Category Archives: Daily Bread Devotional

Daily Bread June 12

Stopping for God’s Creation
Jannis Urena of Puyallup, WA, USA


These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace. -Zechariah 8:16

Several ponds are in our neighborhood. Toward the end of summer we see the geese fly south in classic V-formation. Some stop in these miniature lakes to nest and raise chicks.

Last week I was amused to see a bright-yellow sports car ahead of me come to a full stop in the road. Oncoming traffic stopped, as well. We all waited as a mother goose authoritatively guided her fluffy babies from one side of the road to the other.

All the horsepower and sleek creativity of Detroit-brought to a standstill by the power of our small, feathered friends.

Somehow, we tend to forget that God often invites us to stop and “smell the roses” or watch the goslings. How wondrous is the diversity of God’s creation-our very human souls draw us to observe Creation with awe. Even amid the traffic.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 11

God Will Be with You
John Rawson of Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia


These are portentous times. The lives of many are being sacrificed unnecessarily to the gods of war, greed, and avarice. The land is being desecrated by the thoughtless waste of vital resources. You must obey my commandments and be in the forefront of those who would mediate this needless destruction while there is yet day. -Doctrine and Covenants 150:7

The eight months following my wife’s death were a time of “learning” for me-learning I would rather not have had to endure without Margaret. During this time, I felt deep doubt, insecurity, and an indescribable aloneness. I saw love in the eyes of my friends and my family. I felt it in the warmth of their hands and the hugs I received. But that loneliness had a life of its own.

Margaret and I shared everything. We had no secrets from each other. If we were preparing for ministry, we would always talk to each other about “what does this mean to you?” Then we would go away and prepare. Now I no longer had this certainty, this security, with me.

My low state of mind and physical illness stretched my emotions beyond anything I had known. Then in the wee hours of morning, a song awakened me, an old hymn by Fanny Crosby, “God Will Take Care of You.” One stanza tells us, “God will take care of you, be not afraid. He is your safeguard thro’ sunshine and shade: Tenderly watching and keeping his own, He will not leave you to wander alone.”

I sang the whole hymn, “word perfect,” even though I had not sung this hymn, heard it, or thought of it in over 50 years. I don’t believe this hymn just happened into my mind. I believe it was a blessing of God’s presence. It serves as a reminder that no matter what we endure, God is there before us. God’s Spirit is waiting for us with rich blessing.

The same moment I was experiencing this, I became aware the message of hope was also for another family of friends. They were on a journey no parent should have to endure. They watched as a much-loved daughter died of the ravages of cancer.

This message of hope is not for me or my friends only. It is for all who have need. God will be with you, be not afraid.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 10

Growing
Steve Hatch of Leawood, KS, USA


By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. -Galatians 5:22-25

In the mid-1980s, my faith was in crisis. I experienced what many theologians call the “dark night of the soul.” The crisis offered no resolution, and it felt like God had abandoned me. I was alone to deal with my darkness, and I felt all my pleading was fruitless. I kept asking God why this was happening, and why God wasn’t helping. The more I prayed, the more distant from God I felt.

One week amid my darkness, I went to Sunday school, where we were studying the parables. We explored the parable of the mustard seed. The author suggested one important lesson from this parable is the need to plant our seed in faith, leave it alone, and allow God to provide the germination. We must leave the seed alone and let it “die” as a seed so it can become the tree that God intended.

Instead, we sometimes dig up the seed to make sure it’s viable and still growing. That, of course, keeps it from doing exactly that…growing as God created it to do. As I heard these words, I realized I never had left my issue with God. I hadn’t planted my seed with faith that God would provide the germination. That day I committed to leave my seed planted in God\’s fertile soil, which would allow my faith to grow to maturity.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 09

Straddling the Divide
Michele McGrath of Gardena, CA, USA


You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. -Matthew 5:38-45

God of the edges,
I confess how much I want to sit safely in the middle.

God of the margins,
forgive me for my need to be in the center of the moment.

God of diversity,
I am sorry for how often I want there to be one simple answer.

