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Wide Heart

Today’s Reflection

I CONFESS to a heart that does not widen easily. You may have a similar problem, but Jesus will not stop inviting us, calling us, to expand our hearts. Jesus will want us to make space for friends, he will want us to make space for neighbors, he will want us to make space for strangers, and then—even scarier—he will want us to make space for enemies. In fact, there is absolutely nobody who is not his friend. They may not know it, but he is friend to them already.

—Peter Storey
“Table Manners for Peacebuilders: Holy Communion in the Life of Peacemaking,” Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table

From page 60 of Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table edited by Thomas Porter. Copyright © 2006 by Discipleship Resources, an imprint of Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Does your heart widen easily?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
—John 13:34-35, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

God of forgiveness, help me forgive. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

A special invitation to the Daily Reflections family: Upper Room Books is offering a 15% discount on books purchased from The Upper Room Bookstore during the month of April. Use promo code APRIL15 when you make your purchase at bookstore.upperroom.org. Offer excludes packages and non-discountable items.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Lou April 13, 2019, 6:28 am

    Prayers for
    Mary and her mother.
    Healing and peace for Jill and her family especially her father as he grieves and tries to fill the empty space in his heart.
    Healing and comfort for Julie.
    Thankfulness for Robert as the move continues to go as planned.
    Continued healing for Andrea – and comfort for her widowed friend.
    Peace and joy for Connie.
    Continued prayers for Betsy, Rusty, Marcy
    And all who come here today.
    Widen all of hearts to let you in Lord and help us love like You love.
    Prayers for each of my children-especially my youngest who finally made her decision and will move ahead. Help her and give her peace.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 13, 2019, 7:20 am

      Thanks Lou and everyone for praying!

      Tonight I staying overnight with my mum at the hospital.

      Blessings!

      May all be well!

  • Jill April 13, 2019, 6:35 am

    I would say that my heart does not widen easily. An introvert for some time now, I prefer solidarity as opposed to social situations without a purpose. However, in small groups while studying the Word – I do feel that I am able to be empathetic and support others, to listen well and to encourage.
    Dad told my sister I was going to begin going through mom’s things and she came over yesterday and assisted. We actually did a lot more than I anticipated. It is unfortunate that my sister and I have not been able to comfort each other during this, that we have not grown closer. But, I am just trying to accept that for what it is. I am grateful for a close group of friends who have been rocks for me, this past year plus. I guess I don’t even consider for myself if I am “ready” to do these things, I just do them so dad doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to see these clothes every time he opens the closet.
    I am grateful for a good night’s rest last night – the first time in I can’t even remember how long. Slept like my normal self. It feels so good. Grateful for a morning of sunshine. Grateful for the hope of heart healing.

  • Betsy April 13, 2019, 7:15 am

    I confess that I don’t easily open myself up to total strangers. In theory, I know that we are all God’s children and he loves all. But, my judgmental self sometimes takes over, and I hold back when faced with someone who’s views trouble me. Praying for my heart to be opened to differences. I many times pray Psalm 131:1-2. I rest in that.

    Jill, your helping your father to go through your mom’s things will be such a help to him. That will help all of you to grieve yet remember fondly, good times you all shared with her. Praying you and your sister can accomplish the task with love and respect.

    A cold front has move in here, with chilly temperatures; so common to spring in the heartland. Praying for those still affected by flooding waters north and west of us. Am anticipating Palm Sunday tomorrow and the beginning of Holy Week. Blessings to all.

  • Julie April 13, 2019, 7:56 am

    I, like Jill, am an introvert. However, I try to see each person as another flawed and hurting individual with problems and concerns. I also have trouble with people who have different views or opinions, though again I try to allw for differences between life experiences.
    Prayers for April, Edy and Bill, and Rusty.
    Prayers for Andrea as she heals.
    Prayers for Betsy as she is spared the flooding of her neighbors.
    Prayers for Connie, for physical and emotional healing.
    Prayers for Jill, Larry and Becky as they each process their loss.
    Prayers for Lou and her daughter and their continued future planning.
    Prayers for Mary and her mum, may her mum’s health improve.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and the progress of their plans to move.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family
    Thank you for your prayers. I need them so much, I have found out some disturbing information about the divorce and h’s intent. However, I am beginning to feel God’s peace reassuring me. Thank you again for praying.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 14, 2019, 1:04 am

      Amen to all your prayers!

      Thank you for praying for all of us.

      May God bless you abundantly!

  • Alexis Graham April 13, 2019, 11:33 am

    I try to open my heart to people then I think how many times I have been hurt by people and it hurts because I have been deceived by my family and some close suppose to be friends. One day after praying and asking God why are they hurting me over and over and that I need peace. I have one child an adult son and they treated him the same way they treat me so we decided to relocate to a different city and we didn’t let any of them know our where abouts it’s been 10 months and they don’t know where we are, we have started over and in doing so we have gone through some difficult situations but because of praying and trusting God we made it through and are now settled in a 2 bedroom apartment in a nice quiet area and God allowed us to meet christian people who invited us to their church and we were showed so much ❤️ love and my son said to me I really like this church and said mama let’s stay in this church it feels like a Godly place to be and that was November of 2018 and we are still members of of this penticostal church we are happy to be in a place where we are being taught to live a Jesus filled life this start over has been worth it, we should have done this a long time ago. Our relatives don’t know where we are it is almost a year now. We now feel free to serve God in spirit and truth.

  • Andrea April 13, 2019, 11:52 am

    Yes, I think my heart widens easily and readily. I have forgiven people who have hurt me. I have better boundaries and ability to speak up.

    Today is a day for dyeing Easter eggs with my grandson. Grateful for the joy he brings us.

    Jill, your care for your father is touching. God bless you m, your father and sister as you grieve.

    Blessings and prayers for all who visit here.

  • Darr Sigilman April 13, 2019, 3:03 pm

    My heart widens easily. I Always help people who are in need even if they are complete strangers, especially if they are children. I have always gone out of my way to help everybody regardless of weather I know them or not.

  • robert moeller April 14, 2019, 4:50 pm

    Working with my son to correct an issue that I have. It is long over due. I pray for resolution. In some ways we are like Alexis and her son, hoping to move to the place where many problems may be solved. Wish my son was a believer.

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