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

From “the beginning,” John the Baptist leads us in this Advent season to our true Lord, whose birth we await and whose reign is eternal. However, God’s liberating acts do not end in Mark’s Gospel. The story begins with Jesus. But it goes on and on. As a baptized community, this new beginning takes place in our hearing or reading of this evangelion [the Greek word for “good news”]. This good news breaks into our own lives the moment we pledge allegiance to Jesus as the Son of God. As Jesus said, we can continue the work he started.

—Joel Bengbeng, “Radical Good News,” in  Light from Afar: An Advent Devotional from Around the World (Upper Room Books, 2023)

Today’s Question

How did John the Baptist’s message and baptism of repentance prepare the way for Jesus as the Messiah? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
—Mark 1:4, 7-8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, thank you for the light from afar that came into our world when your Son, Jesus Christ, was born. Be with us as we await the birth of the Christ child in our hearts once again. Give us patience in the waiting. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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 Disciplines 2024! Challenge yourself to a deeper relationship with Christ with this year-long, lectionary-based devotional. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 1, 2023 11:11 am

    I think the story of John the Baptist helps us prepare for Jesus with John’s birth fortold, the concept of repentance repeated, John’s mission announced, and the importance of the coming of Jesus.
    I’m thankful for the posts over this past week. I wish my efforts to reply were more punctual. I want to post my reply early in the morning so more of you see it. Well laid plans don’t always work. Hopefully tomorrow morning.
    Thank you all for your posts, they are always helpful. Thank You, Lord.

    • Ally Posted December 1, 2023 8:03 pm

      Robert, I don’t always reply early. Sometimes I have to ponder the question all day before I respond. I too appreciate your insights.

  • Rusty Posted December 1, 2023 3:53 pm

    Thanks Robert. I don’t recall ever considering this question before. I appreciate your insights.

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