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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

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

Like Joseph, we need to continually listen to what God may be saying to us when we are wrestling with decision-making. Listening for the Lord lies at the heart of the guided life. ...

Think about a particular decision you are facing right now. Sit down with a notepad or with your computer, and list the different options before you. Reflect on them in prayer, asking God to guide you in the days ahead.

—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

How often do you spend time in silence, listening for God's guidance? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
—Matthew 1:24 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus' birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

0 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

When we open our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, when we consent to God’s action within us, and when we become a conduit of divine love to all those we meet, Jesus is born again in and through us for the healing of the world.

Find a space today where you can spend five minutes with God. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, place your open hands on your lap, and quiet your mind. Make Mary’s words, “Let it be with me according to your word,” your own prayer, and offer them to God along with the longings of your own heart.

—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

When have you consented to God's action in you? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” ...
Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.”
—Luke 1:35, 38 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus' birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Advent is all about preparing ourselves for the coming Messiah, who has already come in the past, continually comes to us in the here and now, and will come again in the future. The question we ask today is this: How do we prepare ourselves so that he can come into our lives, into our relationships, and into the fractured and broken world where we live?

Daily Practice:
Make one phone call to someone who is feeling lonely or struggling. Let him or her know that he or she is in your thoughts.
... Keep [them] close to your heart in prayer today.

—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

What are some ways you prepare your heart for the Christ child's birth? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.”
—Isaiah 40:3 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus' birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

How can we fill the season of Advent with more wonder? As Tom Wright, the distinguished New Testament scholar, reminds us, if we remove Advent—that is, attentively waiting for Jesus’ birth—from the Bible, we lose half the Old Testament and most of the New, including stories of Jesus’ ancestors, the words of the prophets, and the mystery of the Incarnation. Most certainly, if we don’t observe Advent thoughtfully, we will not arrive at Christmas ready for the Christ child. ... But if we embrace Advent—this special time of anticipating the mystery of the Incarnation—we will find our celebration of Jesus’ coming at Bethlehem filled with wonder and awe.

—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today's Question

What music helps you embrace the wonder of Jesus' birth? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

But the angel said to [the shepherds], “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)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus' birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

5 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Think about what “simplify” means to you. You may have instantly thought about some part of your life that feels overwhelming, some task or responsibility that requires all of your energy just to manage. This invitation is not a call to fix those things that overwhelm you. ... Instead, take a moment to ponder one way you can simplify your life.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Advent Devotional for the Whole Self (Upper Room Books, 2022)

Today's Question

What single thing can you release during Advent to simplify your life? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Let the Lord give strength to his people!
Let the Lord bless his people with peace!
—Psalm 29:11 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, thank you for creating my whole self. Help me
to continue to slow down and hope, be mindful and present,
and use my body to draw closer to you on the journey this
Advent. Make me a wise one who seeks you always. Amen.
Prayer by Whitney R. Simpson

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Are you enjoying this week's reflections? It's not too late to join us for Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Embodied Advent Online Experience. In this season, we are challenged to live in the “right here, right now” as we await the birth of Christ—the embodiment of God’s presence. Register today here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

Explore your breath as a form of prayer today. Connect with the breath in your body by finding a comfortable posture (seated or reclined) and take full, deep breaths filling your diaphragm, then exhale completely. Place one hand on your heart and your other hand on your belly.
As you breathe in, expand your belly and say to yourself: Creator
As you breathe out, deflate your belly and say to yourself: give me hope
Repeat this prayer for five to ten minutes.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Advent Devotional for the Whole Self (Upper Room Books, 2022)

Today's Question

How does your body feel after you pray a breath prayer for several minutes? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
—Psalm 150:6 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, thank you for creating my whole self. Help me
to continue to slow down and hope, be mindful and present,
and use my body to draw closer to you on the journey this
Advent. Make me a wise one who seeks you always. Amen.
Prayer by Whitney R. Simpson
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Are you enjoying this week's reflections? It's not too late to join us for Fully Human, Fully Divine: An Embodied Advent Online Experience. In this season, we are challenged to live in the “right here, right now” as we await the birth of Christ—the embodiment of God’s presence. Register today here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

2 Comments | Join the Conversation.