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When Life Overwhelms

Today’s Reflection

IN TRULY STUNNING fashion, God orchestrates Mary and Elizabeth’s pregnancies six months apart. It is a testament to God’s care and provision that each woman has someone to journey with as she navigates the peculiar season in which she finds herself. The gift of a believing community can make all the difference in the form our challenging waiting seasons take.

By intentionally seeking out one another, Mary and Elizabeth journey together and support each other. They affirm God’s miracle-working power in each of their lives. Their presence before each other serves as a daily reminder of God’s faithfulness and a visual assurance of God’s promises. …

We should not be surprised at the divine consideration in having this young girl and this old woman wait together for the fulfillment of God’s respective words to them. … God created us to flourish in our interconnectedness and mutual support of one another. We need one another to remind us that all things are possible with God and to help us trust the narrative that God’s reign is both at hand and still to come. In the midst of uncomfortable waiting, we need voices that also speak to our blessedness. Sharing our stories adds perspectives that can bolster our faith when life overwhelms, frightens, or takes us by surprise.

– Enuma Okoro
Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

From pages 67-68 of Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro. Copyright © 2012 by Enuma Okoro. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Look for an opportunity to be a voice of blessing for someone. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:7-8, NRSV

This Week: pray for peace. 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: Dorothy Day (December 6).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 10, 2017, 2:51 am

    Grateful for this place where we can share our joys and sorrows with one another and support one another in prayer.

    Thank you God for each one here and the UR ministry.


    • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:01 am

      Bless you, Mary, for your short, sweet and to the point comments. They are full of God’s love. Thank you!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 11, 2017, 6:39 am

        Thank you, Marcy!

        You never fail to inspire and encourage me.

        Thank God for you, Marcy!


  • Jill December 10, 2017, 6:20 am

    Father – help us to keep our eyes on You, amidst our concerns and struggles. Might we see fellow sojourners and realize we all carry burdens. Help us to reach beyond ourselves and offer an word of encouragement, a hug, a brief prayer of support.
    Ready for church this morning. Missed it last week, took a day trip out of town. Need to re-center, ponder the mystery of Advent, worship with other Believers. It will be very good to be in the house of my Lord.

    • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:04 am

      Jill, you are a blessing, in showing how it is possible to overcome physical issues and join life again. Thank you, for the inspiration.

  • Lou December 10, 2017, 6:30 am

    Thankful for the blessings of those that share their faith here. Prayers for all who come here today looking for the peace that only God can give.
    Jesus- light of the world – shine down on us today and help us reflect your love.
    Blessings to all on this second Sunday of advent.

    • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:07 am

      Lou, thank you for walking through difficult times with faith, showing us we can continue to move forward in pain, and that God never leaves us or forsake us. God bless you and be with you.

  • robert moeller December 10, 2017, 6:36 am

    With all of what has been happening here at the UR this reflection encourages us to continue our mutual support through prayer and posts. Blessings to all as we enter the Lord’s house on this second Sunday of Advent. Thankful the Lord is with us.

    • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:11 am

      As always, Robert, we are thankful for your example. We take heart, as you continue to improve with heart rehab, that to heal is possible with God’s help. Bless you.

  • Andrea December 10, 2017, 8:35 am

    It is a blessing to come to this holy online space where we read, share and pray together, and to know we are praying for one another.

    Thank you for your prayers for my husband and for Walter.

    I love Isaiah 40: “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”

    I picture all of us gathered safely in the Shepherd’s arms. With prayers for peace for each UR friend.

    • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:13 am

      Andrea, we are so blessed by your encouraging and empathetic comments. You know the right words to build us up and/or comfort us when we are in need. Thank you!

  • Marcy December 10, 2017, 10:24 am

    I continue to pray for each and every one of you here in the UR family, each and every one of your families and friends and beyond, especially those whose thoughts and prayers are unspoken. Please, do not feel that God has forgotten you or left you, though it may feel very much like that is so. He may seem far away, but you know in your soul, that He is near; very near. Always remember the poem “Footprints in the Sand,” describing how Jesus carries us when we feel we cannot go on.

    Praying for Peace this 2nd Sunday of Advent, celebrating the birth of the Christ Child, our Savior. May peace, joy, comfort and love surround you all.

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