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The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, April 19, 2024 was written by Brian Rogers of Massachusetts.



1 Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2 to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it —not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3 Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:1-10 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

I had a good job, a family, and a house in the suburbs. Then I got divorced and everything changed. Living in my car on a noisy city street, sleeping with a blanket over my head to keep out the cold and the city lights, and eating alone on a bench in the park forced me to reflect and listen to God.

I was welcomed by others in the homeless community, and their acceptance helped me see that God is in every person, maybe especially in the homeless one. Homelessness was humbling, but Jesus humbled himself for us. We are called to walk humbly with God, just as Jesus did on his way to the Cross. God eventually lifted me up, teaching me to cast away my worries, to see God in nature, to value every person, and to leave my life in God's hands.

God directed me to a church community that has helped me grow in faith, where I work on outreach missions, including with those who are homeless. The support of the people in this community has made it easier to follow God's way. God calls us to feed the hungry, visit the sick, welcome the stranger, and care for the homeless.....listen.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


Brians reflection reminds us that God walks with us everyday, even in our lowest moments, God is there to offer inspiration, direction, and comfort. One of our five core values recognizes that everyone matters to God, those in high places and those in low places. As people of faith, we are charged with extending the love, joy, and peace of God to all. May we all open our hearts, allowing the light of Christ within us to shine brightly, to offer hope for those in need.


Author's Prayer

Open our eyes and hearts, O God, to the needs of those around us. Open our ears to listen to your promptings. Amen.


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