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 Greek word the Gospel writers used that we translate as “repentance” is metanoia, which means a change of mind. But what would that look like during Advent?

Here’s a pregnant possibility: Advent isn’t about thinking different thoughts. We spend Advent thinking about someone, the One, and not just the facts about that someone but thinking about him the way a parent ponders an infant’s fingers or a young lover considers his significant other, the way a grandmother in a nursing home checks her watch, eager for the grandchildren to arrive. We think about Jesus. John the Baptist did. A repentant mind focuses on Jesus and remains unattached to other things.

—James C. Howell, Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today’s Question

Which spiritual practice could help you keep your mind focused on Jesus this Advent? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore, if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side. Think about the things above and not things on earth.
—Colossians 3:1-2 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
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 The Upper Room Disciplines 2021.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted December 8, 2020 5:23 am

    How interesting that today’s reading so closely parallels the thought in the online Advent devotional I am doing with my friend. A singular focus…likened to the Wise Men’s pursuit of the star. My focus is waning. And, one would think in the midst of the isolation of a pandemic, the opportunity would be there to focus all the more. Yet, my thoughts are scattered. I think I am not that significantly impacted by this isolation. But – I do miss human contact, I miss face to face conversations, looking deep into another’s eyes, reaching out to touch a hand, as tears well up in another’s eyes. Those holy moments which occur when with another.
    And, as my mother would say, this teaching remotely is “for the birds”. More and more students “arrive” in class with their cameras off. My last class yesterday, the one I took on the tour of my house, only one student had his camera on. It is discouraging.
    Father, renew me, renew us. You have sustained us through this pandemic. I am afraid I have lost any desire I may have had, to find what You are wanting me to find in this. Re-kindle me, amidst these Advent readings. Please, call to me, unmistakenly…in my stupor may I recognize You.
    Father, hear our cries for David and Ally and this situation which has arisen. May they rest in You. Yes, Father, You hear us. May our ears hear Your call to us.

  • Julie Posted December 8, 2020 8:48 am

    Yes, I am distracted by all that is going on in my life. I try to keep my eye and my heart and my hope on God. But it is diificult when real life issues are so pressing and need attending.
    I spent time on the phone with my lawyer descussing the pros and cons of seeking an injunction to prevent h from making further large purchases. His purchase of a $100, 000 Mercedes Suv while I am driving a 20 year old VW had caused the issue to be raised. My lawyer is concerned about the lack of equity in our “marriage” and the possibility of h making other purchases as a means to deplete the marital assets. So it is difficult to keep my mind on the Lord…
    Prayers for Ally and David and their continued issues with court mistakes. May it all be sorted out soon and easily.
    Prayers for Jill as she continues to try to engage her students in a meaningful manner, may the Lord give her insights anew.
    Prayers for Robert and his family as the first doses of the vaccine become available, may Robert receive his soon.
    Prayers for Lou and her children, may all stay safe as the virus continues to spead.
    Prayers for Marcy and her struggles with physical, emotional and financial issues.

  • Lou Posted December 8, 2020 1:59 pm

    Our hope is in you Lord-
    Keep us focused on the cross and all that you desire for us to do.
    Jill- I admire your spirit in trying to engage your students in a way that succeeded in getting them to turn their cameras on -they are blessed to have you as their teacher – keep going strong! They need you!
    Julie – I remember the same games that were played during my divorce – my ex made many purchases running up multiple credit cards so that I would be responsible for his debts. It was a ridiculous game and difficult to get through- but you will get through and God will see that you do.
    Prayers for Jill, Julie, Joan, Robert, Ally, Marcy and all who come here to pray. Our Hope is in you Lord.

  • robert moeller Posted December 9, 2020 1:15 am

    A day late, but I got to see posts from Lou, Julie, and Jill. Thank you for the prayers. Mine go up to the Lord for you. I share Jill’s feelings about students, tough going, but I am thankful you, Jill, are their teacher. The ordeals and aftermath of divorce, another tough path, but yes, you, Julie, like Lou and others will make it through. Thankful you have a lawyer. God is always there. Legal paperwork, the bureaucracy of the legal system, are not fun, hope Ally and David’s problems are resolved. Continued prayers for Marcy’s many needs. Hope was the Advent Bible study focus on Tuesday. Wesley’s idea of altogether hope, where we as God’s hands deliver, encourage, support hope for others, is a daunting task, but surely needed even more in this pandemic. We all are finding ways while socially distanced to be hope for others. Thank You, Lord.

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