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

Read the passage (Luke 1:5-25) aloud slowly to yourself. Write a sentence or two in response to this question:

What feelings might Elizabeth have had about Zechariah’s being chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense? Consider that for decades Elizabeth has been forced to endure the disgrace of being childless (v. 25). For example, perhaps she thought, Maybe we’re not such losers after all.

—Jan Johnson, Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

What might five months of seclusion have been like for Elizabeth with a husband who could not speak? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

After those days [of Zechariah’s vision of the angel in the temple] his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months
she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for
me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have
endured among my people.”
—Luke 1:24-25 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Let us release the cares of our day,
and open our eyes to the wonder of God.

With an attitude of empathy to people of another time,
let us open our hearts and minds to God.

Let us prepare to experience God’s word to us
through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer by Jan Johnson
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 2023.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 14, 2022 7:25 am

    Thankful to have caught up with NEM news. Great news about David’s PT progress and homecoming soon. Hope Ally’s mini-retreat was refreshing, uplifting. Hope Jeremy is doing better.
    Prayers for Becky’s surgery on the 18th. Despite the serious , nerve wracking incidents at schools in Jill’s area, I am encouraged that teachers are meeting administration and the school board, hopeful that the federal negotiator helps and all are healthy. Covid is still a factor. Everyone needs to be safe.
    Prayers for the children and the parents as husband and wife go through tough times. Great to see your godson play basketball. Prayers for Megan and Julie regarding the dog, safety for H and Julie in this setting. Glad there are times of relief, the botanical garden and church.
    Not knowing if reading and writing was possible for Zechariah and Elizabeth, communication may have been very difficult or only slightly impaired. I’m sure Zechariah tried hard to tell Elizabeth the
    good news, there had to be some of the most intimate communication as well. I think seclusion may have been part of care for pregnant women. I’m guessing at best.
    Still temps in the 30s, Concert tonight at the Little White Church,
    Advent is moving quickly, be safe, stay warm, and remember God is always with you. Thank You,

  • Ally Posted December 14, 2022 8:50 am

    The scripture passage says Elizabeth rejoiced in her condition. But I’m sure there were times when she may have been frustrated and may have felt a little bit alone. She may have spent the time in prayer, especially listening for z God’s voice.
    David has a discharge date of December 20. There are a few things I need to do to get ready for his homecoming. We are happy and relieved he will be home for Christmas. I visited Jeremy at the vet yesterday. He was not a happy camper. Also seemed like he didn’t feel that well. Will call vets in a bit when they’ve had time to evaluate him today. I still feel pretty overwhelmed. Thanks to all NEM family for your prayers. Know you and your needs are on my heart. I thank God for you.

  • Jill Posted December 14, 2022 4:50 pm

    My first reaction was “peaceful”. Take that reaction with a grain of salt, coming from a single person.
    Truthfully, it is hard to know…how to understand what family make-ups were like, and interactions.
    Grateful to be home after school and will be heading to bed very early this evening. Have to make up for a short night last evening. My god son did well at his game – I think the best he has played this year. The team is now 3-2. My god daughter is home for winter break, with her exams and semester behind her. It is really good to see the relationship she has with her brother. They enjoy each other very much.

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