≡ Menu

Pushing Boundaries

Today’s Reflection

TO FOLLOW JESUS is to be continuously pushing our own boundaries in loving our neighbor. This task becomes joy when it is coupled with continuously pushing our boundaries to loving God. In too many cases our lives of mission are too separate from the life of prayer. By inviting the Spirit into mission discernment, we move toward balancing the guiding principles of healthy church life….

[Perhaps] we have narrowed our sense of mission so much that we’ve forgotten to look outside our walls and invite our community to participate with us in new life. Perhaps we are ready for God to burst our self-imposed barriers, as they were inspired to do. Perhaps it’s time to more faithfully practice loving God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27).

—Dwight H. Judy
A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life

From page 67 of A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life by Dwight H. Judy. Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Who is outside your self-imposed walls?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
—Matthew 5: 43-47, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Come Holy Spirit, come.

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

Something more

Are you a church leader or parent? Subscribe to Rising Generations, a bimonthly newsletter from The Upper Room with tips and tools for ministry with Children, Youth, & Young Adults.

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

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Julie May 16, 2019, 8:05 am

    Some of the people outside my walls are those closest to me. The man I live with is a complete stanger to me. I know more about the days and thoughts and feelings and circumstances of those who post here than I do his. Stangers I can be nice to and him, I have no thoughts of charity or inclusion.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and their grandson.
    Prayers for Betsy and her grandson.
    Prayers for Connie and her family and her garden and hummers.
    Prayers for Edy and Bill and safe travel and quick recovery.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and a return to golf and tennis.
    Prayers for Mary and her father and continued improved appetite.
    Prayers for Marcy and her health concerns.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and their imminent move, may they find that for which they search.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs and many thanks dear UR family

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 16, 2019, 8:17 am

    Thanks for your prayers

    Please pray for my dad. He is in the hospital now.

    Blessings!

  • Connie May 16, 2019, 8:32 am

    Let’s see…who is outside my walls? People who drain my energy. I try to stay positive amidst life’s troubles and with God’s help I will persevere. His will be done.
    Lord, be with Mary’s Dad and renew his strength. Heal him, Father. Amen.
    Julie, WE ARE FAMILY.
    Thankful for:
    The beautiful tree blooming two houses down.
    A Mother’s Day card that came late because of the mail.
    Tasks on my list that I was finally able to accomplish. Minor, but satisfying none-the-less.

  • Andrea May 16, 2019, 9:41 am

    Thank you, Julie, for your prayers. We are all here raying for you, supporting you and loving you.

    Gracious Living God, be with Mary’s father, his doctors and nurses. May he be strengthened and healed. Be with Mary as she supports him with love and devotion.

    Gracious Living God, be with all in this loving UR prayer body.

    Wishing all a blessed day.

  • Jill May 16, 2019, 10:26 am

    This reading immediately brought to mind my neighbor. I have been living in my house now for 21 years. For almost the first 20 – I had the same neighbor – a widow – very kind, friendly. We share a driveway and she was always unable to shovel the snow, due to a heart condition. Eventually she stopped driving and passed a year ago January. She has a daughter who is married, with two kids and a son. Mostly her son-in-law helped her with mowing the lawn and other summer duties, occasionally her son. Upon her death last year, her son ultimately moved in to her house. He is terribly introverted, will not even acknowledge my presence. He quickly put a fence around his back yard, to contain his little dog. When I walk out to go to my garage to leave, if he is standing outside his back door with the dog, he immediately bolts inside the house. When I am working in my flower beds or mowing the lawn, right near our driveway – he will not even look at me – even if I verbally address him. At some point last spring, into summer – this person became a woman. He changed his name to Michelle – I only know this because my neighbor accross the street told me – how she got this information out of her – I have no idea. While I was out mowing yesterday afternoon – I was thinking how she would likely just continue driving down the road, if I was pulling weeds in our driveway – just to avoid having to acknowledge me. And then I was thinking – what would Jesus do? I am reluctant to even say good morning, as the person will flee into the house and slam the door. I really need to speak with this person about getting a load of gravel for our shared driveway. I guess I might as well just order it, get it done…not expecting any help from this person – for the payment or the spreading of the gravel. This person’s mother would always poke her head out the dining room window when I was shoveling snow, thanking me for doing this. Even when she was no longer driving.
    Well, I have kinda grumbled on about this…my attitude needs prayer. I imagine Jesus would not be intrusive, but certainly still present and courteous.
    My body is sore from two nights of tennis – but it is a good sore, good to know I am back playing. Another match tonight and then I can work on other muscles this weekend spreading mulch and planting flowers. This, too, will be a welcome discomfort.
    Taking swordfish over to my dad’s tonight to cook on his grill. Will have dinner with him before tennis.
    Mary – we surround you with prayer for your father, and for you and your sister as you attend to him.

  • John Marshall May 17, 2019, 2:46 am

    I have felt angry with the Lord for a long time. I feel that life has treated me very unfairly. I blamed the Lord for this. Perhaps He is only burning off the dross! I will learn to truly love Him with all my mind, heart, and soul.

  • robert moeller May 19, 2019, 1:53 am

    Most decidedly I am not an out reach person like Jesus. There are new people I know and to whom I have reached out, but I’m not super outgoing. There’s a lot of room for improvement.

    Have been less diligent posting to the Upper Room for a few days. Trying to catch up.Thankful for a good visit with my doctor and good lab results. Positive news and progress on the condo purchase. Anneliese has a new plan and doctor for PM help. Erich is making progress with a long time interest and getting ready for the move. Thank You, Lord.

Leave a Comment