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

In Greccio, Italy, there lived a nobleman of good reputation and exemplary spiritual life by the name of John. Despite his place as “nobility,” Francis had a special affection for John and used his cave as a place for prayer whenever he visited. According to Thomas of Celano [St. Francis’s first biographer], as Francis developed this idea of a celebration of the Nativity, he called John and said, “Hurry before me and carefully make ready the things I tell you. For I wish to enact the memory of that Babe who was born in Bethlehem: to see as much as is possible with my own bodily eyes the discomfort of his infant needs, how he lay in a manger, and how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he rested on hay.”

—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

How often during the Advent and Christmas seasons did you thank God for the gift of Jesus? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
—Luke 2:7 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Surprising God, thank you for choosing to be with us as a child who needs our care and tenderness in an often harsh world. Thank you for your humble beginnings, showing us that we don’t need to look too high or too far to find your presence in the ordinary, the humble, the poor, or the beautiful. Thank you that your love reaches us again and again. Amen.
Prayer by Larry J. Peacock
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Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Gail Churchill Posted December 27, 2022 8:36 am

    Not enough. When I walk past a house in the neighborhood, mostly every day, I see a sign posted (about the size of a for sale sign) that says, “Thank you Jesus.” So I thank Jesus. It is a good reminder. But technically, different from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son. . ..” Thank you God for Jesus and the gift of salvation.

  • Julie Posted December 27, 2022 9:21 am

    That’s exactly what I thought, Gail. But what would be enough thanks for the supreme sacrifice of dying a brutal death to attone for my sins.
    Megan is back at work for first time since acquiring the puppy. It is stuck in the basement all alone and it is not happy. It’s been barking and whining most of the morning. I can’t blame it as it is all alone all day long. It was the first to go from the litter so it is used to having it’s littermates to play with all the time.

  • Ally Posted December 27, 2022 10:34 am

    I try to thank God for the gift of Jesus each day, but there are days like the past few, when it has been hard to find my words, or even to pray using the words of others.
    David has been sick and symptoms seem to point to vertigo. We need to find out the cause. He has an appointment with his primary 1/5, but I’m calling each day to see if anyone has cancelled. If he is sick again today, I am calling 911. He had an episode Christmas Eve where he became short of breath and and didn’t exactly pass out, but collapsed and was weak and confused for about a minute. EMS came and took his vitals. Heart rate was very high and so was his blood sugar. EMTs encouraged him to go to ER, but he refused. I am very discouraged and feel my prayers are futile. I’m trying to pray anyway.

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