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Pure Grief

Today’s Reflection

IF GRATITUDE ushers in healing, how do we come by it? The gift of gratitude, while wonderful, is exactly that—a gift. None of us can will it into being or perform exercises to make it happen. It is a gift of God, pure grace. I do believe, however, that we will finally receive it if we look around, hold ourselves open to it, watch for it without cynicism or bullying of the universe, and long for it as best we can from the place of grief where we find ourselves.

—Roberta C. Bondi, Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

How can you become more open to receiving God’s gifts?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
—Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, As you draw us closer to you, draw us closer to each other. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Who came up with the idea of using nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas? Many might be surprised to learn that Francis of Assisi, the well-known thirteenth-century saint, is credited with creating the first nativity scene. The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis introduces readers to Saint Francis and his joyous reenactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with a manger and animals. Discover 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

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Jill November 13, 2019, 4:03 am

    Being more open, for myself, is all about what I allow into my mind. If my mind is racing with wrong thoughts, I am closed off to God’s transforming love and power. When I confess those thoughts and surrender them to Him, seeking His assistance – taking them “captive” as His Word teaches us – then the spigot is open again and His blessed peace flows.
    Mary Clare – thank you for what you shared. May God bless you as your journey continues.
    I am grateful these posts are available again at an early hour.
    May God watch over the UR faithful.

  • Julie November 13, 2019, 8:35 am

    I need to give God more time that is purely His, with no distracting thoughts or activities.
    I have been taking the new medicine for 2 days but only at night in order to try to minimize the side effects. The common isde effects are many and debilitating. So far I have had nausea only.
    Prayers for Jill and I am also thankful that you are able to post in the morning as your insights often leave me with things to ponder throughout the day. Thank you for your sharing attitude.
    Prayers for Mary Clare and her deep pain. Your words took my breath away and I said a prayer for you after reading them. You are a brave and strong person. May God bless you.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and students, may all be receive with God’s gifts.
    Prayers for Robert and his insights and wisdom that he freely shares with us. May God ease your grief and provide grace and gratitude and warm memories.
    Prayers and blessings UR

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 13, 2019, 4:57 pm

    Thanks Julie and amen to all prayers!

    May God remove your side effects from the new medicine and may you be well soon.

    Being open to me is not to limit God but to desire His gift.

    So grateful to God for blessing my secondary 2 student with an award for his English.

    Blessings to all and may all be well!

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