Liquid God,
I regret how often I have allowed my witness of you to solidify,
and grow cold.

Savior Incarnate,
I am sad to think how often I avoid entering the muck and messiness of life for your sake.

Disruptive Spirit,
I confess my desire for consistency rather than the chaos preceding change.

Spirit of Truth,
forgive me the many times I have spoken reassuringly
rather than prophetically.

God of all seasons,
I repent my constant hurrying to see results.

Risking Redeemer,
forgive me for straddling the fence so much of the time.

God of hope,
take another chance on me, on us, on your people.
Let us be your body in this world.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 08

“Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow”
Julie Conway Sword of Gainesville, FL, USA


For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. -Isaiah 54:10

It was the fall of 2003, and an unexpected phone call alerted me that my oldest son, Steve, had just experienced a seizure. Soon after, he underwent surgery to remove a glia blastoma brain tumor. The surgeon said that his earthly time might be short. Weekly, family and friends spent time with Steve, in case he might have another seizure. Often he asked for the elders to pray for him.

During most of the last seven weeks, Steve and I prayed, played games, cooked fantastically spicy meals, and laughed over the “Three Stooges.” When another seizure resulted in a period of hospitalization, Steve finally insisted, “Take me home,” where he peacefully passed in April 2004.

When I returned home, church members and friends comforted me. However, one person counseled me otherwise: “You’ll never get over the passing of your son, Julie.” After some deep prayerful thought, I replied, “Has God changed? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Doctrine and Covenants 165:6c says, “And, always remember, the way of suffering love that leads to the cross also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace. Trust in this promise.” I knew that God had guided me through the passing of my husband some years earlier; I felt sure that in time, God would see me through this life-changing transition, too.

Now, during this pandemic period, when so many have and are living through passing on times, we are assured: “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 07

The Cabin
Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA


Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. -Romans 14:19

Finding affordable vacations with our large family was challenging. One day I shared our dilemma with a co-worker and she suggested her mountain cabin in another state. We accepted her offer, made plans, and packed. We got directions along with the key to the cabin and we were off. Before long, we were in gorgeous country with huge trees and trails leading to a gleaming lake. It was simply ideal.

We found the cabin easily as evening settled in. Darkness would soon surround us. Dad went to the door of the cabin and inserted the key, but he struggled in vain to make the key work in the lock. Something was terribly wrong. The children sensed it, too, and gathered with anxious looks. They were tired and ready for dinner, which needed a stove to prepare. We were miles from home, and we had not seen any lights from other cabins on the way up the mountain.

Isaiah 59:9-11 says “…You shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, ‘Here I am…’ Then light shall rise in the darkness and gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your needs…” I walked to a small grove of trees, and began to pour out my heart to God.

As I prayed, suddenly, I heard a “whoop” from the whole family-the door had suddenly opened! We didn’t use that key (which appeared misshapen) the rest of the week. We had a wonderful time together as a family, hiking, swimming, exploring, and always singing.

When I returned to work the following Monday, my co-worker rushed to me looking very alarmed. “I’m so sorry! I gave you the wrong key! What did you do?” Astounded by my story she declared there was no possible way the key she had given me would have worked.

But there is a way-when one depends on God, who cares for all of His creation and listens to our fervent prayers. Of all the vacation spots we found, our children recall most of what happened at that little cabin.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 06

Love Relates Us
Sue Sloan, World Church Secretary


A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”  -Mark 3:32-35

When I was 8 years old and preparing for baptism and confirmation in Community of Christ, I was excited because then other church members would call me “sister.” Years ago, it was common to hear members refer to one another as brother and sister. I wanted to be part of the family, to be a sister. And it did happen. Following my baptism and confirmation, standing in the church foyer, several people shook my hand and called me sister. I felt the warmth of belonging.

It no longer is common to hear church members greet one another as sister or brother. Today we recognize that all who follow Christ are brothers and sisters, whether a member of Community of Christ or another denomination. Community of Christ is one pathway to follow Christ in mission, pursuing justice and peace. There are many good pathways and good people.

