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

God likes to do things by sending us another way. Ancient Israel had long expected a glorious reign of a promised king from the line of David. But for most of the time since their Babylonian exile, the kings were not close to anyone’s hope for a good leader. And they weren’t related to David. Herod the Great, the king we meet in the story of Jesus’ birth, wasn’t even fully Jewish. He was an opportunist military commander, placed into leadership by the Romans to further their own Middle Eastern agendas.

But everything is about to change in our reading [Matthew 2:1-12]. Wise men recognize this change and make the trip from Babylon, foreshadowing that God’s rule means peace and prosperity for every nation, tongue, and tribe.

—Joy J. Moore, Let’s Get Started . . . Again,” in The Upper Room Disciplines 2024: A Book of Daily Devotions (Upper Room Books, 2023)

Today’s Question

When has God “sent you another way” rather than on the route you expected? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

When [the magi] saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored [Jesus]. . . . Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
—Matthew 2:10-12 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, enable us to move through the chaos into the new creation you alone have promised. Amen. —Prayer by Joy J. Moore
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Are you looking for a way to deepen your relationship with God this year? The Upper Room Disciplines offers a daily practice of reading and reflecting on God’s Word to awaken and strengthen your spiritual life. Order your copy of Disciplines 2024 today!

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Baptism of the Lord

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 7, 2024 7:48 am

    I’m not absolutely sure, but have believed this to be true. Told two weeks before I finished infantry school , where Vietnam was the focus of training, that Alaska, Panama, Germany, and Korea were the places I could be sent, I thought Germany was the logical place, my German language skills were good. Instead I was sent to Korea. It was a very life changing experience. I saw and spoke to the woman who, when I returned to Korea as a teacher four years later, and was unexpectedly reacquainted, would become my wife. Our daughter was born in Korea.
    Very thankful I didn’t go to Vietnam , am not so sure I would have survived there. I had prayed for God to send me where He wanted me to go. Thank You, Lord.
    Snowing here in NH, thankful for that too. Hopefully snowshoeing will be possible.
    Worship today via Zoom. Have to thank God that is possible.
    Prayers for all of you in Jesus name.Amen.

  • Lou Posted January 7, 2024 8:44 am

    God has led me in directions that have resulted in many twists and turns that I do not fully understand but I try to faithfully follow and trust that he knows the plan and that he has a plan to prosper and not harm ; to give me hope and a future – Jeremiah 29:11 I do trust in this but some days are harder than others –
    Prayers for all that we may follow and trust where he leads us especially when we do not understand.
    Cold and the first snow of the season in Chicago. Prayers for those without adequate shelter.

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