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 the Incarnation, the humble God in the simple manger bends down to embrace and lift up creation to its intended glory. The mystery of the Incarnation for Francis was that God bends low in love to meet us where we are. Jesus—whose name was so dear to Francis on Christmas Eve that he could hardly use it, preferring instead “Babe from Bethlehem,”—was to be followed more than believed in. “The brothers who live with [Francis] know that daily, constantly, talk of Jesus was always on his lips. He was always with Jesus: Jesus in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands, he bore Jesus always in his whole body,” [writes Thomas Celano in The Life of Saint Francis.] And God’s love in Jesus was for everyone. Everyone.

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

Today’s Question

What does it mean to you that God chose to send God’s Son as a baby to a poor couple in a small village? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The Word became flesh

and made his home among us.

We have seen his glory,

glory like that of a father’s only son,

full of grace and truth.
—John 1:14 (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.


  • robert moeller Posted December 28, 2022 6:27 am

    God so loved us that God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, was sent to all of us. I thank God often for all that God has done. Everyday is a blessing.
    Had a disruption in my travel on Monday, my expected train was canceled, had to reroute my trip. It took an extra 3.5 hours, but arrived safe and sound.
    Prayers for Felix, my son-in-law’s nephew, who broke his leg on a trampoline. Surgery done, now it’s time to heal.
    Off to the ski slopes today, no snow in Rhinebeck, but further north skiing is possible. Hope for some photos today.
    Thank You, Lord for the blessings of the day!

  • Gail Churchill Posted December 28, 2022 7:16 am

    The story of Jesus, the baby in a manger, has been with me my entire life. Whether I have always known its full significance is a different question. But I have always been intrigued by the birth process. My parents adopted me, and I always knew I was adopted. I worked as an OB nurse for a time. I discovered my birth parents (they were deceased by that time) and learned the story of my birth. My life story is like Jesus’ in many ways. Jesus remained true to his calling despite suffering, and showed me the way.

  • Ally Posted December 29, 2022 2:08 am

    The birth of Jesus brought hope to the poor and marginalized. Jesus come to the “othered” in the form of an “othered”. Lord, see us.

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