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 culture of Advent has come to Ukraine only in recent years. In Ukrainian historical tradition, Christian believers observe not Advent, but the Nativity Fast. It begins on November 28 and lasts until January 6, according to the Gregorian calendar. This time is dedicated to preparing one’s heart for Christmas through spiritual disciplines. Prayer and fasting are combined with care for others and almsgiving; abstaining from loud parties and cheerful music is connected with focusing on serving the community; and repentance with forgiveness is emphasized. Traditionally, fasting also involves following a lean diet. On the last day of the Nativity Fast, January 6, we don’t eat anything until the first star appears in the sky, to commemorate the hardships of Mary’s and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

—Nadiyka Gerbish, “Advent and Christmas in Ukraine,” in  Light from Afar: An Advent Devotional from Around the World (Upper Room Books, 2023)

Today’s Question

What Advent traditions are important to you? Why? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders,
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
—Isaiah 9:6 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, thank you for the light from afar that came into our world when your Son, Jesus Christ, was born. Be with us as we await the birth of the Christ child in our hearts once again. Give us patience in the waiting. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The new year is just around the corner. Don’t forget to order your copy of Disciplines 2024! Challenge yourself to a deeper relationship with Christ with this year-long, lectionary-based devotional. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 2, 2023 7:58 am

    For the longest time, beginning as a child, setting up a Nativity scene has been important. it’s what Christmas is all about. It keeps Christ in Christmas.
    Thank you Rusty and Ally for posts after mine. I’m posting this morning later than hoped for, but still somewhat early. Jill’s post of the 25thbis beautiful, well said, thought out God has a plan for you as a life end doula
    Glad to hear from Lou, prayers for her and her Mom, after the passing of Lou’s brother, Mom’s son. Prayers for a car for Ally, thankful her job is doing well. Prayers for David’s PT, Prayers for zJuli and her care for h. Hard to imagine intense PT for h as he has dementia. Thankful
    That there is help for Julie in this situation. Prayers for Jill caring for friends with serious situations, her own Dad, students at school, and a house. I would never know, Rusty, from your posts that 2/3 of your life was without faith in God. PraisevGod, that you have a strong faith. Thank you all for your encouragement, all of our posts help one another. God touches us through them. A blessed Advent to you all. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted December 2, 2023 9:52 am

    I did not grow up in a religious home. But we did have a nativity scene. Now as an adult I like to go to the Carnegie Art Museum to see the Presepio. It is also a nativity, but it portrays a scene from everyday life. It has homes and people engaged in various endeavors. It is large due to the number of pieces and comes from Italy. It is very old and still so beautiful and striking. I enjoy just sitting and noticing things anew.

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