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Love Everlasting

Today’s Reflection

I LOVE REMBRANDT’S painting The Return of the Prodigal Son. The father holds his child, touches his child, and says, “You are my beloved. I’m not going to ask you any questions. Wherever you have gone, whatever you have done, and whatever people say about you, you’re my beloved. I hold you safe in my embrace. You can come home to me whose name is Compassionate, whose name is Love.” If we keep that in mind, we can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing our identity, because our identity is that we are the beloved. Long before our father and mother, our brothers and sisters, our teachers, our church, or anyone else touched us in a loving or a wounding way—long before we were rejected by some person or praised by somebody else—that voice was there. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). That love was there before we were born and will be there after we die.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Living: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to have your identity based on God’s love for you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
—Ephesians 3:18-19 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling August 21, 2019, 6:17 am

    No matter what, I am well loved by God, my Heavenly Father.

    Thank you God for the joy of being your child!

    Blessings!

  • Julie August 21, 2019, 8:02 am

    I wish I could feel this love. I have not had unconditional love since my grandparents died and since then love has been combined with pain and humiliation. I need to seek God’s guidance and allow His love to enter my heart and soul.
    Prayers for Mary and her joy and love for all.
    Prayers for Jill as she and Larry continue to share and heal. Thank you for your input regarding my query.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may Erich heal soon. Would a change in climate assist his health?
    Prayers for Lou’s safety as she travels home.
    Prayers for Andrea’s health concerns.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR visitors

  • Mike August 21, 2019, 8:24 am

    I just finished reading a book on the ministry of Paul and it is such a great reminder that God’s love for us is greater than we will ever comprehend here. I pray for blessings for all who read this today and for all those you are praying for!

  • Louise Tallman August 21, 2019, 9:39 am

    Thank you for this reminder of God’s love for all.
    I hope that I portray that as I meet other people in life’s journey. However, it never hurts to be reminded. Thank you.

    Peace, Rev. Louise

  • April August 21, 2019, 11:24 am

    I am thinking of you Lou. Today’s Light for the Day is a picture of Bow Bridge in Central Park, NYC. It is just so beautiful and I will keep you and her in my prayers whenever NYC is mentioned.
    Mary, thanks for the great posting today….yes, we are all children of God!!
    Welcome to our new posters…your added thoughts are so appreciated.
    Blessings to my UR family on this beautiful summer morning, may today be a day of joy!!

    • Lou August 22, 2019, 6:40 am

      Thank you so much April. I am home now and there continue to be lots of ups and downs as expected – thank you for your prayers. I pray for you as well.

  • Andrea August 21, 2019, 9:10 pm

    It is hard to truly fathom the unlimited well of God’s love. I am reminded of a bookmark I once had: “You can fall no deeper than God’s love.” I often have trouble with unrelenting self-criticism, and I don’t think that is God’s.

    Thank you, Julie, for all of your prayers for us. I pray you will feel God’s loving embrace, I pray you will soon be in a good living situation with new opportunities.

    Tomorrow I am going to the our state fair with my daughter. On Friday evening, my last guests arrive, three people I met last November when we went to the east coast. One of the three was our hostess for a long weekend and she was eminently hospitable and gracious. I am looking forward to seeing her and the other two guests again.

    I ask for prayers for my daughter, SIL, and grandson, who are going through a transition and, I have just become aware, are having some difficulty.

    With prayers for dear UR friends, and for all who visit here.

    • Andrea August 21, 2019, 9:11 pm

      Last sentence in first paragraph should read: I often have trouble with unrelenting self-criticism, and I don’t think that is God’s WILL.

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