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Some years ago a noted scholar from Harvard created a list of the three greatest poets in human history. Homer was there. And Shakespeare. The third was the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah is no surprise, really—not when one considers how the words of the prophet have impacted musicians and mystics, lyricists...

O Lord, thank you for walking with me. I trust you always are doing a new thing in me—even as I celebrate this, a new day, which is your gift. Create a new spirit in me this day. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
April 1–7, 2019
Scripture Overview

God is constantly performing works of renewal. Isaiah had warned Israel of judgment, yet here the prophet turns his attention to the other part of God’s message, that of restoration. God will breathe new life into the people, like sending rivers into the desert. The psalmist celebrates a communal festival in honor of the renewing deeds of God, who has turned their weeping into joy. Paul also experiences this work of renewal. He previously had boasted of his privileged position in society, but God has changed his thinking so that he considers his knowledge of Christ his greatest possession. In John a woman named Mary begins to point our attention to Christ’s coming passion by anointing Jesus’ feet. Crowds begin to gather, and the stage is set for the impending conflict.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 43:16-21. When have you seen God make a way for a new thing in your life?
Read Psalm 126. Consider how your joy and laughter might heal others.
Read Philippians 3:4b-14. When has God’s strength helped you finish a race, literally or metaphorically?
Read John 12:1-8. God gives gifts to all of us. How do you share your gift from God with others?

Respond by posting a prayer.

A Valued Resource

"We use The Upper Room Disciplines as a daily devotion and weekly Bible study session for several church groups. We have used it for five years and are quite pleased. We like the reflection questions and variety of contributors." 

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