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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

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.

0 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.

 

Today's Reflection

Close your eyes and ask yourself: Where do you feel hope in your body? Many of us connect to hope with our heart or our gut. Maybe hope to you is more about reason and thought, and you feel it in your head. Maybe for you hope is about doing something, and you feel it in your hands and your feet. Think about where you feel hope. Take a few breaths and try to connect with where you feel it inside yourself. ... If you are struggling to connect hope with a physical part of yourself, simply place a hand over your heart and ask God for hope as you breathe.

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

Today's Question

What are your hopes for this Advent? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

I hope, Lord.
My whole being hopes,
and I wait for God’s promise.
—Psalm 130:5 (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

It is humbling to recognize the gift of Christ. It is humbling to acknowledge that God came to us and lived in a body just like ours. When we choose to be present and connect with the gift of the body that we have been given, we can gain an appreciation for the body of Christ and the richness of Advent. If we choose to embody this season of waiting, we are honoring and sharing the ultimate gift we have received as Christians, the Incarnation and life of Christ.

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

Today's Question

When you think about God coming to earth as a baby, what posture does that inspire in you? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
—John 1:14 (NLT)

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.

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.