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 admire Mary. I admire her ability first to face an angel, then to voice her questions, and finally to surrender herself to the angel’s words and to God’s working. As I have heard this story over the years, I have often wondered how many young girls Gabriel visited before he got to Mary and found someone willing to cooperate with what God wanted to do. I can imagine a weary and harried Gabriel looking at a long list of candidates’ names, crossing them off one by one as young women breeze past him (unaware that God is trying to get their attention). . . . The Bible doesn’t tell us that Mary is the first, the only one, considered. . . . All we know for sure is that Mary is the one who agrees—and that only after voicing her question and getting an answer.

—Mary Lou Redding, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent (Upper Room Books, 2002)

Today’s Question

What do you suppose Mary’s life was like in the days and months following her encounter with the angel Gabriel? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. . . .
Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”
—Luke 1:30-32, 34 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, help us to hear you calling us home during Advent and guide us to set aside time for reflection on the wonder of your Son’s birth. Thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ. Help us to focus on him and to show his compassion and love to others during this season. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Show your loved ones how much you care by giving them Spirit Boosters, daily reminders that they still have purpose, no matter their age.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted December 9, 2023 7:09 am

    I would think she felt incredibly treasured. Awe must have emanated from her.
    I have been beginning my mornings this week in Luke 1 and 2 – with Mary. Prayerfully encouraging my soul to full surrender, with the help of the Spirit. Being mindful to take moments to sit quietly and ponder – ponder His goodness and provision. Thank You Father.
    I met my friend for dinner in Cleveland, last evening, prior to her son’s basketball game. She was working up there, so it made sense to meet her up there. We found a tiny restaurant – with a quiet corner where we shared a meal and decompressed from the week. Then to his game – against a much taller opponent – and we just didn’t have the weapons to hang. Our big kid was at full strength due to an ankle injury a week ago. We had an early lead, then got practically run off the floor…going down by at least 25. But then our scrappy little team got back to within 7 in the final quarter, multiple times, but could get no closer. My god-son played very hard – he is the team’s best defender. The team plays again this evening.
    Looking forward to some time at home today. It’s been a long time coming. The kittens were raring to go when I got home last evening at 10.

  • robert moeller Posted December 9, 2023 7:18 am

    I think there was a lot of wondering, Thankful she had Joseph’s support. Reassured by her visit with Elizabeth.
    Awed that she had been chosen for such an important task. Determined to do the best she could.
    Set up this morning for the cake and cookie sale. Expecting a rainy couple days and flood watch until Monday.
    Advent seems to be moving faster than usual. Blessings to all. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted December 9, 2023 8:52 am

    It’s a very interesting question. I would imagine that there would be sidelong glances and whispered murmurings, if not outright shouts and condemnation (not unlike what we sadly see in our society today). She and Joseph may have had difficult, but faith-oriented conversations day after day and night after night. I have to assume it wasn’t easy, but they both had God’s supernatural support and abiding love to sustain them.

    Given some of our responses to yesterday’s question about telling people that God cares about them, it seems like a similarly provocative question to think about how *we* might deal with Mary’s and Joseph’s circumstances in the days and months after Gabriel’s visit.

  • Ally Posted December 9, 2023 5:41 pm

    I imagine Mary trusted God, but may have had moments of uncertainty. I wonder how long she kept her news to herself. I’m sure she wanted to tell her mother. She must have been in tune with God’s voice, feeling God’s leading to visit Elizabeth. Somehow she knew Elizabeth would understand.
    I’m glad I returned to the dr and got a strong antibiotic for this bronchitis. I’m feeling better and not so fatigued. Not 100%, but felt like cooking a nice breakfast this morning for David and me. Please continue prayers for healing. Love to all.

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