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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

Today’s Reflection

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I went through a period of clinical depression. … During this time of struggle, I received comfort from those around me. They kept me safe, wrapping me in warm layers of love. They were God’s presence to me, giving me hope and filling me with light and life. Today I remember the gifts of comfort I received during that difficult time, and I look for those who might need God’s comfort in their Advent of depression, illness, or grief.

—Beth A. Richardson, The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas  (Upper Room Books, 2009)

Today’s Question

Who needs your love as a reminder of God’s comfort this Advent?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us.”
—1 John 4: 11-12 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Clear away the clutter, O God, that I might have more room for you.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room .

Something More

Slow down, simplify, and add a burst of color to your Advent. The spiritual practice of coloring mandalas (circular designs), lighting candles, and praying regularly can help us stay centered on God during this busy time of year. Give it a try. Color as you pray this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

15 Comments

  • Jill Posted December 12, 2019 3:40 am

    Quite a few come to mind, some of which are facing this holiday season without a loved one with whom they have celebrated with years over. I pray they will be open to the comfort of God – who sees the tears and knows what they are feeling.
    Rick – good news indeed – an early Christmas gift.
    Robert – may you find the guidance you are seeking. Keep persevering.
    Quite cold here. Yesterday was a struggle at school, so I did not attend either of my god-children’s games last night…which is a big disappointment for me. But – I have to make sure I am getting enough rest and that wouldn’t have happened last night as my god daughter’s game was in the evening and quite a ways away. I do feel somewhat better this morning – so it was the right decision to stay home last night.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 12, 2019 5:15 am

      Jill, may God bless you with a speedy recovery!

    • Andrea Posted December 12, 2019 9:25 am

      Jill, I pray too for your beloved father, that he will feel some Christmas joy even in his sorrow at the first Christmas without your mother.

  • robert moeller Posted December 12, 2019 7:51 am

    While their needs are different I think everyone with whom we have contact needs love that God has sent us to share.

    There is a Blue Christmas service here on the 21st, the longest night, bringing God to those for whom Christmas is a tough time.

    Thankful for your prayers Jill, yes, I will persevere. Have some ideas already.
    Hope you are soon better, I agree that staying home was a good idea.

    Prayers for Marcy, Rusty, Julie, Andrea, Connie, Betsy, and Lou. May each of your needs, concerns, be met, and thanks given for your joys.

    QT with God early this morning. Thank You, Lord.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 12, 2019 8:59 am

      Robert, praying that your counseling will be effective and may you be healed completely!

      Praying for Erich to experience the joy of knowing God.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 12, 2019 8:07 am

    The less fortunate, sick, depressed, etc

    May God open my eyes and grant me the love to reach out to those who need comfort and love!

    I remember last year I was at the hospital with my dad and a group of students from a music school came to sing carols. They brought much joy to the patients and I. I pray that most of the sick will recover speedily and be discharged so that they can spend Christmas with their families.

    Blessings!

  • Julie Posted December 12, 2019 8:23 am

    I gave money and gifts to a drive for those who are not able to buy gifts or food for the holidays. We need to remember, as Mary remarked, that some suffer not from grieving a loss but from the inability to provide the basics for their families. May we freely give to those who need – love, understanding and resources.
    Prayers for Jill, for her recovery as well as her body’s need for rest and her understanding and heeding this urge.
    Prayers for Mary and her giving spirit. Prayers for her this Christmas as she remembers past Christmas times with loved ones whho have passed.
    Prayers for Robert, may his leads on closer counselling bear fruit and may it also be effective.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be safe and well.
    Prayers for Rick and his husband, may they share a joy filled Christmas.
    Prayers and thank you UR

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 12, 2019 9:05 am

      Julie, you bring joy to God as you spread His love to the less fortunate.
      Praise God for you!

      May God bless you and Megan abundantly!

      You are also a good role model for Megan when you give generously to the needy, Julie!

