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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

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.

 

Today's Reflection

An embodied Advent invites us to live the experience of this season fully, with our whole selves, right here and right now as we await the Christ child. For many of us, it is challenging to embrace this concept. The world pulls us away from the joy of being present in our bodies and gives us expectations of what our bodies should be, how they should perform, and what they should look like. We forget that our bodies are blessed and consecrated. God did not create the body to bring us doubt or shame. ... Instead, God created us as living and breathing human beings who have the ability to live as whole persons—body and spirit together.

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

Today's Question

What helps you be more present in your body? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

God created humanity in God’s own image,

in the divine image God created them,

male and female God created them.
—Genesis 1:27 (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

Take a deep breath in, then exhale slowly. With that breath, you just connected with the divine spark that is within you! It’s easy to lose touch and get swept up by the season and forget the breath of life that God has placed inside each of us. So many of us have lost touch with our bodies, with who we were created to be. But no more! Today, you can embrace the challenge and the opportunity of being fully present for Advent as we prepare with anticipation for the birth of Christ, of God being made human.

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

Today's Question

How does breathing help you connect with God? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The Spirit of God has made me;

the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
—Job 33:4 (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.

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

The waiting during Advent is a gift we are not to miss, and the best way to avoid missing it is to be present and embody it. To sense it, to live it, to feel it! We can prepare to receive God’s gift of Christ with our whole selves as we wait with God for Christmas. ...

Advent prepares us to receive God’s divine gift fully. Are you ready to wait with anticipation as you prepare yourself for Christ this Advent season?

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

Today's Question

What will you do this Advent to prepare yourself to receive the gift of Christ? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;

it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
—Psalm 38:15 (NRSV)

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.

 

Today's Reflection

“I am writing on behalf of Caroline, whom you last met in 1968. She would like to be in touch with you.”

The message was in code, and my hidden, unused birth name was the key. ...

My birth mother gave me “a good, English name with no baggage,” as she described it when we met, which I interpreted to mean that no one in the family would object to my taking it away with me. I did not know I had borne that name until I was a teenager. It had never occurred to me to ask. When I did ask, my parents readily shared what little information they had. I was given two names to be going on with: a beginning and a middle, Caroline Anne; no last name.

—Rosalind C. Hughes, A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today's Question

What is your favorite name for God, and why? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
—Genesis 32:27-28 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

God of infinite love, thank you for loving us even before we were born. Help us to realize that your family has room for each of us. Guide us to accept ourselves and others as we seek to grow closer to you. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Seeking resources for spiritual formation and prayer? Subscribe to The Upper Room Recommends, a weekly email featuring resource suggestions for small groups, congregational studies, and individual spiritual growth.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

After Samuel was born, I rather fancy Hannah regretted the promise to share him. She named him, dutifully, after his origins in her prayer, her petition; but for years afterward she hid him in her bosom, as though God would never find him there. Back and forth Hannah walked in her mind, pacing the floor in the night when he cried with colic, hiding in the halls by day as though God were hiding in the sunlight, waiting to surprise her with her promise: “Hannah! You said he was mine!”

When her husband, Elkanah, went up to Shiloh to offer his annual sacrifice and all his household with him, Hannah hung back, pretending sleep, faking the flu, hugging the child to her breast like a shield. She said, “I will go when I have weaned him.”

—Rosalind C. Hughes, A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today's Question

When have you negotiated with God? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

[Hannah] made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants,and no razor shall touch his head.”
—1 Samuel 1:11 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God of infinite love, thank you for loving us even before we were born. Help us to realize that your family has room for each of us. Guide us to accept ourselves and others as we seek to grow closer to you. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Seeking resources for spiritual formation and prayer? Subscribe to The Upper Room Recommends, a weekly email featuring resource suggestions for small groups, congregational studies, and individual spiritual growth.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.