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

I think of that line from Edna St. Vincent Millay: “O World, I cannot hold thee close enough.” It is a mystery, a grace, and yet that is exactly how I suddenly feel, like I want to lift my arms to receive the world and hold it to my chest. I think of the people out there, waiting beyond the borders of the meadow, and I’m delivered again into the sweet and burning knowledge that they are mine and I am theirs.

—Sue Monk Kidd, “In the Ragged Meadow,” The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

What insight do you find in today’s reading about how to relate to others and connect with the world? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

—Ecclesiastes 3:1–2, 4 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us for The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse. Beginning next week and throughout Advent, we will gather online for weekly guided spiritual practice sessions, group learning, and facilitated discussion. The eCourse also includes daily readings from this week’s featured book, The Wondrous Mystery. Register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Lou Posted November 23, 2021 7:37 am

    We need to hold each other close and do whatever possible to spread God’s love. I’m going to hold my children close this weekend and enjoy the time I get with them. My youngest has class until weds so she flies in early on thanksgiving morning for a few precious days. My son and his girlfriend only have Thursday off of work so we will be together then and hopefully on the weekend. I will see my mother and brother at Christmas since I need to be here for my children and there isn’t enough time to travel to see her this weekend. But I will take advantage of the time I have and hold my family close. My middle daughter is unable to come over the holidays due to work. We are all upset about that but I’ll hold her close from afar. I’ve already started sending Christmas packages and “surprises” so she will have signs of my love – she’s such a kid at heart and loves surprises. I’ve been reaching out to several friends who are grieving and I am holding them close in my heart and prayers. I hold you all close in my heart and prayers – reading and praying for all of your concerns daily. I wish you all a blessed thanksgiving – and I hope you are able to hold your loved ones close either in person or in your heart as we know that God holds all of us.

  • robert moeller Posted November 23, 2021 7:47 am

    I’m somewhat in conflict with this line from the poem. Yes, while we live here, we should do all we can to help the earth we live on and those who live here. Home is not of this world, we are here temporarily. when we pass away, we go home.
    Worship planning this morning in preparation for Sunday.
    Hopeful to finish the body of my model today with car front windows and shades, andtwo more passenger seats. Then it can be installed on the underbody.
    Hope you are all ready for Thanksgiving. Advent follows close behind.
    Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller Posted November 23, 2021 7:51 am

    Thank you, Lou. I’m with my son, hopefully FT with my daughter on Thanksgiving. Glad hear how you and your family are in touch with each other. Blessings at Thanksgiving.

  • Julie Posted November 23, 2021 8:26 am

    I will be holding both my family and others close on Thanksgiving. I will have Megan with me as we serve a Thanksgiving feast to strangers with church members . I will talk to my mother and aunt sometime during the day as Megan has to work on Wednesday and Friday so there will be no annual trip for Thanksgiving or Chrstmas.
    Prayers for Ally as she embarks on a new teaching opportunity and may David’s PSA be down. Prayers for Jill and her family as they celebrate together in Florida and may Roger’s body respond to the insulin. So good to hear from Lou, who was in my thoughts, prayers for safe travel for her family and warm memories made. Prayers for Robert and Erich, may they share a good meal and warm memories. Prayers for Marti and her staff, may all have a blessed holiday.
    Megan came home from work yesterday right after she arrived there. We received our COVID boosters on Sunday and she was nauseous. She is better today.
    Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Ally Posted November 23, 2021 2:02 pm

    The key may be found in understanding how things are with others. Not everyone is like me. To listen and demonstrate empathy: know what it is like to walk around in someone else’s shoes. It is not always easy. There are times when I prefer to stay in my cocoon. Lord, help me to leave my zone so I can know how it is with others.
    Please remember David as he sees urologist tomorrow for PSA re-check. After talking with a friend who in his capacity as a social worker, helped clients applying for disability, I discovered that working even part time can hurt your chances of approval of your claim. I really want to try for this opportunity. I put in a call to my attorney and am making my way through an article about earning income when waiting for approval of your claim. Please pray that I use wisdom here. A few prayers for my kitty Lewis. He is experiencing some “irregularity”. He’s on some meds same we are waiting for them to work.
    Lou, good to hear from you and I’m glad you will spend your holiday with your loved ones. Enjoy your time with them. Robert, I pray you and Erich have a good day and spend some quality time together. Julie, prayers that Megan feels better soon and that y’all have a good day serving others. Prayers for Jill, that she enjoys time with her family and for little Roger, that blood sugar numbers are making their way down. I pray for those who will be alone on Thursday. Blessings to all.

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