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

Can we imagine singing to the men in the Bible stories of Jesus’ birth, “God rest ye merry gentlemen”? Were they merry? In the original carol, there was a comma after “merry.” God rest ye merry, gentlemen! We are invited to rest in a “merry” way. Rest is hard to come by for gentlemen, gentlewomen, all of us really. But there’s something at the heart of Advent about God giving us rest and the merry joy of resting in God.

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

Today’s Question

What ways of resting in God might bring you joy? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

—Psalm 16:11 (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.


  • Jill Posted December 7, 2020 5:21 am

    Deep trust which allows, even demands, that I lay down my desire of control. I am best at rest when my eyes are not on myself, but locked on my Saviour. In His arms, there is sweet refuge and lack of longing.
    I miss the holiness of church sanctuaries during this special time of year. The subtle but meaningful decorations, the music, the warm wishes of others. The ability to worship with others, to sit quietly and reflect.
    My spiritual director is hosting an Advent Zoom Wednesday evening. I signed up for it and am looking forward to it. There is also a Christmas concert Thursday evening put on by one of my favorite artists – I believe it is running on Facebook Live. Will look forward to these.

  • Julie Posted December 7, 2020 8:27 am

    Truly giving my burdens to the Lord and having the strength of faith to leave them with him would bring me joy and peace and rest. To allow myself to lay in His arms and rest from my worrying and fear would bring me joy.
    Prayers for Jill and her busy schedule of things she is anticipating, may her joy increase as she engages in these endeavors.
    Prayers for Ally and David. I pray Ally’s doctor is able to diagnosis the ongoing issue following her testing,
    Prayers for Marcy and her many struggles, physical, emotional and financial.
    Prayers for Robert and his continued connections with those in his church family.
    Prayers for Lou and her continued closeness to her children as they disperse to other regions to pusue their lives work.

  • Ally Posted December 7, 2020 9:50 am

    I’ve mentioned before my Aunt Mary’s wisdom when things are tough: rest in the Lord. It is so hard for me to cast my burdens onto the Lord and not take them back with me. God’s word promises us in scripture that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The good tidings the Lord brings through God’s Son Messiah can give us comfort and joy. Help me Lord, to let Your joy sink in.
    It seems with us, it’s always something. David received a letter from the courts informing him that his child support and alimony is in arrears and he is to appear in court tomorrow. We paid off his child support in July and according to his divorce decree, his ex has not been awarded alimony. We are so tired of dealing with this and it has caused both of us undue stress. The courts were under lockdown for several months and and we pray this is a clerical error. We have documentation to prove everything is paid off. Our attorney is contacting the court receiver to see if she can determine what is going on. Please lift us up that we can give this burden to the Lord. Please pray for best outcome for David.
    I love you all and lift you and your burdens up to the Lord. May we all rest in the Lord and find comfort and joy in God’s presence as we wait expectantly during this advent season.

  • robert moeller Posted December 7, 2020 1:28 pm

    I rest in the Lord walking in the woods, reading the Advent study and devotions, singing or hearing Christmas carols and/or hymns. Was able to witness the St. Barbara service for salt miners in East Hessen Germany via video. A new and wonderful experience for me. had a climb on a new trail today, some snow and leaves underfoot. I pray for RESOLUTIONS for the situations faced by Marcy, Julie, Ally & David, Jill and Larry, Lou and her children, and all the UR family. This country needs our prayers as we face a growing rate of Covid infection, hospitalization, and death. Thankful vaccines are coming, but many tried and true means of curbing the virus also need to be followed. Lord grant us wisdom, and then compliance. Thank You, Lord.

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