The Gospel of Luke tells us that when Jesus enters the world, he is placed in a manger because no rooms were available at the nearby inn. Jesus’ birth reminds us that God does not abandon us in our mess but enters into it with us. Jesus is Emmanuel—“God with us”—in whatever mess we may be experiencing. We don’t need to pretend anymore that everything is okay. Our mess is where God is and wants to be.
—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)
In what messes have you felt God’s presence? Join the conversation.
She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.
—Luke 2:7 (GNT)
Prayer for the Week
Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus’ birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.