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

Reading Mary’s Magnificat each year reminds me that no matter what happens, our lives are part of a bigger picture. Pregnant and unmarried, Mary would have to make a long, uncomfortable trek to Bethlehem on a donkey’s back and finally give birth to her son in a barn. Yet after the angel’s words, Mary sang—because she knew God was doing something. In spite of her situation, she realized that she was privileged to be part of a larger movement of God’s mercy from generation to generation.

—Stephen P. West, “The Bigger Picture,” Light of Lights: Advent Devotions from The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide, compiled and edited by Robin Pippin (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

When have you experienced the joy of Christmas despite your troubles? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored.”
—Luke 1:46-48 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

O God, during this season give us eyes to see all around us signs of Christ’s love breaking into the world. Amen. —Prayer by Diane Luton Blum
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Christmastime is not always merry and bright. Whether grieving a recent loss or feeling the sting of an old wound, many people have moments of darkness and sorrow during this season. Join us in praying for those who are hurting or share your own prayer request at The Upper Room Prayer Wall.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 23, 2023 6:36 am

    Today’s question has me reviewing a life’s worth of Christmases trying to find troubled times coinciding with Christmas.. Many people have had far more troubled times than me. Christmas has always been a joyous time.
    Perhaps this year is a bit gloomy. Living beside unbelief, discouragement, and frustration is hard when I believe good will result from this situation. There are signs, hints, that things will improve. Our preparations continue as planned, that’s a positive. Christmas Eve services, morning and evening, will certainly lift me up.
    Advent and almost Christmas blessings to everyone of you, your families, and friends. We worship in
    remembrance of You, Lord Jesus. Thank You for coming to save us.

  • Jill Posted December 23, 2023 3:37 pm

    Mom’s last Christmas – I had a strong feeling it would be her last Christmas, tho we didn’t know that the cancer had returned. I remember the slowness of that holiday season…I kept playing “All is Well” over and over. With mom finding out in early February that the cancer was back – I feel like she did make an effort to enjoy the holiday with dad, even though she clearly wasn’t feeling well. I remember the entire family together and taking pictures of mom and dad. Then with Becky and I. Then with their grandsons.
    I think too of the year during the pandemic – dad and I sitting on opposite sides of the kitchen – not joining the family for the gathering. I had picked up carryout from a favorite Italian place near my house and we spent time together. He was so lonely and isolated – but there was a peace in the unclutterdness of that holiday.
    I was able to shower this afternoon, after my friend removed my bandaging. Felt so good to shower and be unencumbered by that dressing. I can now walk the stairs normally and should be able to put on a sock all by myself tomorrow. My friend picked up some broccoli for me – and I am set for a while.
    Looking forward to tomorrow – a Christmas Eve service and time with my best friend and her kids. Plans are cemented yet. It is enough to know we will be together. We caught up on the phone this morning.

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