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

What Christmas proclaims to us is that God was willing to close the gap between divinity and humanity by entering into the human experience, becoming one of us, knowing hunger and thirst, friendship and betrayal, hope and loss, and the agony of death. … We imagine the birth of Jesus, the smells and sounds of the stable, the brightness of the star, the vulnerability of the baby, and the wonder of the shepherds. The temptation is to stop there and move on, to turn the Nativity into a sentimental tableau that has little meaning for the rest of our lives. But if we study this idea of incarnation—of Jesus being fully human and fully divine—we must consider that this event comes about because God is trying to … show us something about God’s nature and about our nature, about divinity and humanity and the intersection of those two realms.

—Melissa Tidwell, Embodied Light: Advent Reflections on the Incarnation (Upper Room Books, 2013)

Today’s Question

What does the Incarnation reveal to you about God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.”
—Matthew 1:22 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Light of the world, who made all things, speak me
afresh that I might not only hear your word and receive
your essence, but also embody the word you have spoken
in me. Amen.
Prayer by Melissa Tidwell
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

For many people, this time of year is not always merry and bright. Whether they have recently suffered a loss or the season simply brings up old wounds, almost everyone has moments of darkness and sorrow during Christmastime. Join us in praying 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.


  • Ally Posted December 19, 2022 9:41 am

    The incarnation, to me, reveals God’s desire to be with the people God created. God sent God’s son in human form so God’s created children could be redeemed and touch the God the Ho loves them. What a beautiful act of love.
    David comes home tomorrow. Pray we are ready. Kitty Jeremy is doing well and comes home today. Pray he continues to do well.
    Me, I still feel sort of overwhelmed. I have to change my therapy appointments tomorrow since David is coming home. I’m thankful he’s coming before Christmas. Was a bit worried about that. Jill, thankful therapy is giving you back your voice. Praying all is calm. Jill, prayers as your semester winds up. I’m thankful for the peace you feel as you engage in contemplative practices. Prayers for Robert and his relationship with Erich, and for his church as it moves forward in ministry. Prayinf all is well, as he hasn’t posted in a day or 2. I pray that this Christmas week, we allow God to be with us. Blessings to all.

  • Julie Posted December 19, 2022 9:56 am

    That God wanted to live as a human and interact with humans. Before Jesus’ time God could not fully relate to our emotions, to our sufferings or our joys. Jesus experienced all of these things.
    Spent yesterday without Megan. At church the choir presented this year’s Cantata. It was beautiful and the singing was wonderful as several of the choir members are professional singers. After church there was a catered brunch and the food scrumptious. The church and brunch were packed. I then walked at the mall and got takeout from the restaurant I frequent every Sunday. I have become friends with several of the people that work there. It was a nice day.

  • Jill Posted December 19, 2022 11:52 am

    The incarnation speaks to me of God’s “otherness”. So unimaginable, so utterly perfect. His plan. Thank You, Father.
    Ally – glad for the homecomings…Jeremy and David. I pray you will be encouraged by these and not overwhelmed by the responsibility which falls on your shoulders.
    Julie – good to hear of your enjoyable day yesterday. May it propel you into this week’s caregiving activities.
    One exam this morning, another this afternoon. I am struggling to get motivated to do any grading. Better get on it for this afternoon.
    Get to go home after school – nothing on the calendar for this evening. A quiet evening with the kittens. Also, have my books lined up for reading over winter break. May begin tonight.

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