The following Hasidic tale, as told by Henri Nouwen in Finding My Way Home, expresses the need for all people to feel they are seen and belong to the community.

The rabbi asked his students: “How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins?”
One of the rabbi’s students suggested: “When from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep?
“No,” was the answer of the rabbi.
“Is it when one can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine?” asked a second student.
“No,” the rabbi said.
“Please tell us the answer then,” said the students.
“It is, then,” said the wise teacher, “when you can look into the face of another human being and you have enough light in you to recognize your brother or your sister. Until then it is night, and darkness is still with us.”

May love open our eyes and hearts so we see all people as our sisters and brothers, members of the human family.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 05

Front Porch Communion
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formation Ministries


And you will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every person according to that which is their due. -Mosiah 2:24 (adapted)

The first weekend of the pandemic, our close friends moved across the street with their two small boys. After intentional conversation and covenanting, we welcomed each other into a small COVID bubble to support each other. It gave the kids a chance to play since we had taken them out of preschool and they had no exposure to other kids. Our friendship has been a sustaining blessing in this time of distance and isolation.

On a recent Sunday morning, we were all outside and the kids were playing. Spontaneously, we decided to do Zoom church together on their front porch. We sat in lawn chairs and placed the laptop on the ledge while the kids ran in the yard. We brought the grape juice and they cut up generous chunks of wheat bread.

When it got to the portion of the worship where we were to partake of the emblems, we served each other. I realized it was the first time in a year that I had taken Communion with other people. To do so with friends who had become as family was deeply meaningful. The sacrament revealed how truly sacramental our relationship has been all along. I savored the experience, even amid the natural, joyful distractions and interruptions of three-year-olds at play.

How deep within us is the longing for communion in all its forms. I anticipate the day when I can be reunited with my community, on bended knee together, enacting a sacredness that was there all along.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 04

To Know God
Dan Gregory of Bend, OR, USA


But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. -Luke 6:35-36

God is constantly working to bring about restoration, healing, new possibility in the world. It’s a movement of love, emanating from the heartbeat of the Universe, a pulse, a dance, a song, that literally changes everything.

To know God, then, is to be swept up in this movement. To know God is to set aside the songs of fear and division we’re so good at singing. To know God is to take up a new chorus grounded in reconciliation and healing of the spirit. To know God is to join the dance guided not by laws chiseled in stone but by principles, values that move our feet into new paths.

To know God is to let the Divine Heart of peace beat within us as our own.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread June 03

My Feet Have Trod
Emma Gray Pitt of Bayonne, NJ, USA


The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit. It shall also be for a strengthening of faith and preparation for witness. By its ministries an attitude of wholeness of body, mind, and spirit as a desirable end toward which to strive will be fostered. It shall be the means for providing leadership education for priesthood and member. And it shall be a place in which the essential meaning of the Restoration as healing and redeeming agent is given new life and understanding, inspired by the life and witness of the Redeemer of the world. -Doctrine and Covenants 156:5

My feet have trod
Many paths near and far:
Dirt roads,
Cobblestones,
Concrete.
The paths are so well-worn,
I’m not even sure
Who took the first step.
(Though I’ve never stopped
To think about it.)
I’m scrambling to keep pace.
Each time my foot hits the ground,
The tiniest puff of dust is
Displaced around my soles.
What am I doing here?
Now I wonder
Why I’ve never wondered

What used to grow
Beneath my feet trodding fast,
my head lifted high,
Eyes on the next prize?
Was it a forest?
Maybe there were wildflowers,
Flourishing,
Full of perennial purpose.
Were there homes,
Warm dens of respite and security?
What have we forgotten?
Is this a dream?
I dig my stiff fingers into
Cold, thawing soil.
Frantically searching
For something
Sacred.

Prayer Phrase

“Led by the Holy Spirit, we work with God and others to restore peace (shalom) to creation” (https://www.cofchrist.org/enduring-principles).

Spiritual Practice

Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace and wholeness. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking does God invite you to consider this day?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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