New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

What makes a saint? Extravagance. Excessive love, flagrant mercy, radical affection, exorbitant charity, immoderate faith, intemperate hope, inordinate love. None of which is an achievement, a badge to be earned or a trophy to be sought; all are secondary by-products of the one thing that truly makes a saint, which is the love of God, which is membership in the body of Christ, which is what all of us . . . have in common. Some of us may do more with that love than others and may find ourselves able to reflect it in a way that causes others to call us saints, but the title is one that has been given to us all by virtue of our baptisms. The moment we rose dripping from the holy water we joined the communion of saints, and we cannot go back any more than we can give back our names or the blood in our veins.

—Barbara Brown Taylor, “The Embers of Faith,”  The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

Who has influenced you in your journey of faith? How did they impact you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
—Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us for The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse. Beginning next week and throughout Advent, we will gather online for weekly guided spiritual practice sessions, group learning, and facilitated discussion. The eCourse also includes daily readings from this week’s featured book, The Wondrous Mystery. Register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • Lou Posted November 28, 2021 7:55 am

    So many have influenced me- but I will say my parents most of all who brought me up attending church and church activities – faith and our faith community was a central part of growing up. My mother still attends the same church that she has attended for 62 years. I now have my own faith community of 31 years in the same church – the ties that bind and the people I have encountered have influenced me in so many ways along the journey.
    Thankful for a nice time with 2/3 of my children. Thankful to spend time together and just enjoy the energy that they bring. Thankful for one more day together. Thankful for a warm home to gather in with plenty of food to eat when many do not enjoy these basics. Prayers for the homeless as the weather has grown colder. Prayers for our world as another variant of the virus appears. Prayers for my child’s safe travel tomorrow. Praying for all of you here as we enter advent today. Peace to you all.

    • Ally Posted November 28, 2021 1:11 pm

      Lou, I am in agreement with you as you pray for homeless persons and our world as we fave a new variant. Prayers for your child for safe travels tomorrow.

      • Lou Posted November 29, 2021 9:41 am

        Thank you Ally- Blessings!

  • Ally Posted November 28, 2021 1:04 pm

    I have been influenced by many, and I’ve written about family members who influenced my faith. Today, the saints I grew up with: 2 pastors who served our church when I was in middle and high school and several dear ladies who took my sister and I in and served as surrogate grandmothers to us, as our precious ma’am as had recently passed away. These ladies showed us through hugs, conversation, small gifts and most of all, their prayers and living out their faith every day As examples of Christ-likeness. Our pastors lived by example also. They helped my family through some tough times. All those dear ladies have gone on to glory. The 2 pastors have retired. One is not well and it long from the arms of his Savior. I would not be who I am without these dear people.
    Some of you may have seen my post from yesterday about our kitty Jeremy. We got him to vet, and praise God, we did not have a long wait. He doesn’t have a urinary blockage, but does have a UTI. He stayed at vets to get IV antibiotics and pain meds. Hopefully, he will be home tomorrow. Please keep him in your prayers. Please remember David, as he has some anxiety over his appointment coming up with doctor to go over his bloodwork. Thank you all for your prayers for us. May all have a blessed first Sunday in Advent. We wait in hope.

  • Jill Posted November 28, 2021 5:54 pm

    Various saints come to mind. My first saint would be my friend who now lives on the other side of the country. She did all the initial planting and was gracious as others would do the watering, fertilizing and reaping. She demonstrated selfless love and mentored me. My friend who has the dogs and with whom I travel – has seen the most growth in me and has poured into my life like no other. We have been friends for 17 years now and continue to do book studies and have intense conversations. There are few people willing to engage on a deep level, and try to understand another’s line of thinking, when they process in a completely other way. The third saint which comes readily to mind is my tennis playing friend who invited me to her church and into her small group a little over 4 years ago. She is happy to remain in the background, quietly and prayerfully supporting – and a presence when needed. She was consistently there for me during the worst of mom’s struggle. She showed up when I called and accompanied me when I didn’t want to attend something alone. God has been so gracious with these women.
    It is good to be home. The night before I left – I was back at the vet, having another conversation about whether Roger’s time had come. His sugar was over 500 (supposed to be below 200). Again I was told he was not suffering, to not give up on him yet. My friend took him into her home, put him in a bedroom and after a rough 36 hours, was able to coax him to eat chicken broth and pork chops and finally his cat food, so that she could administer his insulin. She was successful from Sunday morning on. She brought him back to my house yesterday before I got home. She is a treasure – way more than Roger or I deserve. Sainthood for her, as well.
    Today I have been drawing his blood every two hours and it is in the high 400s. Not encouraging. I will get the vet these numbers and anticipate his insulin being increased. He is happy to be home, and is eating well today. He has not fussed too much during the blood draws from his ears. I don’t believe he feels it, but just can’t figure out why I am messing with his ears every few hours.
    The time away was good. I almost decided not to go. The vet discouraged me from medically boarding him, thinking his lowest stress would be at my friend’s, and that the insulin would have the best chance there. We had a really good week together and the last two days were exceptionally good weather. It was very good to be away and be with my dad and sister. It is also good to be home.
    Ally – praying for your little Jeremy – hope you get him home tomorrow and he is feeling better. Praying, too, for David’s follow up appointment. My dad is having his bloodwork Friday, to check his Psa level. It was much higher than anticipated last Fall.
    Three weeks of school until winter break. Definitely doable.

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