The Upper Room is here for you in these anxious times. Click Here

Buy or Subscribe Today

Disciplines is available in a variety of formats: print, digital, and print/digital combo packages. A digital subscription includes access to author bios, the ability to comment, and audio lectio.

Sign Up Today

Years ago, I made a pilgrimage to Saint Peter’s cathedral in Rome. My core intention was to see Michelangelo’s Pieta. Mired in grief at the tragic death of a sibling, I longed to behold firsthand Mary cradling her son’s broken body.

Walking up, I anticipated a reverential, quiet cathedral. Instead,...

Remember a moment when you glimpsed God’s presence. Savor it and absorb its grace.


0 Comments
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
August 3–9, 2020
Scripture Overview

The strange dynamics in the history of Abraham’s family continue in Genesis. This week his great-grandson Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. God will ultimately use this for good, as we read in Psalm 105, but in Joseph’s time there clearly is significant dysfunction. Perhaps the story brings encouragement to those of us who also have challenging family dynamics. Paul emphasizes in Romans that every person is welcome to call on the name of the Lord and be saved, but it falls to us to offer them the good news. How can they believe if they never hear? In the Gospel reading, Peter learns a valuable lesson about trust. He initially shows great faith, but he falters when he allows himself to be distracted by the waves.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28. In the face of cruelty, how do you continue to believe in God’s dream of unity for us all?
Read Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b. When has a glimpse of God absorbed your pain?
Read Romans 10:5-15. When have you witnessed Christian violence against persons of other faiths? How does your faith compel you to proclaim God’s love for all—“no exceptions”? What does this look like for you?
Read Matthew 14:22-33. When have you struggled to trust Jesus through life’s trials? How has Jesus revealed his presence and companionship anyway?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.