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.

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Today’s Reflection

Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, Holy One, Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace is born! By any name, we welcome the greatest gift of all: God’s presence with us. From the moment of Creation, God’s image has been embedded in each and every human being. Even so, God realized that we needed a more tangible way of understanding what it means to live into the fullness of God’s image within us. We needed a Light among us to follow. God sent Jesus to light our path, to show us what it means to live fully, and to encourage us to love God, ourselves, and one another.

– Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer

From page 118 of Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe Christ’s presence in your life. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:10, NRSV

This Week: Pray for joy. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

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This week we remember: Peter Casinius (December 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • robert moeller Posted December 21, 2018 3:30 am

    This is a tough question even though i think as a believer Christ is within me. I’m a human, made it God’s image, but as a human I’m a sinner. As a believer
    I recognize the need for God, my dependence on God, and am thankful that Jesus has come and paid the price for my sin that I can be and am connected to God. As a believer i tray to do what Christ taught, love God with all my heart, mind, and soul, and love my neighbor as myself. God helped me through tough times and this year resources have been available that I have been able to help others. I’m very thankful for that.

    Had a wonderful day yesterday, accomplished a big errand, did some food shopping, and got some help to make sure transportation remains possible
    in cold weather.

    Prayers that your faith is secure in Christ and that you share the blessings that Christ enables us to receive with others. Am sure it is happening based on your sharing and posts. Thank you and thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted December 21, 2018 3:34 am

    The first thing which comes to mind is His peace. I think it is because for so long I was without it. I was searching, longing for peace through earthly relationships – looking for comfort and busy-ness in these relationships which did not meet my expectations. Now I am satiated. I am at ease, at home with Him. There is less striving, and more of simply being.
    Secondly – there is a longing to be in step with Him, in His will. I look to Him, to The Word for guidance, for leading. I seek out counsel from others who are deeply embedded with Him.
    I recognize and treasure the Body of Christ – Believers He has placed in my life to support me, to encourage me along the path. And I look to be an emitter of light. Yesterday I meditated on the verse from Luke where Mary says – “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” To magnify – to make appear bigger; to extol, to glorify. Oh that this would be said of me.
    Father – thank You that I am Yours. Such comfort, such unmerited grace.
    I am grateful to be at the end of the semester. The first half of this school year has been so good for me – such a welcome diversion, with wonderful students. It has gone so fast and so well – I am grateful for the steadiness, the regularity. Grateful for a beautiful card from a co-worker, with beautiful words of affirmation.

  • robert moeller Posted December 21, 2018 4:42 am

    Thankful for Jill’s post, yes you, your Mom and Dad, and school have been through a lot in this past year, it is amazing how God helps so much when we turn God’s way. I most certainly have experienced that.

    Julie, your prayers are very helpful and not at all cumbersome. I admire your ability to write them and to remember so many by name. I need to take notes to do that.

    Marcy, you also are able to pray so well for each person. Your prayers reflect the years of care giving you did and continue that in a new way.

    Glad to read posts from all the UR family whether daily or less frequent, they are all blessings. Thank You, Lord.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 21, 2018 6:55 am

    Thank you God for your presence. In your presence, I have joy, love, peace, courage, your ever present help, wisdom to do what is right, strength and willingness to forgive and let go.

    May your presence be with each and everyone for in your presence, there is joy!


  • Connie Posted December 21, 2018 7:56 am

    Christ’s presence in my life is the number one most important thing. Without Him, I am sunk! With Him, I am safe and secure. This is my Declaration Ephesians 3:20.
    Winter Solstice Blessings.

  • Julie Posted December 21, 2018 8:03 am

    Today I felt God’s presence and that He was speaking to me. The UR devotional was about suffering and how we should persevere as Christians sharing Christs suffering. I am suffering lately. Things are actually toxic in this house and I am wearing a mask. The h brought home his mother’s furniture and it is saturated with her perfume and I had a sever allergic reaction. I am struggling to stay out of despair.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and thankful for car maintenance and resources to cover expenses.
    Prayers for Jill and her family and school family, may all continue to do well.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may she continue to be filled with joy.
    Prayers for April and her family and their quiet family celebrations.
    Prayers for Connie and how I envy your quiet life. Sorry I know that is wrong, Lord, but I miss my quiet life.
    Prayers for Lou and her family and may they enjoy their long visit.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family and safe travel.
    Prayers for Marcy and Mary who I pray is spending time helping Marcy.
    Prayers dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 21, 2018 11:30 pm

      Julie, praying for you that you will have peace, love, joy and patience.

      Blessings and thanks for all your prayers!

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