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

The Greek word the Gospel writers used that we translate as “repentance” is metanoia, which means a change of mind. But what would that look like during Advent?

Here’s a pregnant possibility: Advent isn’t about thinking different thoughts. We spend Advent thinking about someone, the One, and not just the facts about that someone but thinking about him the way a parent ponders an infant’s fingers or a young lover considers his significant other, the way a grandmother in a nursing home checks her watch, eager for the grandchildren to arrive. We think about Jesus. John the Baptist did. A repentant mind focuses on Jesus and remains unattached to other things.

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

Today’s Question

Which spiritual practice could help you keep your mind focused on Jesus this Advent?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

If you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side. Think about the things above and not things on earth.
—Colossians 3:1-2 (CEB)

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.


  • Jill Posted December 12, 2023 5:12 am

    Being intentional about taking moments throughout the day, to clear my mind and focus on the Christ Child. Especially as these days are very hectic. A little over a week ago – the Holy Spirit brought to mind the word “wait”. I find it so often in Psalms. “Wait on the Lord”. “It is good to wait quietly for Him.” So – I have tried to still myself in the morning and intentionally NOT pray. But just sit with Him…waiting…to whatever extent I am able to do this.
    I had my last physical therapy yesterday after school. I have two appointments set up after the New Year – the first being a day after my two week follow-up with my surgeon. I am deeply appreciative of my physical therapist’s commitment to working with me, seeing me through this.
    I see my surgeon this morning, my 12 week follow-up. So, just a half day of school, with a teacher’s meeting to follow. My god son has a game this evening, about 45 minutes away. So grateful for a slower morning here.
    Rusty – your musings yesterday are our great struggle, and yet opportunity. To continue in this world, demonstrating our faith, setting us apart from the world…as well as apart from “our” religion. Our beliefs must be demonstrated – this is the strongest proclamation. For me – I find that I must lead with compassion. I hope others don’t see me as “religious”, but rather as seeking deeper spirituality. Seeking only to glorify Him. How that plays out is critical. Father God – lead me in Your righteousness, that I may glorify You.

  • robert moeller Posted December 12, 2023 5:50 am

    New Every Morning, prayer, quiet time, book study, and a nativity scene help me keep Jesus in my mind and heart. It’s a blessing to read Jill’s post, prayers for continued progress with surgery healing. Yes, school days before a vacation, especially this vacation, are hectic. Safe travels to the basketball game. Rest assured in God’s presence. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted December 12, 2023 7:55 am

    The author’s mention of metanoia in our reading bears, for me, significantly on today’s question. The direct association of the word repentance with “a change of mind” is the best explanation of repentance I have ever encountered.

    To specifically answer today’s question, I need to get my mind out of the rut of wishing and onto the path of firm hope – which can only lead to focusing my mind on Jesus. Wishing alone (as distinct from fervent Christian hope) for me is worldly and fueled by my own self-centeredness and covetousness, my dissatisfaction and discontentment with aspects of my life. Realizing this forces me to see none other than Jesus. (Thank you, Lord, for how often you nudge me do this – please forgive me for how often I forget, and please help me develop and cement a habit of metanoia.)

    Jill, thank you for your words of understanding, support and encouragement. Yes, yes! We must demonstrate and live out our faith which truly sets us apart from the world and its incursions. Our great struggle. Strongest proclamation. Compassion. Depth. Seeking only to glorify Him. These are words for me to ponder.

    Praise God.

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