The Upper Room May - August 2018

Where the world meets to pray

UK Editor Susan Hibbins

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Content

The Upper Room is a unique publication which has a worldwide readership of some three million, with over 70 different editions in 40 languages. Unlike most Bible Reading Notes, the readings and reflections in The Upper Room are written exclusively by the readers themselves who seek to share the insights of their faith with others. Each day's reading contains a Bible passage to read (you will need to use a Bible), a reflection on the passage and prayer followed by a Thought for the Day and a suggested Prayer Focus for the day. There is also a set of small group questions provided each week to fuel discussions within your house group, with a prayer partner or just with friends in church.

The Editor writes

Recently I was reading the story in John's Gospel in which Jesus spent time talking with a Samaritan woman who had come to get water from the well where Jesus was resting (John 4:1-26). The conversation includes some of Jesus' most well-known words: 'Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life' (v. 14, NIV). After talking with Jesus, the woman is so inspired by what he has told her that she abandons her water jar to run back to the town and tell all her neighbours about him; many of them later believed in him after listening to Jesus themselves.

I wonder what the woman thought about this milestone in her life in later years, perhaps as she became older and more reflective. Did she close her eyes and remember that far-off day, the sunshine and the heat, the heavy water jar that she gratefully set down to talk to the young man who sat by the well? Did she recall Jesus' words about living water, not realising at the time that it was the most precious conversation she would ever have? Perhaps she remembered his kindness, his smile, his willingness to talk to her, a woman whom many regarded as having dubious morals. She didn't know who Jesus was when she talked to him that day, but did she try to get news of him and his teaching after he left? How did she live her life with Jesus' words in her heart?

What is our own reaction to Jesus' words? Do they change our lives? Sometimes when we read the Bible, especially familiar passages, we might feel that they have nothing new to add to our understanding. Yet there are times when the words seem to leap off the page and speak directly to our situation, providing comfort, challenge or direction. In our own time, Jesus' living water is available to us as surely as it was for one individual one hot day by a well.

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Author info

Each day's reflection is written by a different reader from around the world. The notes are compiled by The Upper Room, and then edited by Susan Hibbins, a freelance editor who has previously worked with Methodist Publishing House.

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Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857466068
  • Published: 01 March 2018
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
Bible Reflections for Older People - Subscription
Bible Reflections for Older People - September 2018