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

During Advent, we glory in the humble and small. Herod felt threatened by a small baby. Once that baby was a grown man, his friends fanned out into the world and provoked riots. Paranoid authorities complained, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also. . . . They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus” (Acts 17:6-7). But not just another king. The King. The King of kings. Emmanuel, before whom rulers silent fall.

—James C. Howell, Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today’s Question

How would a wise leader embrace the arrival of the King of kings? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
—Zechariah 14:9 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The Academy for Spiritual Formation is pleased to announce its newest offering, Spirituality in Practice: Embodied Imagination for Life and Liberation, a unique six-session hybrid model that consists of three in-person five-day retreats as well as three online one-day retreats. Learn more and apply here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 14, 2023 6:26 am

    Humbly. Go to meet Jesus and acknowledge Him. I think David and Solomon would have done this. Today kings and presidents acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all. Thank You, Lord.
    An adventure today as we travel to southern NH for Korean food. Some other stops as well.
    19 going to 31 with clear skies.

  • Julie Posted December 14, 2023 10:01 am

    There was certainly room for two kings. Just as one welcomes the Pope as a religious ruler, so to the kings of that time could have welcomed Jesus as the ruler of the heavenly, spiritual, and religious realms. But if Jesus had been well received, he would not have been able to fulfil his task of paying the ultimate price for our sins.

  • Rusty Posted December 14, 2023 1:03 pm

    This is a slightly difficult question. If we choose to interpret this as referring to the second coming, I don’t think rulers, wise or not, will have any choice in the matter of how to respond. At that time every knee will bow, in heaven, on the earth and under the earth. Hopefully for those leaders who have not already repented and turned to Christ, they will be able to repent and turn to him in that moment. There are lots of biblical passages in play, though, and I don’t have a firm enough grasp of all of them to be able to confidently answer this question.

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