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

Forgiveness is for the one doing the forgiving, not the one being forgiven. One person in a hurtful situation may forgive even if the other person involved is unable or unwilling to seek or offer forgiveness. In fact, forgiving is for us, not for the other person. To be free of the past’s hurts, we need to forgive whether the ones who hurt us acknowledge their part in the situation or not.

—Mary Lou Redding, God Was with Me All Along: A Guide for Capturing Your Memories and Telling Your Story (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

When have you struggled to forgive someone, and what helped you move toward forgiveness? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t
forgive others, neither will your Father forgive
your sins.
—Matthew 6:14-15 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Loving God, be near me as I recall events from my life. Guide me to look at my past with forgiveness and love. Help me to accept where I am in my life journey and to recognize ways you have been present with me all along. Thank you for your unconditional love and for the strength you give me each day. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

In Fully Human, Fully Divine, Whitney R. Simpson writes, “An embodied Advent invites us to live the experience of this season fully, with our whole selves, right here and right now as we await the Christ child.” Learn more about this year’s Advent resource by visiting UpperRoom.org/fullyhuman.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Reign of Christ

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


  • Ally Posted November 20, 2022 1:28 pm

    I struggle with forgiveness daily. The bitterness I harbor toward some folks: I know it is for me and not them, and that the act of forgiveness can bring me peace. I recite the resentment prayer from 12 step philosophy: pray the same good things for the person who has wronged me that I would wish for myself. Sometimes I have to pray for the willingness to forgive. Forgiveness is just hard.

  • Jill Posted November 20, 2022 2:45 pm

    Yes, Ally – it is hard. How our sinful nature makes us cling to things that keep us from growing.
    I would say where I have struggled most with forgiveness is with administrators who have questioned my integrity – what I do for kids, the time I put in. That gets me right to the bone and there is a lot of ugliness is my heart and mind. And/or they nitpick that I am not doing the latest “thing” (fad) in education, yet my kids continue to score well on their standardized assessments.
    Beautiful sunshine here today, thankfully, as it is bitter cold. Morning worship at church was good. My church proposed a site improvement plan today, as upgrades are needed on our building, as well as an expansion. We are being asked to prayerfully consider pledging money for the next three years.
    An afternoon at home with the kittens. They playfulness catches up to them and they are wonderful afternoon nappers. We have something in common!! I did a zoom with a Year 1 student who is struggling and have been making up tests for this week. A few tennis teammates reached out to play some tennis tonight – so I am going to do it. I did a long run this morning, so hope my legs are there for me. Physical therapy tomorrow after school. Only two days of school this week – the break will be good.

  • robert moeller Posted November 21, 2022 2:58 am

    At a time when I was under a lot of emotional stress, my wife had just died, her aunt asked me, “Why did you
    let her die?” It took a long time for me to do what is described in today’s reflection. I came to the conclusion she said this out of her own pain. Recently I was told that her aunt apologized, but that was news to me. It’s in my mind as a memory, but I don’t feel the hurt. Yes, forgiveness is hard.
    I understand Jill’s experience as a teacher, administrators, even ones who have been teachers, seem to lose their understanding of teaching. I taught at a school that let me go after all my students passed their state exams, I took them to Germany, and had a successful German club simply because it was more economical to hire a new teacher every two years and not grant tenure. I lost my job , but was awarded a scholarship to attend a Goethe Institute class in Germany.
    A wonderful worship and fellowship yesterday. A new family keeps coming! Thank You, Lord.

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