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

In the days of Jesus, the palm tree was the symbol of Jewish identity and independence. Throughout the centuries, many Jewish and Christian leaders have used the metaphor of the tree to speak of a faith that looks to the future. Martin Luther, the leader of the Reformation in the sixteenth century, is considered to have said, “Even if I knew the world was going to end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree.”

Trees, of course, actually live much of their life underground. The roots go deep. And most of the vitality of the earth and the rain is drawn up through the roots into the living thing.

The same is true of the human spirit. The struggles we have, the unseen forces we wrestle with, the thoughts and ideas that give shape to our lives go largely unseen.

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

Today’s Question

From what sources do you draw your strength? How deep are you willing to go to find new vitality in your spiritual life? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
—Isaiah 11:1-2 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, as you have made all things, I know you are still creating in me too. You are not finished working on me. Thank you for your patience throughout the seasons of my life, and I pray that I may offer beauty, comfort, relief, joy, and strength to those I encounter today. Help me to rely upon your counsel through all of the adversity of my life. Amen.
—Prayer by Todd Outcalt
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

The Upper Room wishes you a blessed Christmas season and a happy new year full of hope, joy, peace, and love—all of the priceless gifts that Jesus gives us. You can serve as a tangible reminder of these gifts by giving to The Upper Room. Your tax-deductible gift of any size will impact lives throughout the world. Give today.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Rusty Posted December 31, 2023 6:45 am

    For me it’s scripture and Christian friends. No church, really, at this point. Since my wife and I still remain in isolation due to her health (COVID still being the number 3 cause of death in America, as I recently heard) I haven’t attended church in person since early 2020.
    I’ve started a second consecutive year of the “Bible in One Year with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel” and that is a great source of strength for me. It helps me go deep, for sure.

  • Ally Posted December 31, 2023 7:25 am

    My daily quiet time: reading scripture, prayer, reflection, reading, talking with other disciples and mentors. God uses these to strengthen me.
    This forum is a big part of that. It edifies me to hear about what God is doing in all of your lives. May all have a blessed and safe New Years Eve.

    • Rusty Posted December 31, 2023 7:38 am

      Amen. Thanks Ally.

      • Ally Posted January 1, 2024 12:52 pm

        You’re welcome, Rusty.

  • robert moeller Posted December 31, 2023 4:14 pm

    I pretty much agree with Ally. If I had to put it in one word it would be FAITH with all these spiritual activities being huge contributors and sustainers.
    A healthy, faith filled, happy, and safe New Year to all and especially NEM. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted December 31, 2023 4:32 pm

    My morning time each day is essential. It is a luxury, it is a necessity, it is a blessing. While many may think it routine – that is critical to my life rhythm. Routine could easily be my middle name. Spiritual direction is also a key component and necessity to keep me out of my brain and connected to my spirit and Spirit. Weekly worship service(s) – again, very routine – but I try to approach each one as an edification and feeding of my soul. Some times I come quite empty and am replenished. Other times I am “topped off”. And a new part of this thought would be sitting with others who are struggling, or reading resources which help me do this better. Others might feel drained by such an activity – but I find it very life enhancing, and brings me closer to God. I find holiness in very dark moments…I sense His presence. I continue to be gratefully confident in Him leading me into this work – I trust Him to supply me endurance and strength as needed.
    Time with my friend this afternoon – I picked up a pizza and some chicken at a favorite place of hers. We had a nice afternoon together, watching football and talking. She is moving around better – even went out early this morning to a grocery close to her house – her first time driving. She is encouraged by her progress, but still has a long ways to go. But – she is moving much better through the house.
    Going to relax this evening, watch some football and turn in way before the “ball drops”.
    Missing my annual trip to the beach this time of year. Not really an option with my surgery and recovery. On New Year’s Eve – I would go down to the beach around 8 pm, sit with God, review the year and pray for the upcoming one. May have to dim the lights, light some candles and go “there” this evening.
    New Year’s tidings to all. Blessed to share this space with you.

Add Comment

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