Daily Bread July 4

Body of Christ, Weep No More
By Brenda O’Dell of Kearney, MO, USA

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to God’s holy name. For Divine anger is but for a moment; Divine favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!” You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever. —Psalm 30:4–5, 10–12 NRSV, adapted

Poor Body of Christ

Christ’s broken body
torn apart
by budget cuts.
Unwilling to fully trust,
we stand by helplessly
wringing our hands and moaning.

“We love this church!” we cry—
beloved vessel of blessing
following prophetic light
illuminating the winding way.
We’re enchanted by divine adventure
yet unable to fully surrender.

What is this latent lassitude
that causes us, once more,
to crucify the Lord of life
and yet not feel the shame,
tethered to our earthly fears,
hesitant to change?
Hands and feet near powerless.
How can the Body share the Good News
when we cannot run nor lift nor speak?

We stand and watch the Chosen One
who suffers silently.
The tears that track his bloodied face
are shed for you and me.
Poor selfish creatures,
afraid to risk.
We still have not learned
it is sacrifice in darkest night
that leads to the glorious dawning
of resurrection light.

“Is this the end?” sad voices murmur.
Mourners gather round and grieve.
The God of all whispers gently,
“No, my children;
the heart still beats
with blood and strength,
new life, if that is what you choose.”
The body yet is breathing.
The kingdom waits for action
when loving hearts put mission first
when stubborn hope births giving hearts—
spiritual resuscitation.

Prayer for Peace

Joy of the Morning, we are the Body of Christ. Our love for one another and our commitment to his mission reveals Christ. Help us support that mission with acts of generosity and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I choose new life and to work for wholeness of the Body.

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