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 likely that most people reading this book have never been to the little town of Bethlehem. But that is of little consequence to the actual adventure of journeying there, to the adventure of discovery that awaits the mystery and wonder in the birth of Jesus. These devotions, I hope, can strengthen the faith of all readers who have ever pondered the meaning of Christ’s birth or have ever desired to move into some new adventure of the heart and mind. I hope readers can discover something new they may have overlooked in “the old, old story” (United Methodist Hymnal, no. 156).

—Todd Outcalt, Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem: Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

How might you make a mental pilgrimage to Bethlehem this Christmas and in the following days?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
—Luke 2:15 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, as you have made all things, I know you are still creating in me too. You are not finished working on me. Thank you for your patience throughout the seasons of my life, and I pray that I may offer beauty, comfort, relief, joy, and strength to those I encounter today. Help me to rely upon your counsel through all of the adversity of my life. Amen.
—Prayer by Todd Outcalt
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Christmas Day

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


  • Jill Posted December 25, 2023 6:53 am

    I doubt I would be successful at this. The “Christmas Spirit” just hasn’t been something I have been able to achieve this year. I have read Advent devotionals, attended a lovely Christmas Eve service yesterday – but I just haven’t entered into the quietness and solemnity of this season as in previous years. And I am letting it be ok. It will be good to be with family today.
    My heart and mind will be with my friend today – in her sorrow, anger, unsettledness. Glad her kids will be joining her at her mom’s this evening and will finish the day together. It was a joy just to watch them together at their house yesterday afternoon. So good to see the interaction between brother and sister.
    Merry Christmas to this group who faithfully gathers here. A heaping amount of gratitude for the folks at Upper Room who make this space.

  • robert moeller Posted December 25, 2023 7:07 am

    I’d start with my Nativity Scene even though it isn’t exactly the same as the site of Jesus’s birth.
    It takes a lot of imagination, I think only Jesus would be able to find the right place
    To me the truth that Jesus came and lived is more important. It’s vital, life giving.
    Thank You, Lord.
    Had some flurries in the night, but essentially it is a brown Christmas Day. Memories of the first Christmas long ago, and Christmases in my life. It’s a calm and quiet day..A piece of Stollen for breakfast awaits.
    Oh, that we could have peace in the world, true peace, Lord guide us to do our part in bringing Your Kingdom here. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted December 25, 2023 8:19 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone! Unto us a child is born.
    My daughter gave me a 13 day Celtic Christmas devotional last year entitled Thin Places Everywhere. I began it last evening with a Christmas Eve devotional. This will be my Bethlehem pilgrimage.
    Amen, Jill. Many, many thanks to The Upper Room for this blessed and sacred space.

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