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

Often, we relegate these words [Psalm 23 ] to be read only at funerals. However, the reference to the “shadow of death” is not a reference to the dead but to the living. We are the ones who are walking through this dark, shadowy valley … But the psalmist, the prophet, and the Gospel of Matthew all echo the same promise: Emmanuel, God with us. …

God offers us not only the light of Christ but also the lights of unity, support, care, and comfort found in the wonderful gift of the church—the people of God.

May God give us peace through our days, and may Christ’s light burn brightly through our care and service to those in need.

—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

Who might need your supportive light to remind them of Emmanuel, God with us? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scriptures

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

—Psalm 23:1-4

“The people who sat in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
    light has dawned.”

—Matthew 4:16

Prayer for the Week

Emmanuel, God who is with us, help me remember you are near every day of the year.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The Upper Room wishes you a blessed Christmas season, full of joy and love, in celebration of the greatest gift of all—Jesus Christ. You can continue to spread the gift of Jesus by giving to The Upper Room. Your tax-deductible gift of any size will impact lives throughout the world.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 26, 2020 6:49 am

    Have a list of people, believers and nonbelievers, we all must remain very aware the God is with us at all times. I’m thankful for that truth, it is sustaining, life giving, energizing. Whatever comes our way, difficult or easy, God is there.

    Had a very quiet pleasant Christmas Day. Face Timed with Jenny, Willa, Oona, and Chris twice, sent emails, had a wonderful German dinner, saw “Call the Midwife”, read letters from and to Korea written 45 years ago, and did some work on my models. The rain took away most of the snow, only large piles or
    protected from the rain spots remain. Temps around freezing today.

    Prayers your Christmas Day was a good one, I was reminded this morning that Christmas is not just a day, it lasts all year and beyond. We are still in Christmastide, Epiphany is yet to come. Thankful for all of you, your prayers, comments, concerns, and hopes. May your needs be met, your fears calmed, and your safety assured. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted December 26, 2020 8:59 am

    Marcy is on my heart. I will call her today and I hope she is able to answer and have a conversation. The last we spoke was several weeks ago and she was not doing well. She has not answered when I have called since.
    Megan is feeling much better. We had a quiet Christmas. We Zoomed with my mother who spent the holiday alone as my aunt was not feeling well. My aunt is the one who drives my mother places as she never learned how to drive. They were to spend the holiday at my cousin’s but each spent the holiday alone. Megan and I watched movies and I ate ravioli while Megan had small dishes of macaroni cheese. We ate the cookies I had baked earlier in the week. We atched “Annabell’s Wish” which is my favorite Christmas movie and Megan chose the new PIXAR movie “Soul.” Both were excellent choices.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and I pray Jill was able to safely arrive at Lrry’s for the day. We had about a foot of snow over Christmas Eve to today and it is currently 15 degrees with a subzero windchill.
    Prayers for Ally and David for safe travel and a soul reviving visit.
    Prayers for Lou and her family as they gather either in person or using social media, may all revel in their family’s love.
    Prayers forRobert and his list of those he supports in so many ways, may God bless him richly, multiplying his offerings.

  • Jill Posted December 26, 2020 10:11 am

    My dad continues to need support. Overall – considering the circumstances – I believe him to be doing very well. However, having said that – he is sad and lonely. He admitted as much on multiple occasions yesterday. He is not ashamed of it – and I am glad he puts voice to it and that we are able to talk about the good times and the tough times.
    I spent about 6 hours with him and he was grateful I stayed as long as I did. We watched some basketball and football and my mom’s niece and nephew stopped by with gifts for dad, as well as cookies. We enjoyed our Italian food and have some for leftovers.
    Travelling home was a little tricky as the snow continued throughout the day. It is supposed to get a little warmer this afternoon – I will take on shoveling the driveway then. A plow finally made it down my street this morning.
    Today will be full of lots of grading and watching basketball. Was to play tennis with my doubles partner today, but she and her sister were in an accident Christmas Eve during the snowstorm. We cancelled our tennis plans for today and Monday. Hopefully her pain and stiffness won’t linger much past that.

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