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Life As a Gift

Today’s Reflection

GRATITUDE IN ITS DEEPEST SENSE means to live life as a gift to be received gratefully. But gratitude as the gospel speaks about it embraces all of life: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not so holy. Is it truly possible to embrace with gratitude all of our life and not just the good things that we like to remember?

Jesus calls us to gratitude. He call us to recognize that gladness and sadness are never separate, that joy and sorrow really belong together, and that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement. That is why Jesus calls us to be grateful for every moment that we have lived and to claim our unique journey as God’s way to mold our hearts to greater conformity with God’s own. The cross is the main symbol of our faith, and it invites us to find hope where we see pain and to reaffirm the resurrection where we see death. The call to be grateful is a call to trust that every moment of our life can be claimed s the way of the cross that leads us to new life.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen, edited by John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Living

From pages 47-48 of A Spirituality of Living by Henri J. M. Nouwen, edited by John S. Mogabgab. Copyright © 2011 by The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray your own prayer of gratitude. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.
Hebrews 7:32-24, NRSV

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

Did You Know?

You can take a virtual tour of The Upper Room Chapel and Museum online. Visit chapel.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Howard Thurman (October 22).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 5 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller October 27, 2012, 4:41 am

    Yes, Lord without both bad and good, we wouldn’t know what each one is. Life is full of both, to be a live we experience both. Thanks for this reminder that through experiencing both good and bad we grow closer to you. Jesus experienced both in his life here on earth and made it possible for us to live eternally with you when we abide in you. Thank you for the gift of life that provides the opportunity to grow in our faith.

    Thank you for Uncle Norm who came to be with you this week.

    Be with those suffering through wars and conflict in the world. May the aggressors and defenders both come to know you and through knowing you, end the fighting. Many innocent people also suffer and die as a result of war, may they come to know you too. Lord, we pray for peace and love in the name of Jesus, Amen.

    • heidi October 27, 2012, 5:53 am

      Robert, may you come to find peace and comfort in the face of Uncle Norm’s entrance into the next phase of living. I Cor 15. Where O Death , is thy victory?

      Keeping you in prayer in the times ahead.

      • robert moeller October 28, 2012, 5:20 am

        Thank you Heidi, Uncle Norm is certainly in heaven and at peace, he was 91 and only in the hospital about 2-3 times his whole life. I am at peace too with his passing to life eternal. It was a wonderful service and the day went well.

  • Jill October 27, 2012, 4:51 am

    Father – as I look back over the past year – it is hard to believe what has transpired. One thing I know – You are with me/have been with me – and You ordained all of it. Hallelujah. Father, thank You for the awareness deep inside of Your presence. I have never doubted that – and draw me near to cling to You when I wander away. Father – I say “YES”. Amen.

  • Eric Saucier November 13, 2012, 9:56 pm

    Life and all that is in it is a gift from the infinite mind;
    and the only way that life can go wrong is by the limited finite mind.

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