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

Music and food are the central elements of any celebration among Africans. Music is seen as a gift that God bequeathed to African people. Africans are known for singing in times of trouble or struggle; and when they have experienced victory, there is joy. This connection to music finds expression in the church, with Christmas carols sung to celebrate the anticipated birth of Jesus Christ. Central to African feasting is the sharing of food. It is considered a virtue to be a family that provides hospitality to all people. In fact, there is an understanding that a home that does not receive visitors is unfortunate, if not cursed. To receive guests, especially strangers, is considered a great blessing. Families cook and bake with the expressed intention of sharing what is made.

—Sidwell Mokgothu, “The South African Celebration of Advent,” in Light from Afar: An Advent Devotional from Around the World (Upper Room Books, 2023)

Today’s Question

How does the expression that “a home that does not receive visitors is unfortunate, if not cursed” speak to you about sharing your home during Advent and Christmas? [question by Sidwell Mokgothu]
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Contribute to the needs of the saints; pursue hospitality to strangers.
—Romans 12:13 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, thank you for the light from afar that came into our world when your Son, Jesus Christ, was born. Be with us as we await the birth of the Christ child in our hearts once again. Give us patience in the waiting. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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 Disciplines 2024! Challenge yourself to a deeper relationship with Christ with this year-long, lectionary-based devotional. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 3, 2023 5:54 am

    At the moment I’m not prepared for visitors, there’s little place to sit. Furniture given away in preparation for a move.
    Off to church soon to prepare Communion. Expecting snow around 11am and continuing into tomorrow. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted December 3, 2023 12:01 pm

    My mother used to enjoy entertaining others. She was very proud of how she maintained and decorated her home. When Becky was putting up her tree the day after Thanksgiving – dad became very emotional as this was something so near and dear to mom’s heart. She always had the home looking festive and warm. It was her tradition to entertain a dozen friends on New Year’s Eve.
    It has been a busy couple of days and I have missed time here. I don’t even remember what day I last responded. On Wednesday – my PT session was quite intensive – and I paid for it both Thursday and Friday. Thursday was conferences after school and it was a struggle of a 12 hour day for me. Friday, fortunately, both of my morning classes had tests – and I didn’t have to function that well to get through the day.
    My god son’s first basketball game was last night. I rode with my friend to the game, an hour away. Earlier in the day – Becky, Dad and Don met me for lunch – then we went back to their place to play cards. Women took the men’s lunch money, yet again.
    Church and the beginning of Advent was beautiful this morning. There is a Hope and Remembrance service this afternoon which I will attend. It is a solemn, holy service.
    Prayers for this community as we turn our hearts towards Bethlehem and the arrival of our Saviour. May we be conduits of peace this season.

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