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

IN THE SEASON OF ADVENT we are asked to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, for this manifestation of God in human form. What Christmas proclaims to us is that God was willing to close the gap between divinity and humanity by entering into the human experience, becoming one of us, knowing hunger and thirst, friendship and betrayal, hope and loss, and the agony of death. It’s a lot to take in, the implications of God incarnate. And because we can’t take it in all at once, by participating in the seasons of the church year we have the opportunity to take up the idea again and again as the season rolls around to Advent.

We imagine the birth of Jesus, the smells and sounds of the stable, the brightness of the star, the vulnerability of the baby, and the wonder of the shepherds. The temptation is to stop there and move on, to turn the Nativity into a sentimental tableau that has little meaning for the rest of our lives.

But if we study this idea of incarnation – of Jesus being fully human and fully divine – we must consider that this event comes about because God is trying to tell us something, show us something about God’s nature and our nature, about divinity and humanity and the intersection of those two realms.

– Melissa Tidwell
Embodied Light

From page 11 of Embodied Light: Advent Reflections on the Incarnation by Melissa Tidwell. Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Tidwell. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What faith lessons does the Nativity teach you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those without homes. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: Ambrose (December 7).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


In order to continue receiving Upper Room Daily Reflections after January 1, 2019, please confirm your subscription here.


  • Betsy Posted December 6, 2018 6:52 am

    The nativity underscores to me the humbleness of the event. A smelly barn, dirty manger, farm animals all around and the poor, tired couple who rested there with a small baby.
    In this season of shiny and fancy, colorful and pricey, I pray that I may look for the least, the forgotten and the broken. There is where God resides. Praying for those who are homeless this season. Help me to be a servant for you.

  • Jill Posted December 6, 2018 7:29 am

    This season reminds me of the essentialness of silence and the willingness to wait. To ponder things deeply, as Mary did. To treasure simple things, to invest in people with love, not money; with time, not gifts. Is there a greater gift than time? Father – continue to draw us to the narrowness of Your path – knowing the vastness of Your love and kingdom.
    I am noticing the decorative lights more this season, it seems. Last evening, on the way home from my god-daughter’s basketball game – the impression of a few lights can be significant. May we not underestimate the light we can emit and the difference it can make.
    Grateful for a quickly moving work week, for going on three weeks of pain free and swelling free, for a visit with my folks last evening at their wonderfully decorated home. Mom seems good – thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted December 6, 2018 8:06 am

    I focus on the humbleness of Jesus entry into this world. God could have orchestrated any birth to any parents, yet He chose humble people and a stable, the place for animals, for this momentous emergence into the human realm. Let us dwell on the humble rather than the splendor, see the humble among us rather than the wealthy and powerful.
    Prayers for Betsy and her brother and his continued independence following rehab.
    Prayers of thanks for Jill’s good health and Gloria’s good spirits.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her health and circumstances improve.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may her mum’s health improve.
    Prayers for Connie and prayers of thanks for her husband’s good doctor report.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and prayers of success in thier new home.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and may his ankle continue to heal.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, April and her family, Shirlee and her daughter.
    Prayers for the homeless, may they find shelter and resources to help them get back on their feet.
    Prayers dear UR family and thank you for your prayers they help me get through my scary days

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 6, 2018 8:35 am

    The nativity teaches me about love. God sent Jesus Christ, His only son, to experience suffering, betrayal, tiredness, etc. So that he can understand all the difficult situations and challenges we face as humans. The main purpose of course is to save us, to stand in the gap for there is no way we can save ourselves.

    Thank you God for Your amazing love!

    Thank you everyone for your prayers.

    My dad fell today. A small cut at the back of his head. Thankful that the bleeding stopped and the cut was not deep nor big. Grateful that he is feeling ok. May God bless him with a speedy recovery.

    Blessings to all!

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