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Today’s Reflection

TODAY, like those early followers, we still tend to reinvent the character and the picture of the God we worship, so the image fits more tidily with the values and the priorities that define the culture in which we are comfortable. In truth, the huge win Jesus achieved at Easter still calls for us to reject the trap of the status quo. It is a W [win] over greed; selfishness; religiosity; and the entire me-first, consumer-driven mentality that illustrates our foundational cultural malfunction. But it’s easier to replace the scandal of the Cross with a basket of candy and less taxing when we focus on the traditions of springtime rather than an empty tomb. We’d rather not think too much about the heavy price paid for the freedom we take so lightly.

—Derek Maul
Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent

From page 12 of Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent by Derek Maul. Copyright © 2011 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 your calendar or daily agenda bring a rhythm to your walk with Christ?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him,
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.”
—John 8:31, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

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

Something more

This is Holy Week, the most important week of the church year. Read more about this “Big Event” by visiting upperroom.org.

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

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill April 16, 2019, 3:19 am

    I would call it my “routine” as opposed to my “agenda”. How I have missed it and find much comfort getting back to it. For the last few weeks of mom’s life – the wee hours of the morning were despairing, long and full of fretful prayer. Now, I am luxuriating in my early morning time, so comfortably falling back into this routine. The quietness, the darkness is again a comfort and fits me like a glove.
    It can be easy to look past the troublesome events of Holy Week and go directly to the empty grave. But, as my faith has matured, I have found it necessary to try to imagine/envision Jesus’ path and experiences of the week. This year, more than ever before, I can better relate to some of what He felt in the Garden. Wanting the cup to pass from Him – and yet ultimately saying, not My will but Thine be done.
    Father – thank You for the perfect example in Your Son Jesus Christ – His life and sacrifice.
    Grateful to be back at school, and for words of encouragement from staff members. I was very tired last evening – a good fatigue. Grateful for a session with my counselor yesterday, for her gift of wisdom she so readily shares.

  • robert moeller April 16, 2019, 6:59 am

    The environment around me must have some effect on me. Often there’s a choice between God and the world, sometimes I delay, sometimes I don’t. The challenge is always there. Thankfully there are times of the day when the challenge is small and my devoted time is not affected.

    Will be very glad to make over the hump of buying the condo. Once the deal is done finances will be much easier to handle.

    Hope to see a fellow heart maintenance friend this morning and visit a friend in a nearby nursing home.

    Notre Dame Cathedral will rebuild, what a sad sight seeing it burn.

    God’s peace, love, comfort, mercy, and love to all of you.

  • Andrea April 16, 2019, 7:41 am

    I am thankful for a good report from the orthopedic doctor. I can start walking a few steps without crutches. My husband’s ankle has healed. My prayers are of gratitude.

    My daily routine starts and ends with UR and prayer. My small, old roll-top desk and my laptop computer are by windows looking out over a wooded hill that goes down to a pond over which the sun sets in the evening. I feel closest to God in nature, so I love how the day begins and ends with this view, and how I see the changes throughout the year. As I sit here today, it strikes me that the two holiest days of the year, Christmas and Easter, occur at seasons of the year that seem unmatched to their significance, at least here in the upper Midwest of the northern hemisphere, and after a bit of research on line, I find that winter and spring in the Holy Land fall at the same times of the year as they do here. Jesus is born in winter and crucified at the beginning of spring. Light is born in the darkness, and new growth grows out of death. I recall what a theologian said about Jesus – that He turned everything upside down on its head. The meek inherit the kingdom of God; earthly power and riches have no value; and Jesus, the son of God, obediently died for us on a cross.

    Prayers for you Robert, for the pieces to fall into place for the move you and Erich are making, and prayers for Erich and Anneliese. Prayers for Jill, her father and sister, Mary, Julie, Connie, Edy and her son, Lou and her children, Marcy and her caregiver, Betsy and her new grandson and family, April, all who visit UR, and those for whom you pray.

    • Andrea April 16, 2019, 7:46 am

      I meant to say that in the Holy Land, Christmas and Easter fall during the same seasons of the year as they do here, Jesus was born in the winter and was crucified in the spring.

    • Connie April 16, 2019, 12:03 pm

      Glad that when Lowell needed help you were able and when you need help Lowell is able. God’s timing is a miracle.

  • Julie April 16, 2019, 8:27 am

    I pray at certain times of the day which help me keep a rhythm to my daily worship.
    I add my prayers to Robert’s for the people of Paris who are dealing with the loss of their venerable cathedral during this holy week. I know that they will follow the Israelites example and rebuild this holy temple.
    Prayers for Jill as she returns to her familiar routines and finds solace.
    Prayers for Robert, may he soon find appropriate financing.
    Prayers of gratitude with Andrea for her and Lowell’s healing.
    Prayers for April and her family, Betsy and her family, Edy and her family, Lou and her family, and Rusty and K.
    Prayers for Connie, may she continue to heal and become more mobile.
    Prayers for Mary and her family as they continue to mourn. May they gain strength and support from one another as well as God.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well and receiving needed help.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family. Thank you for your prayers. I have a friend who suffers from PTSD and has no insurance to cover therapy so I have offered my services. I have an MSW but never got licensed due to developing Reynaud’s while I was in school. I was older as this was my second master’s. I pray for the Lord to guide me and give me the right words to help this kind man.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 16, 2019, 5:44 pm

      Thanks everyone for your prayers.

      Grateful for the Foochow Methodist church to conduct my mum’s funeral wake service and the choir to present the hymn, Safe in the arms of Jesus!

      Blessings!

  • Connie April 16, 2019, 12:11 pm

    My UR time has been re-arranged lately. I miss the old routine, as I am a creature of habit.
    Thankful for:
    Holy Week.
    A snowfall that quickly melted. (It was pretty, though, covering the trees in soft snow……White Purity for Palm Sunday)

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