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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

Today’s Reflection

THE ADVENT journey reminds us that we cannot take the light for granted. Christ is near, and God partners with us, makes covenant with us, and asks us to respond to the light that has come into the world. We may not have to move far, but God does ask us to move, to be bold enough to step out on faith and seek the light.

—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

How is God asking you to respond to the light?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”

—Matthew 4:16 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God of Light, be my hope in this season. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room .

Something More

The Staff of The Upper Room invites you to join us for a virtual “Blue Christmas” worship service, also known as the “Longest Night” service. This service is especially designed to give voice and hope to those who are grieving or who are experiencing loss. Click here to watch the video and be sure to share it with a friend.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

10 Comments

  • Jill Posted December 8, 2019 5:43 am

    Yes, He is near. And, He is enough. I believe He asks me to respond to the light by trusting Him, looking to Him, asking Him to use me as He sees fit. Right now I am trusting that to be – deliberate and abundant care of my dad through his season of grief.
    I think what is stated above is true – He likely won’t ask us to move far, but to move nonetheless. Don’t be stagnant. I see this in Rick. Thank you for your transparency. You have moved, despite significant amounts of discouragement and barriers. I truly believe that God can take our smallest desire and turn it in to a monumental movement. May He bless you on your continued quest. And may you sense Him in this season of waiting for test results.
    So many of the posts shout – Great is Thy Faithfulness! May that anthem always rise in our hearts.

  • Billie Posted December 8, 2019 6:53 am

    No matter the darkness, we must walk forward towards God’s light. Following the light faithfully, I won’t “get stuck “in past memories, mistakes, lost dreams or present sorrows.

  • R. Martin Armstrong Posted December 8, 2019 7:29 am

    I should always follow the Light, share ways to access the Light, and be truly living in deep gratitude for the Light. Let us all celebrate that the Light has come!

  • April Posted December 8, 2019 10:32 am

    Light and hope, these words just naturally go together for me. Reflecting back to the painting I referenced earlier, of the light radiating from Baby Jesus in the manger, I see myself “catching” the light and then having it radiate from me to others. Just as in the song, Pass it On….into my neighborhood and another neighborhood and into the world. Another song comes to mind, I want to walk as a Light of the World.
    In December, the days are the shortest and darkest, but Christ came at this time as a Light in the Darkness. May I be a light in “The Neighborhood” where ever our UR family is located, and may I glow in the reflection of the light that radiates from my UR family back to me.
    Blessings, love and prayers to all.

  • Rick Posted December 8, 2019 1:12 pm

    Thank you Jill ☺️, keeping you and your dad in my prayers. Indeed the light does shine in the darkness, I know for some it’s small prehaps as small as a tiny pin hole in the fabric of our darkness. Then it begins to tear that fabric and expand as the sunlight of the spirt comes into our heats and minds. May the light shine brightly to all.

  • Connie Posted December 8, 2019 1:53 pm

    I think God wants me to walk toward the light of His love. He is my light in some dark days .
    “I love Thee oh Lord, my strength. Thou art my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.”
    “Look up. Thy redemption draweth nigh.”
    (April, you have always been a “Reflection Light” here.)

    • April Posted December 8, 2019 9:10 pm

      Oh Connie, my singing sister, how sweet of you to post today and let me know that my light is shining :)) I am not sure what happened, but the song is “I want to walk as a child of the light” and here is more information on it:
      “I want to walk as a child of the light” communicates deep conviction and personal sincerity, while avoiding any hint of pretence. The first person perspective invites the singer to join Christ, the Light of the World, in discipleship – a journey of faith. The second line of each stanza deepens this commitment:
      Stanza 1: “I want to follow Jesus.”
      Stanza 2: “I want to look at Jesus.”
      Stanza 3: “I want to be with Jesus.”
      May you keep singing the hymns this Christmas season….I love to join in with you…and please UR family, do join us as we share the Light to the world. Blessings.

      • Connie Posted December 9, 2019 10:14 am

        I like “Mary, did you know”

  • robert moeller Posted December 8, 2019 7:12 pm

    Have been erratic here lately, out of kilter. I’m fine, just seems like a lot going on.

    While the focus here today is on The Light, and I am very thankful for that Light since it is so needed, the focus at church this Advent is on Joy. This the 300th anniversary of “Joy to the World.” I think there could be a song, “Light
    to the World” and that would be very appropriate.

    The messages from all of you are both JOY and LIGHT to the world. Bless you
    Light has to come first for there to be Joy.

    I think God asks me to continue to shine for the people I meet, live with, and support in any way. All of you, dear UR family, are without a doubt, INCLUDED! Thank You, Lord!

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