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

When we feel that God is asking us to do something important or we feel God’s call to serve or to help others, we want to be at our best. Just as we would want to give our best to our boss or company, we should offer no less to God. Faith is what keeps us alive and awake, and when we freshen our faith through service and dedication to the things of God, we are made all the bolder and more vibrant in our abilities to focus on the tasks God has laid before us.

Today, give your best effort when you help a neighbor or when you are listening to someone who is looking for advice or a confidant. Staying fresh and alert is just another way of remaining hopeful and faithful in our journey with God.

—Todd Outcalt, Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem: Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

In what ways can you keep your faith fresh and alert by giving your best effort to God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know what day the Lord is coming.
—Matthew 24:42 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God, the One who has brought all things into existence, I welcome the expected and the unexpected love and lessons you will bring today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Jill Posted December 5, 2020 6:14 am

    This remains a challenge to me in these days of isolation. How do I “freshen” my faith (I love this thought) through service and dedication to the things of God? Maybe, part of it, is setting a goal/plan in my mind of what this will look like once things begin to shift back to somewhat normalcy. To begin praying regarding this, asking for the Lord’s guidance and favor.
    Of course, with teaching on-line, I can still give my best effort in these circumstances. I am encouraged that only 2 weeks remain between now and winter break. I sense my effort waning, despite a wondrous snow day this past week, as I do not have everything for next week posted for the students. I have been using a Friday morning deadline of 8 AM to have everything posted for them for the following week. I have one more video to make this morning and get it posted.
    The county I live in reached “purple” status on Thursday, marking the first time we have received the highest level of alert. My tennis team plays our first playoff match tomorrow evening – as of yet, it is still scheduled. I ordered groceries for dad and I yesterday afternoon and picked them up. Tennis remains my biggest risk. I believe if we win tomorrow, there will be one final championship match the following weekend.

  • robert moeller Posted December 5, 2020 7:37 am

    This has been a different week for me, had difficulty with three meetings. One was planned but didn’t occur, I couldn’t handle the technology on another, and the third one I missed even though I had a note to remind me. Thankfully I made it to my doctor’s appointment, all went well, paid bills, did needed shopping, and got new windshield wipers on the car ahead of the Nor’easter. Yesterday’s meeting was to help plan the church’s Christmas Eve.

    Prayers for the people of the purple zone where Jill; lives, wisdom on playing tennis. Thankful groceries for you and Dad have been picked up, and your diligence in teaching under these circumstances.
    Prayers for the well-being and health of Marcy, safety and well resolved situation for Julie and Megan,
    Thankful for Ally’s improved vision and David’s healing.
    Church members with serious health issues need prayers. In and out of the hospital with no 24 hour home health care available.
    No St. Barbara’s celebration by salt miners in East Hessen, Germany due to Covid and I suspect St. Nikolaus Day tomorrow will also not be the same.
    Vaccines on the way to the UK and hopefully soon to the US and other countries. Prayers for wisdom and unity in protecting each other from the virus through mask wearing, social distancing.
    Thank You, Lord, for Your ever presence.

  • Julie Posted December 5, 2020 8:28 am

    I feel invigorated with the making of my Advent wreath and the anticipation of joining in this ancient tradition with believers around the globe. I know we have been jointly dealing with coronavirus but to share a beautiful and positive tradition is heartwarming and soul healing.
    Prayers for Jill and her fellow citizens, may all heed the guidance of science and wear masks, socially distance and limit time outside one’s household.
    Prayers for Robert and his church as they make pans to celebrate Christmas Eve while living with this year’s restrictions. So many cherished traditions have had to change or be abandoned altogether.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may Ally’s doctor find the reason for her continued cardiac symptoms and may her next catact surgery go well also.
    I have realized that the “kittens” are fully grown. Today was the first day that there was no zooming around the house and constantlyy getting into and upsetting things. Although the black and white one, Booker, did get into a pile of newspaper and scatter them about.

  • Lou Posted December 5, 2020 8:30 am

    I can do my best by thanking and praising the Lord today for all that He has blessed me with- most especially my children. As the Christmas season progresses I find that all of us are connecting more as we communicate about finding gifts and making preparations to try to celebrate together even if virtually. Yesterday my son helped me purchase our tree at our local nursery and get it set up – he stayed awhile and we had wonderful conversation as we worked. My daughter and her partner bought their first Christmas tree together and set theirs up and I saw pictures of their fun. My youngest daughter is determined to get a small apartment sized tree today as she finishes her college semester in the next few weeks and hopefully can make it home and safely quarantine here. Amid all of the preparations yesterday we were connecting from the east coast to the west coast and I always hope they know that there home base is here in the Midwest.
    In addition to my advent wreath that I light each morning as I read my advent devotions I also started a “prayer bowl” and I pick one person each day and write their name and place it in the bowl next to my advent wreath and I pray for that particular person throughout the day. I have enjoyed that simple act and I keep that person close in prayer and in my heart throughout the day. I also have been trying to support a friend struggling with sadness in this season and I will reach out today in the spirit of keeping faith fresh and alive.
    God is near – especially in these challenging times- prayers for all of you today. Praying especially for Joan -lifting you up.
    Hope -Peace- Love-Joy for all.

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