of Your Life by Rob Fuquay. Copyright © 2016 by Rob Fuquay. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What do you find yourself doing because it is the right thing to do? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Psalm 116:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those who are experiencing divorce. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Mark the Evangelist (April 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Praying with Our Bodies

Today’s Reflection

JUST AS WE ARE ABLE to reach out to God with our hearts and minds …, we are able to reach out to God with and through our bodies. For it is through our bodies that we see and experience beauty, love, joy, and peace. It is through our bodies that we know the ecstasy of the divine fire burning in our hearts as we enter more deeply into prayer. It is through our bodies that we meet the One who came in a body to dwell among us, heal us, and help us to know God.

– Daniel Wolpert
Creating a Life with God

From pages 116-117 of Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2003 by Daniel Wolpert. 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 do you experience God with and through your body? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
Acts 2:41, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those who are experiencing divorce. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Mark the Evangelist (April 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 14 comments }

Spiritual Hunger

Today’s Reflection

PEOPLE TODAY HUNGER for spiritual experience, for an encounter with the living God. Millennials (the increasing majority of people who do not subscribe to Enlightenment prejudice against spiritual experience) long for spiritual experience through symbols, metaphors, stories, art, music, and practices of prayer that help us listen deeply to God’s voice. Today offers a time of unprecedented opportunity for us … to reconnect with our own heritage of Christian mysticism, to reclaim the central importance of prayer and spiritual experience to the Christian life.

In our own forgotten and rejected DNA we have what it will take to reconnect us with the apostolic power of God in mission. It is time for a new generation of leaders to come forth, new John Wesleys and Phoebe Palmers, who are filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and who, like Paul, surrender their own traditions to the greater tradition of God making all things new.


God Unbound

From pages 39-40 of God Unbound: Wisdom from the Galatians for the Anxious Church by Elaine A. Heath. Copyright © 2016 by Elaine A. Heath. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where do you see evidence of spiritual hunger? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

John 20:29, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those who are experiencing divorce. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Mark the Evangelist (April 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 12 comments }

The Eucharist as Sorrow’s Kitchen

Today’s Reflection

AT THE DEEPEST LEVELS, what takes place during the Holy Meal? What life-transforming dynamic occurs when your congregation celebrates the Lord’s Supper? Perhaps we can helpfully imagine the Eucharist as spending time in “sorrow’s kitchen.”

The Eucharist is sorrow’s kitchen, not only as sharing in eating the Paschal meal, which is an anamnesis of the dying and rising of Christ, but as sharing in the abiguity and struggle of the world as it reflects the dying and rising of Christ. In sorrow’s kitchen we mix the ingredients of our passage from death to life. We take, bless, break, and give the bread that is moistened with the world’s tears, including our own. We add the flour of grain crushed and pulverized by the millstone of oppression, grief, and neglect. In other words, grateful celebration of the Eucharist finds a way to include and declare truthfully that life hurts. Passage from death to life, from sin to love, from living in the dark to living in the light, is painful. …

The Eucharist is “sorrow’s kitchen” because it is where death and life meet each week. Here we partake of the realities of sickness, death, evil’s bashing of the poor and marginalized, our complicity with wrong and harm (confession and pardon), and our own suffering and lament of injustice. We can do so because we proclaim Easter’s faith: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life!”


Patterned by Grace

From pages 114-115 of Patterned by Grace: How Liturgy Shapes Us by Daniel T. Benedict Jr. Copyright © 2007 by Daniel T. Benedict Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does the Eucharist mean to you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

John 20:29, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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A Prayer for Earth Day

Today’s Reflection

PRAISE TO YOU, my God and Creator!
Your creativity is matched by your compassion!
Today is a new day in the life of creation.
Let me see and hear,
taste, touch, and smell
the thrill of your grace
the pulse of the Spirit
in and through all creation.

– Sam Hamilton-Poore
Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation

From page 50 of Earth Gospel by Sam Hamilton-Poore. Copyright © 2008 by the author. Used with permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

John 20:19, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 12 comments }

Be Still

Today’s Reflection

IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, Jesus taught his disciples to “go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” Fortunately, I live in a community where I am only a few steps from our chapel; I can go there and pray. In my small apartment, I have created a “cell” marked by mementos of pilgrimages to Tintern Abbey in Wales and the island of Iona. Prayer and spiritual books put me in touch with monks and mystics who show the way, who have walked the hard road that leads to life.

I also know that I can “pray without ceasing” and realize God’s presence wherever i am without being lost in my illusions. By entering the narrow gate of a disciplined life of prayer, I discover the true meaning of life in the later years.

Reflection

Go to a quiet place and spend 15 minutes in prayer, as you meditate on these words:
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know
Be still
Be

– Jane Marie Thibault and Richard L. Morgan
Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life

From page 87 of Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life: 7 Gateways to Spiritual Growth by Jane Marie Thibault and Richard L. Morgan. Copyright © 2012 by Jane Marie Thibault and Richard L. Morgan. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Follow the steps outlined in the reflection, above. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 8 comments }

Worship Moments

Today’s Reflection

MOMENTS OF SACRED discernment and mystical clarity come in just that way: moments. The recognition of holy presence in morsels of bread and sips of wine or juice are fleeting because they set us back on the road nourished with the news and hope of resurrection, however hidden that news or distant that hope may seem at this juncture. Worship is not our permanent domicile; it is our departure gate.

– John Indermark
Worship in Light of the Cross

From page 108 of Worship in Light of the Cross: Meditations for Lent by John Indermark. Copyright © 2016 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe a time when you have been “sent forth” from worship? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 7 comments }

Living Hope

Today’s Reflection

MARY’S ENCOUNTER with the risen Jesus on that first Easter morning shows how his resurrection can give birth to a living hope in our lives, a living hope that our pools of tears will actually become opportunities for transformation and growth, a living hope that reminds us that at the heart of all things stands a resurrection love that will never let us go.

– Trevor Hudson
Hope Beyond Our Tears

From page 112 of Hope Beyond Our Tears: Experiencing Christ’s Healing Love by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2012 by Trevor Hudson. 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 does Christ’s love for us, expressed in the resurrection, lead to your transformation? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:2, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 19 comments }

Grounded in Grace

Today’s Reflection

HISTORY IS FAR TOO HARSH for faith lightly held. History is far too real for faith to rest content in blissful denial. Faith requires more than naiveté. …

Our hope resides in a covenant grounded in God’s grace. God’s promises serve not as escape pods from history but as the means for living faithfully within it. … We do not trust in the times but in God who is our hope.

– John Indermark
Hope: Our Longing for Home

From page 25 of Hope: Our Longing for Home by John Indermark. Copyright © 2007 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to say we do not trust in the times? Think of examples. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

Psalm 16:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 6 comments }

Easter Forgiveness

Today’s Reflection

“I AM with you always. Breathe my breath. Lean your full heavy heart on my strength in this dark place. Let me pray in you, for you, and through you.”

Forgiveness is a person. Forgiveness has a face. Forgiveness itself is holding me now.

– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey

From page 155 of Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2001 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Why pray about forgiveness the day after Easter? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.”

Acts 2:24, NRSV

This Week: pray for people those struggling with addictions. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Anselm (April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 9 comments }