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

The culmination of the weekly candle-lighting comes on Christmas Eve when we gather to light the Christ candle at the center of the Advent wreath. For many, the Christmas Eve candlelight service is a deeply cherished tradition of our collective church life. Standing in the sanctuary aglow with candlelight is a precious moment seemingly suspended in time when hope for the coming year feels almost tangible. All our candles—burning with light—are lit from that single Christ candle at the center of the Advent wreath. As we pass the flame from one candle to the next, each light is not diminished. Instead, our collective light grows brighter as it is shared. Slowly and with great care, we pass the flame from one to another until everyone present has been touched by the light of Christ. We then raise our candles and our voices together as we sing the beloved hymn about the silent and holy night when the Christ child was born.

– Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer

From page 118 of Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. 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 traditions do you observe on Christmas Eve? What meaning to they have for you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11, NRSV

This Week: Pray for love. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

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This week we remember: John (December 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Trackback: The Upper Room Daily Reflections: daily words of wisdom and faith from The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, United States for Monday, 24 December 2018 “Light of Christ” – Global Methodist Nazarene Lamb's Hope
  • Jill Posted December 24, 2018 4:38 am

    This morning my folks will come over for breakfast. A local bakery makes this wonderful cinnamon bread and I make our french toast out of it. There will also be bacon, eggs and sausage. We didn’t get to do this last year, and I am grateful we are able to do it today. This evening I will be with my friend and her family…my god-children and we will attend their Christmas Eve service and then back to their place for dinner and Christmas cookies. This year’s Christmas Eve photo with me and the kids will be the first one with me being the shortest one in the picture. My gift from the kids is always a picture calendar, my most treasured Christmas gift each year.
    Grateful for the unhurriedness of yesterday. Church was wonderful and then I was a couch bum with my cat the rest of the day. A Sunday without schoolwork – a simple blessing.
    Wishing my friends here a wonderful Christmas Eve, steeped in your beloved traditions with your loved ones. May we all pause and hold the awe of the Gift given to us this holy evening.

  • robert moeller Posted December 24, 2018 5:04 am

    Church on Christmas Eve, especially candle lighting service, is a tradition I keep.

    Thankful for a wonderful Sunday. Preparations for fellowship , choir practice, worship, fellowship, and Bible study. Picked up some needed items, had more of a very favorite Korean soup, watched concerts by the Crane School of Music and the Boston Pops, then Little Women and Victoria. Woke up just now to Christmas e-cards from relatives in Germany.

    The Lord bless you and keep you dear UR family as we celebrates the arrival of Jesus. As Marcy reminds us often, Faith, Love, and Hope to you, but the greatest of these is Love. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted December 24, 2018 6:12 am

    We are developing new traditions. When our daughters were little, we would do Christmas Eve with my parents because they wanted us to develop our own family Christmas Day traditions. Now that our kids are grown and married, they are coming with their husbands to our house tonight. It’s a nice continuation of an extended family tradition that was started a generation ago. I can’t wait to see what traditions our kids come up with for their family Christmases in the coming years!

    • Rusty Posted December 24, 2018 6:24 am

      And posole. Posole with pork and red chile is our big Christmas Eve food tradition. K does it up fantastically!

  • Connie Posted December 24, 2018 7:57 am

    When the children were young, it was Christmas Eve with their Dad’s family and Christmas Day with mine. For quite a few Christmas Eves, it has been the two of us in the glow of the Christmas Lights.
    I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 24, 2018 8:21 am

    Our family celebrated Christmas tonight. We gave one another gifts and bring food. Tonight my parents are very happy to see everyone at the Christmas party.

    Thank you God for blessing my family with a wonderful Christmas and good fellowship!

    Blessings to all!

    Wishing everyone a very blessed Christmas!

  • Andrea Posted December 24, 2018 10:31 am

    Christmas Eve, growing up, was at my grandmother’s house, with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a meal of Swedish food. Those Christmas Eve memories are so precious. Now, we continue with the Swedish menu – Swedish meatballs and potato sausage, lefse, rice pudding, and various sides. Christmas choral music, church service.

    Wishing all a blessed, joyful Christmas Eve. Prayers for those who are alone.

  • Lou Posted December 24, 2018 10:55 am

    Today is busy with last minute preparations but we will walk out to the lake as we usually do and then our church service is early at 4 – then home for a relaxing evening together that involves good food, a fire, Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book for each child -the books were easy when they were children and then we would spend the night reading the books aloud by the fire and of course bed time was early then and cookies and milk for Santa and carrots and water for the reindeer – now we might play a game or two and sit around the fire and talk until late. A quiet but close night together – I’ve always loved Christmas Eve and secretly I like staying up late as I still place the gifts under the tree after we disband for the night. But before the presents- the first thing th youngest child does is place baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning- I look forward to that moment the most. All three kids have been around and together every day- it’s been wonderful.
    Blessing and peace to you all on this Christmas Eve.

  • Trackback: The Upper Room Daily Reflections: daily words of wisdom and faith from The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, United States for Tuesday, 25 December 2018 “Welcome, Christ” – Global Methodist Nazarene Lamb's Hope

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