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

Zechariah, the priest, one who should be leading Israel in worship and praise, exits the Temple unable to speak. One, two, three, four. We are not hearing the rhythm of the patriarchs’ song we know so well. This is not Hannah’s hymn rehashed. There is a new beat to this tune. . . .

We have to wait a while. Throughout Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Zechariah is mute. . . . Zechariah does not speak again until after John is born. When we do hear from him, he doesn’t merely talk. He breaks forth into a song that fits the rhythm of this unexpected backbeat of anticipation, a song born out of the gestation of silence, weighing God’s promises while awaiting God’s fulfillment.

—Max O. Vincent, Good News of Great Joy: Advent Reflections on the Songs of Luke (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

How do you think months of silence changed Zechariah’s understanding of God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Zechariah said,] “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.”
—Luke 1:76-77 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord, Emmanuel. Amen.
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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Julie Posted December 4, 2021 8:14 am

    I can merely conjecture as that would be a very personal thing between Zechariah and God. We are told to be silent and sit with God to truly encounter him and to discern his will for us, I believe this would be what happened to Zechariah. Perhaps in a more profound and intimate manner.
    So, I had a “chat” with the person from Human Resources where Megan works. Megan received a promotion yesterday but will be working 11:30 to 9:30 four days a week. I would be working 2:30 to 10:30 five days a week but the five days would be Tuesday through Saturday. I don’t want to work such wonky hours and days, so am looking to God and you here to counsel me.
    Prayers for Ally and David and their news regarding the PSA levels and Jeremy, may all be good news and may God abide with them. Prayers for Jill and Roger, may Jill have time to devote to Roger’s care in order to treat his dabetes. Prayers for Robert and Erich and Erich’s future. Prayers for Marti and her staff.
    Thank you for your prayers and thoughts and insights and may God bless all who visit here.

  • robert moeller Posted December 4, 2021 11:54 am

    I’m in total agreement with Julie’s well written response to today’s question. God has personal relationships with one of a kind conversations. Did my Bible reading first this morning, I’m finally in the New Testament.
    I’d say be patient, there are many jobs, sadly not all of them are what I think you many like, Yes, prayer and continued effort will help you find your way. Being able to match hours with Megan would be a plus.
    Health is the concern for David, Roger, and Jeremy.. Well -being is a concern for EVERYONE.
    Yes, I am praying for and concerned about Erich. The plan is underway, it has a way go to achieve its goal. Many particulars make it challenging, Hope that the most important concerns can be achieved.
    Cold and mostly white, will see what the weekend weather brings. Changing from sneakers to boots for outdoor walks.
    Communion and a guest pastor tomorrow for the second Sunday in Advent. 20 days to Christmas Eve. This has been a different Advent, INCARNATION and worship services are good, but not a sense of holiday cheer at home. TV news isn’t so cheery, at least we don’t have a government shut down,
    Stay well, be warm and dry, and with rising Covid infection rates, BE SAFE! Thank You, Lord, with You we’ll be always safe.

  • Jill Posted December 4, 2021 4:02 pm

    What a blessed time that must have been for Zechariah. Initially, he was probably stunned and irritated. But, coming out the other side, I bet he wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Yes, in the stillness, there is the opportunity for an encounter.
    A day of being at home, except for early morning tennis and a quick grocery run. Tomorrow evening my team plays in the playoffs, so I met another teammate to hit. Picked up a few needed groceries, stopped by dad’s to gather the two turkey breasts – then home for the day. Very sunny – so decided to take a walk, and then raked my yard. An early dinner and now the second dessert for tomorrow is in the oven. My sister is hosting our family Thanksgiving tomorrow afternoon. I am also making a ground turkey and rice concoction for my school lunches next week. So, just busy about the kitchen and also going to tend to some school work. Tomorrow will be very busy – will leave my sisters for our evening match. There will be no time for schoolwork tomorrow.
    Dad had so many things racing through his mind about the upcoming move, that he and my sister decided to halt it. His blood pressure was very high yesterday, so they just put a temporary kabosh to it. If and when he decides to do it – he will sell his place up here, get the money and then proceed with purchasing the place in Florida. The uncertainty of the timeline was just too worrisome for him. He was pretty uptight when I stopped by this morning. I hope he will be able to relax and enjoy tomorrow.

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