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

Read Luke 1:39-45, 56 slowly.

While Elizabeth was probably about sixty years old, Mary would have been about fourteen. While Elizabeth was the wife of a priest and lived in the hill country of Judea, not far from Jerusalem—the Holy City, Mount Zion—Mary was a poor Galilean peasant who lived by those trade routes, tainted by associations with Gentiles.

Elizabeth was quick to believe the unbelievable news about Mary. Did Gabriel appear to her as well, or did she know Mary was “the mother of my Lord” because she was “filled with the Holy Spirit”?

—Jan Johnson, Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

How do you think Mary was helped by her visit to Elizabeth? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
—Luke 1:39 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Let us release the cares of our day,
and open our eyes to the wonder of God.

With an attitude of empathy to people of another time,
let us open our hearts and minds to God.

Let us prepare to experience God’s word to us
through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer by Jan Johnson
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The new year is just around the corner. Don’t forget to order your copy of The Upper Room Disciplines 2023.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 15, 2022 6:27 am

    I think Mary was helped by Elizabeth’s and her baby’s recognition that Mary was carrying Jesus. Elizabeth is the wife of a priest and pregnant with John the Baptist who would make way for Jesus. It must have been an awe filled enlightening experience.
    Prayers for safety and wisdom where Julie, Megan, an H live. Safety at the schools where Jill lives. A successful surgery for Becky. Continued progress for David and peace filled assurance for Ally. Prayers for Lou and family, April and her loved one, Rick and Scott. Thank You, Lord.

  • Ally Posted December 15, 2022 9:30 am

    Elizabeth was a sort of mentor to Mary: she was wise, obedient, and like Mary, miraculously pregnant and filled with the Holy Spirit. She knew a little of what Mary was feeling, and knew the significance of the Child Mary was carrying. Would that we all have a mentor like Elizabeth.
    David is progressing in therapy and I will visit him this afternoon. I called vet to check on Jeremy and he had to be catheterized and is feeling a lot better. He will probably stay at vets through the weekend I was afraid this might happen and so sad for my boy. The specialized surgery he needs is very costly, so it isn’t a possibility right now. Hopefully in the near future. There is a song in which the singer tells God, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know Who You are”. That kind of sums up where we are. Thanks to all here for your prayers for us. Know you are on my heart as well.

  • Julie Posted December 15, 2022 9:31 am

    I imagne it was a relief to Mary. Elizabeth believed Mary’s incredible story while I would assume most did not. Validation means so much to us all no matter our age.
    Spent yesterday morning at Bible Study and then raced home because h had a dentist appointment. While I was quickly eating lunch I received a phone call about the dentist’s office. There had been a fire and explosion! No one was hurt but the building was condemned. The boiler had blown up I later learned. So no dentist appointment which was fortuitous for me as my therapy appointment was at the same time. Therapy is going very well and I am growing stonger emotionally. Megan told h about the dog and it did not go well.

  • Jill Posted December 15, 2022 6:05 pm

    I imagine that Mary was very encouraged by Elizabeth. I see a deep conversation, with good listening and treasured time shared. Holy time.
    Julie – I am glad that therapy is making a noticeable difference for you.
    I had a meeting after school with my spiritual director. This time is sacred and I am grateful for such a good pairing with this tender woman.
    One more day with students to review for next week’s exams. Today went well at school. Some of my year 1 students were talking about how fast the year has gone so far. I don’t disagree.
    The morning timing has improved with metal detectors and bag searches. The board has agreed to 3.5 million dollar upgrade on cameras, metal detectors and bag scanners (like the ones at the airports). It will be quite a while before all these things are in place. But, moving in the right direction.

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