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 magi brought gifts of immense value; they brought what was precious to them. They parted with what they adored to adore the Lord. We are not so wise in our giving. I traverse not far at all when I shop, since I shop online. Why? It’s easier and more convenient for me. Or convenient for the recipient… Notice that convenience was not a priority for the magi. Why has it become our guiding light?

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

Today’s Question

How do the magi inspire you to offer God “gifts of immense value”? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
—Matthew 2:11 (NRSV)

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 new year is just around the corner. Don’t forget to order your copy of The Upper Room Disciplines 2021.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 12, 2020 7:30 am

    I do what God enables me to do to stay alive, my being alive is help for my son. Hopefully when this pandemic ends, opportunities that have been discovered will be realized. Those opportunities can help make a path for progress.
    Thankful for resolutions that help someone else as well. The size of the help doesn’t matter , the the help needed was received is what counts.
    A good breakfast with the pastor, got to see people, have lively and fun conversation.
    Prayers for people with, recovering or dealing with those affected by cancer. While more treatments are helping people survive, much more needs to be done. The safety and welfare of Marcy and Julie come to mind. Add to this the pandemic and we are over our heads. Must be thankful that God is with us always.
    Thankful for news from relatives and friends in Germany. Tomorrow is the third Sunday of Advent, may you be blessed in worship and throughout the week. Thank You, Lord. You are the rock that enables our standing.

  • Jill Posted December 12, 2020 7:49 am

    Convenience – I am so guilty of this. Again – my thoughts go to time…the gift of time. How willing am I to part with this? I hope my awareness will be re-kindled once we re-surface following this pandemic. Is God giving us this time to re-evaluate where we find our worth, where we place our confidence?
    I got a little rained on this morning on my run. The rain is supposed to intensify as the day goes on. Today will be spent putting together the exams my students will be taking next week. My god daughter’s basketball game will be live streamed this afternoon – so that will be a good diversion and much needed break.
    My former student set me the pathology reports following her most recent MRI. Most of the language was way above my pay grade, but encouraging to see “decrease” often when referencing the size of tumors and nodules. I asked how her parents are doing. They are doing mostly everything for her. Her mom’s health continues to be precarious. Laura’s words were – “we are trying to keep her healthy enough through this. Once I am out of the woods, she will have her kidney transplant.” So much, so very much.
    Dad and I enjoyed our walk – the sun was actually warm – I was over-dressed. Many people out taking advantage of the beautiful day.

  • Julie Posted December 12, 2020 8:30 am

    Time is a very valuable commodity for those of us in this time. So to give of my time would be a sacrifice and one I would like to make…. when it is safe to do so again. Like Robert and Erich, I try to keep myself well in order to care for Megan.
    Prayers for Robert and his coontinued robust health and his care extnded to and received by one in need.
    Prayers for Jill and her former student and her student’s mother. May both student and mother emerge from their respective health issues stronger in body and faith.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may Ally’s cadiac physical therapy help reduce her symptoms. My mother also was able to stop wearing glasses after her catact surgery. Thank you for the kitty information, it sounds like Jackson Galaxy advice. I think he is wonderful with kitties and his knowledge and patience are great. I guess you could call me a “catalyte” of his!
    Prayers for Rick and Scott and may they be safe as they continue to seek out a home.
    Prayers for Marcy and I pray she is doing better physically, emotionally and financially. I will try to call her today.
    Prayers for Lou and her children, may all be safe and well.

  • Ally Posted December 12, 2020 1:16 pm

    I don’t think my words can express what I can give any better than this verse from another Christmas hymn by Christina Rossetti, In The Bleak Mid winter:
    What can I give Him, poor as I am?
    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
    If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
    Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

    This verse has always stayed with me. Lord, may I give willingly of what I have to You.
    David’s rash has returned. Seems to be a common after effect of COVID. We asked Dr. to call in some more meds. They were helping, or seemed to be. He is feeling a bit down again. I do think he needs talk therapy in addition to medication. My vision is good and I can start driving again Monday. The new combination of cardiac meds seems to be helping me. Praise the Lord.
    Jill, I too find it hard to give my time. Glad to hear that your friends tumors are decreasing. Praying for healing for her and her mom. Robert, I lift up your family, that all stay well and that your children are aware of the Lord’s presence. Julie, I think that idea did come from Jackson Galaxy. I love him too! I pray for you as you seek God’s wisdom and for safety for you and Megan. Marcy, I pray for your health and safety and that you are feeling well. Rick and Scott, praying you feel God’s peace as you look for a home. Lou, praying safety and wellness for you and your loved ones. For all who visit here, may you find the peace that comes from encountering the Christ Child. Blessings to all.

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