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 Song of Zechariah, also known as the “Benedictus,” was Zechariah’s first words following the birth of his son, John the Baptist, after several months of being mute. His song describes his profound joy at seeing the unfolding of God’s promises for God’s people. God fulfills God’s promises no matter what. God comes to help God’s people and set them free and rescue them from death, like “the dawn from on high” to shine on those living in darkness, fear, oppression, and death. . . . . In God’s coming through Jesus Christ, God has pierced the darkness.

—Joel Bengbeng, “Love Drives Out Darkness,” in  Light from Afar: An Advent Devotional from Around the World (Upper Room Books, 2023)

Today’s Question

In what ways has God pierced the darkness for you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to shine upon those who sit in darkness and in
the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
—Luke 1:78-79 (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 November 30, 2023 8:14 am

    Bible/book study has helped a lot along with serving on the worship team at church. My faith is extended and strengthened. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted November 30, 2023 9:22 am

    Through this group of friends and mature Christians.
    Thank you, Lord for directing me to this wonderful group of people and compelling me to join my voice to theirs.

  • Ally Posted November 30, 2023 9:35 am

    When the darkness seems deepest and despair is looming, God has sent a messenger: a scripture or reading that is apropos to my situation, a person with words of wisdom and exhortation. I heard someone say that our God cannot be anything but faithful. Trusting God is often a challenge. But God has seen me, heard me, and sent help when I most needed it.

  • Jill Posted November 30, 2023 3:37 pm

    God has pierced my darkness multiple times and mostly by the means of a fellow pilgrim. Usually this person has already experienced something similar to me and is willing to companion me. It is my desire to be used by God like this to others.
    PT yesterday was pretty intense, and at times uncomfortable. I had dry needling again – in hopes of getting the inflammation on the move and ultimately broken up. I am not feeling that great today. I am fairly discouraged as it doesn’t look like I will be back to running prior to my next surgery, let alone tennis.
    School, yesterday, was also a source of discouragement. For the first time in my 31 year career – I made a male cry. I have had females cry before, minimally. I know this student is fighting his mental health. And, obviously, I was not nearly as compassionate as I needed to be in addressing him. I was upset the rest of the day. And, today too, quite honestly.
    Tonight is conference evening, so I am at school until 7:00. A long day, especially in the discomfort I am in. Tomorrow will be better – two of my three classes have assessments.

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