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Acknowledge the Dust

Today’s Reflection

IN POINTING TO THE DUST, Jesus also points to the origin of life. From dust, God has formed human beings. (See Genesis 2:7.) From the commonness of dust arises the complexity and mystery of human life. As we acknowledge our shared humanity, we let go of the illusion that we are more or less valuable than other people. Our identity as dust can help us to be mindful of our place in relation to God and mindful of the capacity for life. We can rest in the comforting truth that we are dust, knowing that it is God who breathes life into us. We can stop categorizing, labeling, and trying to decide who is most and least saved. Such an acknowledgment transforms us and allows us to realize our full potential and be filled with the life God intends. Each person is complex, surprising, and full of potential for change and growth. But first, we have to acknowledge the dust.

—Angela D. Schaffner
Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself

From page 92 of Revealed: What the Bible Can Teach You About Yourself by Angela D. Schaffner. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How does Jesus help you acknowledge your humanness? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When they kept on questioning him, [Jesus] straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
—John 8:7-8, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, help me to see myself in your Word, so that others might see you in me. Amen.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Join The Upper Room staff for Lenten morning prayer. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 9:00 a.m. (CST) and continuing on Wednesdays through Holy Week, we will meet online for 15 minutes to pray together. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Andrea March 6, 2019, 8:16 am

    Jesus’ love sees past the outward appearance, it sees into the heart. From the Beatitudes, I learn that Jesus does not see as the world sees. Jesus’ love accepts imperfections and weakness. His compassion reaches out to the marginalized, the suffering, the least among us I am reassured to know Jesus’ love encompasses my shortcomings and is present in the dark moments of my days. I am often hard on myself. In those moments, I turn toward Jesus’ love. I rest in Jesus’ tender care and compassion.

    Marcy, you are in my prayers. May you become stronger, breathe freely, and be relieved of pain.

    Prayers for all UR friends. Blessings.

  • Julie March 6, 2019, 8:24 am

    Jesus life as portrayed in the Bible reminds me that I am completelyy mortal while He embodied deity in a human form. I am fully aware that I have made and will continue to make mistakes and that my relationships a woefully broken while He was blameless and capable of pure relationships.
    Prayers for Robert as he continues to plan his move.
    Prayers for Marcy and I am so thankful she is receiving needed medical care. May all procedures and surgeries be succesful.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may her parents health improve.
    Prayers for Connie and her family, may the coming spring warm her days and heart.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they be patient and loving to one another.
    Prayers for Rusty, may his health improve.
    Prayers for Jill and her family. May Gloria not be suffering physically and may they all be strong and find God’s peace.
    May those in the UMC governing body read today’s reflection. May they see that they are dust only and stop placing themselves above others. May they accept that they are created from the same dust as the LGBT community.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 6, 2019, 9:21 am

      Thanks Julie and Andrea for all your prayers!

      May everyone have better health and a closer walk with God!

      May Jesus help us to apply the Word each day so that others might see you in us!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 6, 2019, 9:07 am

    Jesus helps me acknowledge my humanness by showing me the suffering, betrayal, temptations and pain he went through are part and parcel of life. When we are discouraged, tired or burnt out, we should retreat and pray. In fact, we should pray more and seek God’s strength and help each moment to prepare for the challenges ahead each day.

    Marcy, so glad to hear from you. You are always in our prayers and God’s presence is always with us!

    Blessings!

  • April March 6, 2019, 9:17 am

    This past Sunday, our church had an informational meeting to explain more about the decisions from the UMC special conference and what is next.
    We also sang the song “For everyone born, a place at the table”
    For everyone born, a place at the table
    for everyone born, clean water and bread,
    a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing,
    for everyone born, a star overhead,
    and God will delight when we are creators
    of justice and joy, compassion and peace:
    yes, God will delight when we are creators
    of justice, justice and joy!
    I believe God offers second, third…..chances. I pray for the UMC leaders and members and me: Jesus, help us to see ourselves in your Word, so that others might see you in us. Amen.

  • April March 6, 2019, 9:25 am

    So good to hear from you Marcy and know you are being helped. I pray for continued help and healing with breathing, pain, insurance coverage, etc. Blessings and peace.

  • robert moeller March 6, 2019, 2:05 pm

    I make a lot of mistakes, I’m human. Only humans make mistakes. Jesus is divine and this perfect.

    Thankful that the internet is back on and I can post. Yes, we are all ashes come to life by the power of God. Very thankful to learn that Marcy has posted and ius getting the help she needs. Thanks for the prayers for the UMC and the LGBT community. A longer walk on the valley is needed that all of us will learn what God wants and agreement can be made. Love is for all, love your neighbor as yourself.

    Thanks to each of you who posted today. Your prayers for a multitude of prayer topics are all very much appreciated.

    Getting started on the next steps to move. There will be some sad faces when the news comes out. Still have to find a new place, and go through all that is necessary.

    Prayers for Gloria, Marcy, Julie, Andrea, and Lowell and the health issues they face. God’s peace to everyone. Hopefully the shared computer will be a thing of the past soon. Thank You, Lord.

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