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

Consider the ways in which you have experienced God’s light during this season. Where have you experienced elation when you were tired, discouraged, or worn out? How have others lifted you toward the light of God? What signs have marked your journey, reassuring you that you are on God’s path?
Each day, take another step into the light. Christ has already prepared the way.

—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

Spend a few minutes reflecting on the author’s questions. Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

—Psalm 119:105 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Emmanuel, God who is with us, help me remember you are near every day of the year.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 22, 2020 8:08 am

    Where have you experienced elation when you were tired, discouraged, or worn out? Am not sure this applies to me this Advent. How have others lifted you toward the light of God? Advent Bible study – Almost Christmas has been very welcome, helpful. encouraging, and I have learned a lot. What signs have marked your journey, reassuring you that you are on God’s path? Signs, they have been sought since time immemorial. They guided the magi. At other times Jesus replies that so many have been given and yet people have not followed them or accepted the message they brought. There are emotional sensations that I get from time to time, are they signs? Some how I think so. perhaps even complaints that I believe, are signs that I am on the right path. Truly, I think only God knows the answer. As an human there are things we are not able to determine, if we do find answers to those questions of faith, God has enabled us to do so.
    Only two days to Christmas Eve. This has been the least hurried, hustle bustle, Advent of my life. No shopping, no presents wrapped, avoided stores. New this year, an Advent wreath, and a very welcome Wesleyan Advent Bible study and devotion.
    Had a slightly foretold animated internet Christmas message from a very long ago former student yesterday. It was a combination of German and Korean cultures directed toward me. Very thankful for that. It had me listening to German Christmas songs very quickly.
    Thankful for progress on my Canadian National mail-express car underbody. You might wonder why I’m modeling a Canadian National car. The Canadian National became the parent company of the Central Vermont Railway in the 1920s when a devastating flood knocked out the CV. Without the Canadian National, the CV would nit have survived. The car belongs to a Canadian railway, but most of its service was in the US. It carried USPS lettering and met USPS standards carrying mail between Montreal and Boston on a train called the Ambassador.
    ZOOM Advent Bible study soon, joy is the topic. This was the least understood topic for me. I have a whole new idea of what joy is for a Christian. From the study reading, “Altogether joy is a gift. This steadfast assurance that God is with us is experienced as the unexpected fulfillment of anticipation. . .
    For Wesley, salvation and joy go hand in hand, There is no joy for those who feel there is no forgiveness,
    no joy for those who have no assurance of salvation. Without joy there is little fir which to give thanks.
    Joy comes from knowing that God is near and salvation offered to all. . . (altogether) joy can not be achieved. It is a gift. Receiving joy often means we have to get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to move.” Thank You.Lord, for the gift of joy. May you, the UR oasis, receive God’s gift of joy now and always. Amen.

  • Julie Posted December 22, 2020 8:46 am

    As all of you know this has been an Advent devoid of joy for me. I have many situations occur that have made this a very dark Advent. I see God and find relief and encouragment in the vaccines. I hope that people do not stop taking precautions just because ther is a vaccine as most won’t receive it until late next year. I feel as Robert, that as a human it is difficult to discern God’s path or plan. I pray about decisions and listen for that still, small voice.
    Prayers for Robert and his Advent studies which sound transformative and illuminating.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and her concern for his continuing grief and pain, may both find solace in one another this Christmas.
    Prayers for Ally and David, Ipray David’s health improves and Ally finds a better job and that their Christmas is joyous.
    Prayers for Lou, Marcy, and Rick may all be well and safe.

  • Ally Posted December 22, 2020 9:48 am

    I have not experienced much joy during this season but am thankful for the blessings I have, especially that we have so far made it through this year. with scars, but still standing. Thankful for the Advent Zoom study my sister is leading; that David is as well as he is. Praying traveling mercies for us as make our way to visit my sister and her husband. I’m a bit sad that we won’t be able to see the rest of our family, but I would prefer them to stay well. Sad also to not attend Christmas Eve Communion and candlelight service. But like I said, I’m thankful for what we will have. Robert, thanks for sharing your insight from your Bible study. This sounds like a study I would enjoy. Perhaps I have encountered more joy than I thought I had. Jill, prayers continue for you and Larry and for you as you consider how the handle the cheating issue. Keep us posted. Julie, I am in agreement with you as you pray that people will not let down their guard because a vaccine is now available. I am praying for you and your situations. Prayers for Rick, Lou and Marcy and all who visit here. Praying that the US will continue on path of peaceful transfer of power. I pray we find ways to be joyful in this holy season, even when joy seems absent. Love to all.

  • Jill Posted December 22, 2020 2:13 pm

    Elation is a foreign concept to me right now. There is a deep joy inside, an abiding sense that all is indeed well. But current circumstances offer only negative descriptions. I surely know that I know that I know – that I am on the right path, that God is with me – and this is a massive blessing and one I am grateful for. This morning I was easily able to express gratitude for many things, including the the recognition in how difficult this season is. All because – for so many untold Christmas’ – family was plentiful, laughter was frequent and the thought of a pandemic didn’t seem like a reality in our modern, scientifically advanced world. So, yes, in my soul, it is well. But – I am far from elation, as I suppose we all are.
    And, to think we know what elation is, and then we will walk the streets of Heaven. Utter and complete elation. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
    I had a very nice conversation with my best friend today, catching up with her. I, again apologized, for not being with her and her family Christmas Eve. We both were near tears. She said our nickname (we both call each other the same name) – please don’t say that. She said she would feel awful if I got sick and she thought it was because I had been with them. It’s just hard, but I believe things will move us even more and we will relish and appreciate things on an even deeper level in the future.
    Praying Megan does not have the virus and that in the hecticness of their daily lives, Julie and Megan will be able to comfort each other, in their loss and their circumstances. Ally, may you and David be well as you travel to see your sister and her husband. I am glad that y’all will be together.
    Father – hear our cries, soften our hearts and continually beckon us to Your side.

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