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

The theme often associated with this first week of Advent is hope—our hopes and God’s hopes for us and for the world. But the hope of Advent is not like the hope we associate with Christmas gifts or lists. We often use the word hope as if hope were a fragile thing. We say, “I hope you can come with us.” And someone answers, “I hope so too, but it doesn’t look promising.” . . .

The hope we read about in the Bible is much more robust. The people of the Bible reveal a hope worth risking for, hope that pulls people from the present into the future. This hope spills out from one person’s life into the lives of others and changes everything. Biblical hope is a powerful force for change.

—Mary Lou Redding, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent (Upper Room Books, 2002)

Today’s Question

What might happen if you lived with the expectation that God will show up in the midst of your daily activities? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

If you make your mind resolute and spread your palms to [God],
if you throw out the sin in your hands and don’t let injustice dwell in your tents,
then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and not fear. . . .
You will be secure, for there is hope; you will look around and rest safely.
—Job 11:13-15, 18 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, help us to hear you calling us home during Advent and guide us to set aside time for reflection on the wonder of your Son’s birth. Thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ. Help us to focus on him and to show his compassion and love to others during this season. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Show your loved ones how much you care by giving them Spirit Boosters, daily reminders that they still have purpose, no matter their age.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 5, 2023 5:47 am

    I believe God is with us always, and can and does make us aware of His/Her presence. I have experienced that and am thankful.
    Haven’t had to get up and go off to work since 2007, but I still wake up early. It’s my quiet time.
    Skiing went well yesterday, very thankful for that. Short on sunshine, but still a very good day. The earliest skiing ever.
    Bible/book study this morning. Mary’s ponderings at Jesus’s birth are realized as she watches her son be put to death. A very tough experience, am sure it was hard to understand until Jesus rose from the dead.
    Having a baby amongst the cattle and being visited by unknown shepherds must also have been tough. Thankfully God picked the right person. Thank You, Lord.

  • Ally Posted December 5, 2023 8:43 am

    I have seen God show up, but have to admit I don’t expect it. Job had hope and expected God to show up. It is hard for me. I pray that during this week of hope, I can feel it.

  • Julie Posted December 5, 2023 10:02 am

    My life experiences have taught me that hope is not something I am entitled to. Just as it is difficult for me to imagine God as my benevolent and loving father as I never had a father that was anything remotely like that. So I am at a loss during Advent since most of the concepts are unfamiliar to me.

    • Rusty Posted December 5, 2023 10:15 pm

      Julie, for me, Advent is about anticipating Jesus, both when he came 2,000 years ago and for when he comes again as he has promised to do. This helps me because, perhaps oddly for a Christian, Jesus is the person in the Trinity who for some reason I feel I know least well. I pray that Advent and anticipation of Jesus – and maybe allowing one’s self to take a pause on contemplation of the Father if that suits a personal need for whatever reasons – could help make the season more peaceful and comforting for you.

      At the risk of maybe it not being the altogether best thing for you (Lord Jesus, please help us) and break in)! may I offer a short prayer to consider for Advent?

      Lord Jesus, you break into
      Our daily prayers
      Humble hearts
      Lay souls bare
      You break in
      You break in

      You break in
      When defences are down
      With an Angel’s shout
      Or the quietest sound
      You break in
      You break in

      And we change
      And all things change
      When you break in

      O come, Thou Key of David, come,
      And open wide our heavenly home;
      Make safe the way that leads on high,
      And close the path to misery.

      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come again and with us ever dwell


  • Jill Posted December 5, 2023 11:27 am

    Robust hope – I need to consider this. If I lived like this – my impact on others would honor God. If I lived like God would show up in my daily nitty-gritty – people would be positively impacted, including me. Finding Him there in the minutia. I would be encouraged, come the end of the day. Father God, may it be so.
    Busy, busy days here. Things on the calendar after school – each day this week. I really don’t like that. Most are good things, but – I really like to be home after school – and in for the night. An unrushed dinner and kitten time.
    The visit with dad to his doctor yesterday went well. His PsA level continues to rise – but not utterly out of the ordinary for a 90 year old. He has no symptoms and will continue to monitor that number. Depending on the number next June – he may have a PET scan to see if the cancer has spread to his bones.
    Dinner last night with my former student and athlete. We enjoy each other’s company – and the trust we hold between us. She shared from deep within – a dear friend who she visited from out of state (on the West Coast) – has been diagnosed with Huntington’s. She is not sure if she will see her again. Hard stuff. Each person has that pool of tears which resides beside him/her. Oh – how I need to be cognizant of this.
    Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

  • Rusty Posted December 5, 2023 9:45 pm

    Thank you, each one of you, for your posts today. The love, care and concern are plainly evident in what you have shared . Prayers and peace to all.

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