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    In Loving Memory: John S. Mogabgab

    With profound sadness The Upper Room announces the death of beloved editor John S. Mogabgab, special projects editor for Upper Room Books and founding editor of Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life.

    For more information and/or to leave a tribute to John, visit http://weavings.org/.

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    Interruptions often blindside us, leaving us wondering where God is. Jacob Armstrong looks at how Jesus responded to interruptions.

    Set aside your stress for a bit and consider how the interruption you are going through may actually be an opportunity to feel God’s presence.



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    Bishop, The Mountain Sky Episcopal Area
    The United Methodist Church

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  • The God We Can Know: Exploring the "I Am" Sayings of Jesus  

    “This outstanding resource for churches, small groups, and individuals will help people grow in their faith. Rob Fuquay is an excellent teacher and guide, and I look forward to studying this resource in my own small group.”
    —Adam Hamilton
    Pastor and author of The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

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  • The God We Can Know: Exploring the "I Am" Sayings of Jesus - DVD Cover  

    Travel with Rob Fuquay to the Holy Land and see the places where Jesus stood as he disclosed his identity and the context in which he spoke the “I Am” statements from the Gospel of John.

    The gospel comes to life as we move from the Judean wilderness to the Gaililean hills and into the heart of Jerusalem in this fast-paced, interactive video journey that helps us discover Jesus anew. The DVD includes Group Guides for adults, youth, and children.


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September 1, 2014

The Sacred Struggle

The Upper Room Disciplines is a best-selling book of daily devotions published annually by Upper Room Books. Each week’s readings are reflections on scripture passages from the lectionary for that period. On Mondays the first reading for the week will be posted. We’d love to hear what you think about the week’s readings and prayers. Just sign in and add your comment in the Comments section following this post.


Read Exodus 12:1-10

The struggle for freedom from bondage is rarely enacted without sacrifice. In early Israelite religion the sacrifice of animals held a routine place in the worshiping community. The sacrifice provided a sacred meal and an act of worship.

The Israelites would not be allowed to leave Egypt without significant sacrifice. The mystery and power of the plagues represent a part of the sacred struggle God will enact to release the Israelites from degrading slavery. While sacrifice may seem unnecessarily violent, it is, in this instance, an action that ends the greater violence of bondage and oppression. True sacrifice always entails the giving up of something valuable in order to realize something of greater and enduring value.

As the sacrifice necessary for the liberation of Israel from Egypt receded into history, the coming generations would be challenged to relive a crucial part of their formation as a community of faith. The blood of lambs that had marked the homes of the Israelites, saving them from the deadly plague, would become central in the celebration of this memory. By slaughtering specially selected lambs from the flock, the Israelite households would recall the sacrifice made with God to bring their freedom. In the annual observance, young and old alike would confront death: death to the animal selected for the Passover meal and, through that death, the recollection of the life and freedom gained by this holy sacrifice.

What sacrifices have we experienced in our journey with God as individuals or as a people of faith? In Jesus we receive courage to seek justice for others and for ourselves, risking comfort and familiarity in the sacrifice for liberating action. Our willingness for loving sacrifice empowers us to be a doorway, not a doormat, in our relationship with God and others.

God of the oppressed, open our hearts and lives to your liberating power, through the sacrificial love we see in Jesus. Amen.


Diane Luton Blum, an ordained United Methodist minister for 35 years, serves as a retreat leader and spiritual director in Nashville, TN. She and her husband, Jeff, have 2 adult sons who share their passion for justice, love of the outdoors, and delight in the performing arts.

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