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

Before the looming, mind-boggling, stupendous presence of God in God’s holy place, we quake. It’s all we can muster. In worship, we adore, we bow, we humbly offer a sacrifice we know is nothing to such a great God. . . . Maybe at Christmas, when we lift our candles and remember that the shepherds quaked, we might quake and recover that lost sense of worship. The Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord came down as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, his garment of light and life, and we fall on our faces, blown away by the magnitude of God’s presence, measured in tiny fingers and a meek cry. We sing, “Christ the Savior is born!”

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

Today’s Question

What Christmas traditions help you recognize the magnitude of God’s presence? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
—Luke 2:8-9 (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 15, 2023 5:50 am

    I think the magnitude of God’s presence is far bigger than my Christmas spiritual practices. I’m basing this on two experiences I’ve had. I’m very grateful for those experiences. Yes, God is ever present. Thank You, Lord.
    Had a delightful trip to southern NH, picked up two coffee cups and ate very delicious Korean food. Brought home a jar of kimchi. Quite a wonderful day.
    Not sure yet, have to check the snow report, but we may go skiing today.
    Have to review the many days of NEM to catch up with everyone. Prayers for all of you. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted December 15, 2023 8:54 am

    Listening to traditional Christmas carols and understanding their meanings that I never knew before I became a Christian.

  • Julie Posted December 15, 2023 9:11 am

    The minister at the church I attend dresses up as various characters from the story of Jesus’ birth each week. Last Sunday he was the angel that spoke to Mary. He gives a talk based on the character’s role in the story and those the character interacted with.

  • Jill Posted December 15, 2023 11:57 am

    I enjoy the simplicity and quietness of a Christmas Eve service. I also feel like I am more reserved on Christmas Day – with the extended family…taking in the memories, thinking of those no longer with us. These quiet me and make me grateful…sending me to His Presence with thanksgiving.
    A hectic, hectic week…goodness. In the midst of exam review with my students. Grades close for the semester today – I don’t know how half of the year has gone by so quickly.
    Some of my students are on the swim team – and I will be attending the meet after school. May have to leave a bit early to get to my god son’s game. Another big opponent tonight.

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