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’s no wonder, then, that when the church gathers to rejoin the biblical story in worship, the reality of koinonia comes to such palpable expression. We know such closeness to God and those around us when we harmonize a hymn, share the bread and cup, take each other’s hand in passing the peace or saying hello, wink at a child peering over the next pew, speak our prayers of confession, wait together in silence, come to the altar rail for prayer or healing, receive a word of blessing. As we share with others in the worship of God, we become intimately bound up with God and one another in more ways than we know.

—Paul Lynd Escamilla, in The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

In what ways has your community helped to form you? How do you help your community form others? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
—Romans 12:4-5 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, Thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Holidays can be rough. This year is especially difficult for those whose family or plans have been affected by the pandemic. Join us to pray for those in need 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.


  • Jill Posted December 19, 2020 7:26 am

    My community of a little over 3 years has transformed me more than all the others of my life. Of course there were significant relationships in my “home church” – the first 20 or so years of my life. It helped “form” me. But, true transformation, is so obvious over the past three years. Intimate sharing, sitting in the midst of tears, praising God and proclaiming His faithfulness. Each time I think of it, I am stunned to quietness, I shake my head and bow in humble awe at His perfect timing. What grace. Thank You, Father.
    Praying, Julie, for your sorrow. Praying for the emptiness. May God tenderly hold you, enfolding you in His gentle and secure arms.
    Much football to have on in the background as I begin grading. My goddaughter’s basketball game will also be on this afternoon. Their previous game this week was cancelled because the opponent had Covid issues.
    I awoke this morning thinking about how a week from now, my friend and her dogs and I would have been making our way to the beach. I am saddened it won’t be happening. And I am pep talking myself…saying – if you were going to the beach – you would get all the schoolwork done this coming week, before you left. So – I am going to try to be diligent and get much done, so I will have time to relax the week following Christmas. We will see. I am a great procrastinator. I did start reading the book I have been saving for break, last night before bed.

  • Lou Posted December 19, 2020 7:33 am

    Yes, how I miss my church community and all that the author mentions- each Sunday as I watch the service on my computer I even miss the beautiful building of our worship. But I know that we will get back to that place and being together. We have to stay hopeful and await that time.
    Prayers for you Julie today- such a hard thing to let a pet go. Hugs and prayers to you this day and the days to follow – so thankful you have the boisterous kitties to distract you and love you.
    Prayers for you Jill as you enter your school break – it will be a different Christmas but you and your Dad will get to be together which is so good.
    Prayers for Robert and his connection to his pastor and church, for Ally and David, Marcy, Rick, and those we haven’t heard from in awhile.
    I eagerly await my youngest’s arrival tomorrow and I pray to God for his protection for her and all of us as we try to gather safely to celebrate the Savior’s birth. Thank you all for your prayers-

  • robert moeller Posted December 19, 2020 8:28 am

    Worship, Bible study, and fellowship (breakfast with the pastor) have helped me. Participating I hope I have helped others. Looked up koinonia – Christian fellowship or communion, with God or, more commonly, with fellow Christians. Always safer to know what a word means before using or responding to it. It’s an important word and one that brings us together.
    White and wintry in NH. Between 5-8″ here, other places got a lot more, as much as 41″.
    Roads plowed and dry.
    The last Advent Sunday tomorrow on ZOOM. It has gone by very fast.
    A very meaningful Advent for me using the Almost Christmas devotion and study. Very powerful, deep, profound, eye-opening, and hopefully life changing. Makes me very aware of the need for Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ as on my own there is no way I can achieve what is needed to be the “all-together Christian” John Wesley describes.
    Thankful to have made it this far through the pandemic, vaccines being distributed, administered, CDC guidelines still being followed until a huge percentage of the population is vaccinated. Thankful that 2021 is looking brighter.
    Christ helps us endure whatever challenges, situations we face, keep the faith, it is a lifeline. Thank You,
    Lord. Prayers for all of us continue.

  • robert moeller Posted December 19, 2020 8:32 am

    Sad news that Julie lost Tazzie. Have been there and yet the desire for another bundle of fur exists. We know when we start that they don’t live as long as we would like, yet we love them just the same.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *