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God with Us

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Today’s Reflection

GOD IS NOT in the distant heavens or in the hidden depths of the future, but here and now. God has pitched a tent among us. Even more than that, God has made a home in us so that we can make God’s home our home.

We find our way home to the heart by following Jesus.

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Homecoming

From page 14 of A Spirituality of Homecoming by Henri J.M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor. Copyright © 2012 by The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

As you pray today, contemplate the nearness of God. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:8, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those without homes. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: Ambrose (December 7).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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In order to continue receiving Upper Room Daily Reflections after January 1, 2019, please confirm your subscription here.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 7, 2018, 3:28 am

    Yes, God is near, there is no fear. He is my ever present help and guide.

    Thank you God for always being with us, helping and guiding us every step of our life journey.

    Blessings to all!

    May Julie and Marcy’s health improve and all their needs met.

    • Marcy December 7, 2018, 5:09 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, thank you for your prayers. I am praying your Dad is on the mend! Injuries to the head can be very serious, especially for seniors. I am thankful God is watching for your Mom and Dad, you and Molly. Sending Love to you!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 7, 2018, 6:19 pm

        Thanks so much for your prayers dear Marcy.

        My dad is ok. I checked the cut. It is healing fast.

        May all your insurance claims be successful and may your pain be removed. May God’s presence be near you.

        Blessings!

  • Jill December 7, 2018, 4:09 am

    Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer Blessed Lord to Thy precious bleeding side.

    Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
    By the pow’r of grace divine;
    Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
    And my will be lost in Thine.

    Yes, Father – draw me nearer, indeed. You are here. Thank You, Lord.

    I pray this UR family will sense Your Presence – even more so today, as we continue our journey deeper into this Advent Season. Show us Your mystery, show us Your way. You are Truth, You are Sovereign.

    • Marcy December 7, 2018, 5:12 pm

      Jill, it is with joy that I read your post today! Praise the Lord, you have been feeling better and that your Mom, Gloria has the cheer of Christ’s birth! Keeping your parents, Gloria and Larry, your sister Becky and her family and you in prayer. Sending Love to you all!

  • Connie December 7, 2018, 7:28 am

    In my mind I was singing Jill’s hymn. “Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope”…..
    God is with us.
    Bless Mary’s Father.

    • Marcy December 7, 2018, 5:14 pm

      And bless you, Connie. You continue to be in my prayers. Sending along some more prayers and Love to you!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 8, 2018, 7:59 am

      Thanks dear Connie!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Julie December 7, 2018, 7:54 am

    Yes, not only is God all around in everything, but also within us. What a wondrous truth to contemplate as we go forward during this Advent. The God within, how often do we allow it full reighn in and over our lives. Do others see this truth through us and our life?
    Prayers for Mary and her parents, may her father’s wound heal quickly.
    Prayers for Jill and her family, may everyone contiue to be joyous.
    Prayers for Connie and her husband, may her health steadily improve.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may they follow God during teir move.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family. May her brother recover quickly.
    Prayers for Andrea and her family and may Lowell’s ankle heal quickly.
    Prayers for Marcy and her helper, Mary. May Mary help Marcy this week and may Marcy’s physical issues be less troublesome.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, April and her family, and Shirlee and her daughter.
    My fingers will get better next spring. The winter wounds are something I live with each year. Stress aggravates the condition, so this year is interesting given the constant state of fear I live in.
    Prayers dear UR family

    • Marcy December 7, 2018, 5:37 pm

      Dearest Julie, thank you for keeping me in your daily prayers. Please know that you and Megan are in mine also, as I think of you often throughout my days. Lucy sends kitty kisses to Chai and Tazzie!

      It’s so hard to come here, bemoaning my endless trials, which is why I don’t comment. But you are right, Julie, when you say that the burden is easier when shared. And I always used to encourage this from others and still do. Except, I don’t apply it to myself. Hmmm. I must get past this. Issues from insurance concerns regarding the oxygen I need, certain new important medications being denied, continual pain in my neck and back due to ortho issues as well as rheumatoid arthritis, to the battle I fight mentally and more teams of paperwork for benefits, are overwhelming. It seems near blasphemy at this time of year. This is when we are preparing for the birth of Christ through Advent and getting ready to celebrate the first coming of Christ and contemplating His second coming.

      Your prayers for Mary and I are shared with her. She is thrilled! I know I have so very much to be thankful for; God is providing for me. He strengthens me through Faith, His faithfulness to us, keeping my Hope eternal and lots of Love for all in need. He just seems distant, at times, although I know He is here and near.

      I’m sending you loads of Love, my dear sister and a huge hug! Thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt thoughts put into words to us!

  • robert moeller December 7, 2018, 12:21 pm

    With daily doses of white, I reminded of angels all around. Yes, as a believer I acknowledge that God is with me 24/7/365 as some people call always. Communion reminds me of that as well as the Lord feeds us. Tank You, Lord.

    My days have been very busy, things are going well, thankful for that. Many tasks and new activities, upgrades and schedule changes. My lower front teeth are now well reinforced by not only the wire, but a sustantial amount of glue.
    Propane for heating and cooking has arrived. New health insurance that will start January 1st has been announced. Erich is working and so far so good.
    Have a church get together tomorrow near a very well known nearby mountain. College hockey games tonight and tomorrow. Modelimg has had to take a back burner while all of this goes on. Saw a great one hour movie, The Hanji Box, on PBS. It told of aKorean orphan in the US and expressed many feelings. Having brought orphans to the US in the 70s I was intrigued. My children are Amer-Asian, my wife was Korean. Lots of emotion. It’s a good movie, but a tough one. Thankful for St. Nicholas Day, in many European countries it is the day the person we call Santa Claus comes with small gifts.
    I have a great, great-great, and great-great-great grandfather all named Nicholaus or a variant there of. With all of this going on I am a bit swirled around.

    Thank You, Lord for the blessings of Advent and St. Nicholas Day. Blessings to each of you as we wait for and remember the coming of Jesus.

    • Marcy December 7, 2018, 7:11 pm

      Robert, thank you for your prayers. Prayers are so powerful and the Holy Spirit helps me with them as I pray for all of us, including myself. I am happy you and Erich are bustling about, getting much done, preparations being made. It’s understandable that your trains have taken a temporary backseat! I do keep you, Erich, Annaliese and your family (including Pearl) in prayer. Make sure you all take time to rest when you can!

      I read all about Saint Nicklaus (variations in spelling) on his feast day yesterday, December 6th. It was interesting to read about how his story, what is known of him, probably led to our “Santa Claus.” I’ve included reading about the saints, in my reading, mainly on Franciscan Media, as they feature a saint every day and you can listen instead of read. Some days, this is very helpful. The Catholic sites feature lots of Saints each day! Today, the Saint for the Day was Saint Ambrose and he is also considered one of the Doctors office the Catholic faith.

      Sending Love to you and Erich!

  • Marcy December 7, 2018, 7:29 pm

    Hello blessed UR friends and siblings! I am thankful for the prayers sent up for me and wish it was easier to type on a phone, even with the keyboard, with the screen being so small. In my comment Julie, I shared a lot of the issues of late. But I have my prayer notebook for you all and always include you all in my daily prayers. Still need to sort out vision issues. Sigh.

    I am praying for Andrea and Lowell, Andrea’s daughter, son-in-law and grandson, and pray that Lowell’s ankle is improving. I continue to pray for Betsy and her family; Lou and her children; Rusty and K; April and her family; Pam; Ami, Gail, Francesca, Louise and Gerri, who I haven’t seen here for a while; Shirley and her daughter; Michael Butler; Timothy Wells; Mary Graczyk and all who have visited the UR Reflections site, those yet to visit and beyond. Praise God for all who are experiencing health, happiness and harmony in their lives! I am lonely for family but know my Father in heaven loves all His children!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Sending Love to all! Praises to God!

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