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

During these weeks preceding Christmas, we restore color and beauty to our homes, we cast light into darkened corners, and we restore our spirits with song and mirth. As Christians, there is a growing awareness for us that a new year is approaching as Advent begins and, with it, new promises of grace and goodness. God is always at work restoring.

Today, you might take note of these hopes and dreams. Perhaps you can consider the broken places that need to be mended, the lackluster that can be brightened, the rough edges of life that need to be made smooth. That is God’s work. God’s business. And today can be the day of restoration.

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

Today’s Question

Where do you need God’s restoration in your life? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

When the LORD changed Zion’s circumstances for the better,
it was like we had been dreaming.
Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter;
our tongues were filled with joyful shouts.
It was even said, at that time, among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them!”

—Psalm 126:1-2 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God, the One who has brought all things into existence, I welcome the expected and the unexpected love and lessons you will bring today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Gather your small group or congregation with our private classrooms.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted December 4, 2020 5:04 am

    I rejoice in the lackluster that has been brightened for Ally, with a renewal of vibrant sight. Thank You, Father.
    I ask for the rough edges, which abound for Julie, Father – in Your timing, make them smooth.
    For Robert, Father, continued renewal through Your restorative work. How good to think of Robert’s work, restoring model trains, and to ponder the parallel of Your work in his life.
    Father, as we look back over this year – so many things we could not even have imagined…and, yet, there You were, of course, at our sides. Things “given” in Your permissive will…may we trust in the, yet undone, restorative work of Your perfect plan.
    Where do I need restoration? I need to remind myself, that through the struggles – He remains. I can see the growth He has nurtured over these past 3+ years. The hardest of my life and yet the richest, most bountiful growth – as I am closer to Him than I could have even imagined was possible.
    I try to imagine returning to the classroom, post pandemic, and how that will invigorate me for the final decade of my teaching career. Even now, I need daily restoration, to try to go beyond the daily drudgery I feel with some of my classes. My students are practically lifeless, cameras off and muted – unwilling to engage.
    Yesterday – I threw a curveball at my last class – I don’t even know how the idea got planted in my mind…but I asked them if they would like a tour of my house. So – I showed them my work space, walked them into my small tv room where Roger was asleep on the couch. Showed them some other things – they ALL turned their cameras on and were asking questions. Seeing their smiles and hearing there voices – a beautiful gift for me. I see God’s restorative work in this spontaneous thought and follow through.

  • robert moeller Posted December 4, 2020 6:41 am

    That’s a beautiful God inspired thing you did with your students, Jill. Your students and you were blessed.. Thankful Ally’s sight is restored, prayers for Julie and Megan through the tough time they are experiencing. At the moment “h” is an enemy and Jesus says we must pray for enemies too.

    Sometimes building models of the trains present when I was a boy also requires repairs. There may be damaged parts or I made a mistake. Now and then I am able to do what is needed, but there are times when the task is beyond me. I’m reminded that there are aspects of my life that need repairs, with God’s help they can be accomplished.
    Prayers forJill as she begins the final decade of her teaching career.
    Thank You, Lord, for the supportYou provide in every circumstance.

  • Joan Posted December 4, 2020 8:34 am

    God please be at work in my life. Bring comfort, bring hope, bring a pathway forward, take away this overwhelming fear and sadness – so that I can live out your light in the world

    • Julie Posted December 4, 2020 8:38 am

      May God bring you out of the darkness you are currently in and into a bright shine of a new day. God bless you and hold you dear Joan.

  • Julie Posted December 4, 2020 8:35 am

    As both Jill and Robert acknowledged, I have many rough edges in need of smoothing, lackluster corners needing brightening and broken places needing mended. To that end and to participate in the anticipation of the Christ child I purchased the needed materials for the Advent wreath. My wreath portion is a grape vine wreath which resembles the depictions of the thorn of crowns worn by the grown Christ during his crucification. I thought it brought the saga full circle. This practice of participating in such a rich Christian endeavor I hope helps helps me feel more connected to the body of Christ as I also will start searching for an online service to view.
    May God smooth the rough edges in Jill’s teaching and may the Holy Spirit continue to lead her to more ways to connect fully with her students through their screens.
    May God use Robert’s work on his railroad models to straighten the tracks of his life and lead him forward in his faith life.
    May God continue to clear the shades in front of Ally’s eyes and reveal the full beauty of His creation. May He also continue to mend David’s broken places.

  • Ally Posted December 4, 2020 12:43 pm

    My spirit needs renewing. I’m tired and over the last years, have become cynical about the motives of some who call themselves Christians. Lord, help me with this.
    Still in wonder over my new-found sight and praying that sight will engulf my spirit. I also have been having a few episodes of mild chest pain upon exertion. This is very discouraging, 4 weeks out from a heart cath. I called my cardiologist and have an appointment Tuesday for an EKG and to discuss my options. Please pray I can give this to the Lord. The Lord promises in His word in Isaiah 40 that He will make the rough places smooth. I claim this promise.
    Jill, your curve ball was a beautiful exercise for engagement with your students. What a wonderful idea! I think fondly of my former teacher who “thought outside the box” . Robert, thank you for sharing more of the story of your work on model trains. It is a great example of making something like new, as God does with our hearts. Julie, I know you will enjoy making your Advent wreath. I’ve been thinking of making one myself. Thanks to all for prayers for David and me. We feel them and they warm our hearts. Joan, I pray that you cling to God’s hand and find your way to God’s light as God holds you close. Thank You Lord for bringing us here today.

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