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Wisteria

Today’s Reflection

WHEN WE LIVED in Pensacola we had a troublesome wisteria vine that would never stop cropping up all over. One of its favorite venues was the telephone pole on the edge of our property; it also liked the adjacent fence. The thing was relentless.

Every once in a while I’d go out with huge pruning shears and cut the creeper carefully where it first emerged from the ground. In a few hours, fifty-plus feet of wisteria would droop, then turn brown. A few days later I could easily pull it all down.

Jesus wants us to understand that we are as vitally connected to him and to one another, as that wisteria is to its source of life. Without sustaining grace we simply wither and die.

—Derek Maul
Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent

From page 46 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

What sustains you today?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
—John 15:4, 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

Now we see clearly the rest of the story. Death is not the end. Violence is not victorious. Death and darkness are overcome for all time and for all people! The Lord is risen. Death loses its sting, and God’s light permanently overcomes the darkness of evil. Read more..

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

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Jill April 19, 2019, 4:23 am

    The hope of Christ, the power of His resurrection.
    The peace which passeth understanding.
    Knowing that I know that I know.
    His Word.
    His Body – the Church – and its many members who reach out with texts, phone calls and emails.
    This UR clan – so faithful, so loving.

    As we ponder the somberness of this day, the Sacrifice which came only through incredible suffering, His life ransomed for ours – may it still us into simple humility and gratitude.
    Praise to the Father and Praise to the Son.

  • robert moeller April 19, 2019, 6:32 am

    Sometimes talking about spiritual matters is difficult as words often don’t seem to express or explain things. Perhaps they come close. I think faith, experience, habit, commitment, the teachings of believers, music, hymns, and especially God all have a role in helping me along the way.

    Thankful for a Maundy Thursday service yesterday and a Good Friday service today. Wish you all a blessed, spirit filled, holy, and Christ filled day. Today is the toughest day for our Redeemer. The disciples had no idea what would happen next. Jesus took the sins of the world away paying for them with His blood. Thank You, Lord Jesus.

  • Betsy April 19, 2019, 7:12 am

    My power source comes from prayer, scriptures and Christian friends and their guidance. Also, worship filled with hymns and liturgical prayer brings me such strength.
    Looking forward to spending our first Easter service with our new grandson. Blessed that this young family chooses to be a part of a church community; I continue to pray that my daughter, ever Independent and self-reliant, would return to Church. This group of believers who visit here at UR are also a source of comfort and strength. Blessings this Holy Week to all of you.

  • Julie April 19, 2019, 8:42 am

    I spent a long time typing a comment but there was a glitch with the site so my comment did not post. So sorry for abbreviated post.
    The people of this loving family in Christ sustain me as does the Lord’s words and promises found in the Bible. His loving care or me sustains me. The sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the first Good Friday for me sustains me.
    Prayers for Jill and her fahter for safe travel and a restorative holiday.
    Prayers for Robert as he celbrates Easter, hopefully Erich will join him this year.
    Prayers for Betsy as she celebrates her grandsons first Easter, may they be joined by her daughter.
    Prayers for Mary and her family as the y celbrate without her mother.
    Prayers for Andrea and her worries concerning her grandson.
    Prayers for Connie, may they season renew her spirit.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be receiving needed help.
    Prayers for April and her family, Lou and her family, Edy and Bill and Rusty and K.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs and thank you for your prayers dear UR famly.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 19, 2019, 8:46 am

      Thanks Julie!

      It is tough for my dad cause it’s his birthday tomorrow.

      We brought him out today.

      Blessings!

      • Andrea April 19, 2019, 2:46 pm

        Mary, I will say a special prayer for your father tomorrow. Blessings and prayers.

        • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 19, 2019, 5:30 pm

          Thanks do much, Andrea!

          God’s love reflected in your prayers and support sustains me.

          Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us!

          Blessings!

    • Connie April 19, 2019, 8:53 am

      This season and you, Julie, renew my spirit. Happy Easter.

    • April April 19, 2019, 10:50 am

      Oh Julie, you always compose such thoughtful, individualized posts. I am praying for you that a new opportunity of working with a patient with PTSD with your MSW will be successful. As I read your posts, I feel you have the ability to sense underlying feelings as you offer solutions. Please keep us posted!
      I am sorry and feel your pain when your posts don’t post. Mine sometimes do that, so instead of composing my post in the designated area, I compose them on a document in Word and then copy and paste. If they don’t upload, I have them saved for another try.
      Blessings to you and your family during this Easter week.

  • Connie April 19, 2019, 9:03 am

    What sustains me today? The love of God, my family, my friends here, and Holy Week with its promise of hope.
    My Mother died close to Easter, as did Jill and Mary’s. Thank you Lord, for your resurrection power.
    “I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown”

  • Vanessa Lissner April 19, 2019, 10:12 am

    I took Communion last night Maudy Thursday and was anointed with Blessed Oil . Reminded Jesus never leaves Us even when we are in our Darkest hours.

  • April April 19, 2019, 10:37 am

    One word: Jesus.
    Blessings dear UR family on this Holy Friday.

  • Andrea April 19, 2019, 3:31 pm

    This Good Friday is especially sad for those who are grieving. May those who grieve or suffer in any way be mindful of how Jesus bore His Cross and and how he unfailingly helps His followers to bear theirs. May I always be reminded to lean on Jesus when the road is difficult and the burden heavy. It is how Jesus wants us to face the problems of today and the unknown of what lies ahead in the future. I often feel afraid when I think of my husband and me and how our aging may – and most likely will – present more challenges. Only by trusting God do I deal with the fear of getting older. I gain courage from UR friends who live with pain and chronic illness. God bless all UR friends. I thank you all for what you share

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