  • Andrea Posted December 12, 2019 8:30 am

    The Lectionary Readings this week are so exquisitely beautiful and uplifting. So many of the verses strike me. Here is one: James 5:7 – “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.” I am learning patience. I feel it as I watch the falling snow this morning, large snowflakes floating down. It gives me such a feeling of peace. I especially love to look at the oak trees in our backyard, the warm copper color of the leaves against the white sky and earth. I marvel at it every winter. I think, for me, it is a metaphor for aging. The beauty that is in winter. My grandson continues to be a great source of joy. Being a grandmother is a blessing for which I am most grateful.

    I am using a SAD light every morning this winter and find it makes a huge difference in my energy level and mood. I wish I had discovered it years ago.

    My UR friends are in my prayers. Jill, I pray you rebound quickly. I wonder if you had a reaction to the flu shot and if there is something that might counter it. Robert, I pray you find a counselor whose wisdom you will trust. Erich is in my prayers. Julie, I pray for your support. Prayers for all, Mary, Connie, Lou, Marcy, April, Betsy, the new posters whose names I am still learning, and all who stop by UR to read. Wishing all a blessed day.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 12, 2019 9:13 am

      Thanks Andrea for your prayers!

      Indeed, patience is a virtue we should ask God for.

      May God grant us patience as He is the greatest example of it (His patience for us).

  • Anonymous Posted December 12, 2019 2:50 pm

    Greetings, I know a few of whom I can share God’s comfort and Love.
    In the spirit of giving during Advent, i like this! I agree with you Robert too. Between School and commitments i need to remember, how can i be the hands and feet of Christ, especially during this busy time of year.
    I, like Andrea, have learned much about patients during this season. Gods timing is always perfect, and is not always in line with mine..
    Jill, praying for healing and a quick recovery for you! I do feel Blessed. Thank you Jill, I pray your is joy filled too!
    I’m also grateful my semester is over as well. We are going to enjoy the rest of this season in being of service and enjoy some down time.
    Continued Prayers for your Joys and Concerns Marcy, Mary, Andrea, Connie, April, Lou and Erich. As well as all UR guests.

  • Rick Posted December 12, 2019 2:52 pm

    Greetings, I know a few of whom I can share God’s comfort and Love.
    In the spirit of giving during Advent, i like this! I agree with you Robert too. Between School and commitments i need to remember, how can i be the hands and feet of Christ, especially during this busy time of year.
    I, like Andrea, have learned much about patients during this season. Gods timing is always perfect, and is not always in line with mine..
    Jill, praying for healing and a quick recovery for you! I do feel Blessed. Thank you Jill, I pray your is joy filled too!
    I’m also grateful my semester is over as well. We are going to enjoy the rest of this season in being of service and enjoy some down time.
    Continued Prayers for your Joys and Concerns Marcy, Mary, Andrea, Connie, April, Lou and Erich. As well as all UR guests.

  • Marcy Posted December 12, 2019 7:32 pm

    First, I’d like to thank everyone for their prayers. I am thankful I’m reading the Advent study by John Piper. I am praying for all of you here in the UR Reflections family. I found out today that my SNAP benefits have been cancelled. I really don’t see how taking food stamps from a disabled person on SSI, helps anyone but those who already have more than they need. God must have the answers; that’s the only thing I’m sure of these days. I also thought the Medicaid had been reinstated, but apparently, it has not, as I tried to order the antidepressant, two blood pressure meds and asthma inhaler for this month. And the oxygen problem keeps me home, as I can’t leave the apartment without it. Hope remains, but for much different things now. I really can’t think of what else to say about it all, except that those in charge of government these days, have no empathy whatsoever for those in need. So be it.

    Sending prayers and Love to all! Be ever so thankful for having family members, to those who have them! I send encouragement also, but from a very low place, I’m sorry to say.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! ❤❤

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 13, 2019 7:14 pm

    Dear God, may Marcy’s needs be met and may her health improve. In Jesus name we pray amen!

    Thank you God for hearing our prayers!

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