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

Advent begins—and in fact, the entirety of the Christian journey begins—at the point where we accept Jesus as our Guide and begin to walk with his calm assurances in the midst of our fears. He’s going to meet us, he tells us. He’s going to show up, even if we don’t know when or how. Jesus even invites us to look for his presence in the lives and faces of others. He may come to us at unexpected moments or when we are most tired or worn or confused. He may show up at the beginning or appear at the end of all things, when we least expect God’s redemption or grace.

—Todd Outcalt, Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem: Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

When has Jesus shown up in a situation that was fearful for you? When have you noticed his presence in other people? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

When evening came, [Jesus’] disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. . . . When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”
—John 6:16-17, 19-20 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, as you have made all things, I know you are still creating in me too. You are not finished working on me. Thank you for your patience throughout the seasons of my life, and I pray that I may offer beauty, comfort, relief, joy, and strength to those I encounter today. Help me to rely upon your counsel through all of the adversity of my life. Amen.
—Prayer by Todd Outcalt
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 26, 2023 5:57 am

    Very troubled paying off a debt, I was reassured that I could accomplish the task. There are people in church in
    whose faces I see the presence of Christ Blessed Is Jesus’s reassurance. Thank You, Lord.
    Thankful to learn of Jill’s successful surgery, help she is receiving in recovery, and the help she and her friend provide fir each other. Prayers for Julie as she cares for one who abused her. You are doing what Jesus did when he said from the cross “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” God’s peace be with you. In some ways, like Jill, I have not felt the Christmas spirit despite many activities.. Jesus us here whether I perceive Him or not. Ever presence is one of many traits. Thank You, Lord.

    • Ally Posted December 26, 2023 10:47 am

      Robert , since Aldi has stollen at Christmas time, we have been getting it. We especially like the one with marzipan. Wonderful with coffee at breakfast time or a cup of tea in the afternoon

  • Jill Posted December 26, 2023 7:12 am

    Jesus showed up the morning of my surgery – as my perspective had changed. About 10-12 days prior to surgery – I had this sense that the surgery would involve a repair – thus a much more significant rehab period. It was not “well with my soul” – and I couldn’t shake the feeling. But – the morning of the surgery when I awoke, my heart was light and I was ready for surgery. Nothing I did was able to change this perspective…but the Holy Spirit quieted my concern and I went to the facility without trepidation.
    God has placed significant people in my life – to be Jesus to me, in various ways, at various times. It is so good to see His hand when I look back. Flooded with gratitude.
    Yesterday went very well – dad seemed very happy. I made him a picture collage of photos from his 90th birthday party at the end of the summer. He just sits and looks at them and just keeps repeating how important family is. I also gave him a larger framed photograph of Becky and I with him. He wants to take them to Florida – he doesn’t have any photographs there. Becky, Dad, Don and I played cards for a few hours. The weather was so warm – 60 degrees and sunny. Crazy – one week earlier we had that terrible snow storm. My youngest nephew said – it will snow at Easter. He’s probably not wrong. The entire family gathered later at my older nephew’s. A good time was had. An old traditional game for our family was played in a rowdy manner. Then a new trivia game was played following that. My youngest nephew dropped me off afterwards.
    Nothing on tap today. Will just relax, do some reading, maybe do some grading. Tomorrow evening my god son has a basketball game – that will be my next venture out. I believe my friend is going to pick me up and take me.

  • Ally Posted December 26, 2023 10:43 am

    Merry Christmas to all my friends here. Thank you for sharing about your day. My journey to Bethlehem: I watched a powerful program CBS produced in 1964, entitled “Christmas In Appalachia”. How folks in incredible poverty in Eastern Kentucky somehow survived and kept their families together in spite of circumstances. They had no money for Christmas, or the heart to observe it. A woman interviewed said their faith in God and the power of prayer carried them. Jesus came for all, but the fact that the angels brought the news of Christ’s birth to the poor first, is something I thought about as I watched this program. What can I do to make a difference in our community?
    When David had Covid and was on a vent, I felt Jesus with me every moment. This group here was Christ to me in that scary time. I thank God for this space and am in agreement with Jill and Rusty in their gratitude to Upper Room.
    We had a quiet day yesterday. I made brunch for Christmas dinner: breakfast casserole, cheese grits, fruit, and cinnamon rolls. Plenty of coffee. We called family members and watched some Christmas movies and specials. Today will be quiet too, but I plan to do some chores. I’ve been a little rundown with my relapse of bronchitis, but round 3 of antibiotics is helping. Thanks to all for your prayers. Pray for David’s relationship with his girls. It is tenuous at best. Love to all.

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