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Awaiting Christ’s Arrival

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Today’s Reflection

GOD OF LOVE, you are the source of all mercy and blessing,
ever giving yourself to us and calling us to live in your love.
As we wait for Christ’s arrival in this holy season of watching,
may we proclaim with our lives the healing and good news the Messiah brings.

—Carmen Lile-Henley

Alive Now

From page 50 of Alive Now , November/December 2006. Copyright © 2006 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase The Upper Room.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Luke 3:16, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those mourning a loved one. 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: Thomas Merton (December 10).

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.

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller December 16, 2018, 4:48 am

    “May we proclaim with our lives the healing and good news the Messiah brings.” Yes, Lord, as a believer I am asked, commanded to do this. May Your message flow through me to others that they too believe.

    Erich saw a doctor yesterday and should be back to work in a day or so, it’s tough to work in public when you have visible skin problems. Very frustrating
    for Erich.

    Prayers for those who mourn especially at this time of year. Emanuel, God with us, is with you.

    Thankful to have the reflection at a time when I am awake. This is my favorite
    Quiet Time. The fewest possible diversions and distractions.

    Blessings to all, may your prayers be amplified and lifted up to the One who keeps us from falling and may your needs and concerns be heard. Thank You,
    Lord.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:27 pm

      Robert, I continue to pray for Erich, as he contends with his skin issues. Annaliese, your daughter and her family and Pearl remain in my prayers. I am sending prayers and Love to you!

  • robert moeller December 16, 2018, 5:05 am

    Wonderful posts from Jill, Julie, Connie, April, Marcy, Mary, and Betsy.
    Thank you! What wisdom, “God places difficult persons in our lives so we will grow.” We should be growing like weeds! Simple lives are a blessing, thankful Connie has this. Bible study is always so helpful. Prayers for all are most helpful. Thankful for the skin help suggestion – Mary. It is in our medicine cabinet. A long and helpful post from April. Blessings to you all. Thank You, Lord for the UR family.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:32 pm

      Thank you, Robert, for your prayers. Thank you for sharing your Spirit-filled wisdom with us. I am struggling with something I witnessed last Sunday and it is being addressed in the trauma therapy I am now receiving once a week. I am praising God for His provisions, knowing our needs and supplying the help we need from the medical professionals. Thank you, again, Robert, for speaking occassionally of your hobby with trains, reminding me of fond memories.

  • Jill December 16, 2018, 5:35 am

    Yes, You are our Source. May we look only to You for strength, mercy and guidance. Thank You for Your mercy.
    While it seems hard to believe we are a week away from Christmas, I am very aware and appreciative of my morning expanse of time these past few weeks – unrushed and contemplative. One of the advent books I am using is speaking so deeply to me – following this past year. Hope and endurance take on new meanings…I see them from my perspective, as well as from my mom’s perspective. A true dichotomy. And I sit at the feet of Jesus with both of them. Thank You, Father – for the peace, Your Peace – which has been with me.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:35 pm

      Jill, I am thankful for your comments, often directing my thoughts in enlightening ways. I continue to keep you, your Mom, Gloria, your Dad, Larry, your sister, Becky and her family and Roger in my prayers. Sending Love to you!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 16, 2018, 6:26 am

    Indeed, you are our source of blessings and love.

    May we wait prayerfully for Christ’s return.

    Blessings!

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:37 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, thank you for sharing your joy with us! I continue to keep you, Molly, and your parents in prayer. Praises for your happiness in your current job! Sending Love to you!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 16, 2018, 4:47 pm

        Thank you so much dear Marcy!

        Praying that your health improve and all your needs be met.

        May you have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Lou December 16, 2018, 7:08 am

    Come Lord Jesus – come.
    We need you more than ever.
    Thankful for my Advent traditions and routines that are healing.
    Thankful that my youngest child was accepted into her first school – still working on her applications and awaiting other results but his gave her confidence and hope after a rough week. Prayers that her dad will be more understanding and sensitive to her needs and not to his own selfish needs. I pray for him to have his eyes opened and to see what he is doing to her with his requests of her. She needs a lot of support at this time. Grateful that my middle daughter will be home in a few days for over a week! We have not had her with us for that long in quite awhile. I pray for family peace and calm during that time so she may rest and recharge after her grueling first semester. She is not quitting as some of her cohorts have done. It is a real challenge working in a new charter school in the inner city. Grateful that my son introduced me to his new girlfriend. We had a nice visit and lunch. Grateful that he seems happy. Grateful for my little dog that keeps me company. Despite my wonderful children I feel rather lonely and I pray for all of those who experience loss and loneliness – especially at this time of year. Prayers for those who mourn- prayers for all of you who come to the UR.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:25 pm

      Dear Lou, I am praying for all the needs you expressed and praising God that your oldest daughter will be home soon for Christmas. I pray your son’s girlfriend is a blessing to both of you! I am thankful your Christmas traditions are bringing you such joy! What is the name of your dear furry family member, your little dog? I include pets in my prayers. Sending Love to you!

  • Betsy December 16, 2018, 7:35 am

    I’m grateful for this quiet time of reflection and prayer before the busyness of Advent Sunday begins. So glad to hear from all our UR folks in the last few days of posts. We seem to all be surrounded by the bustle of the season, yet we leave time for the Baby Jesus. Thanks to all here and your love for this season. Emmanuel.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:40 pm

      Dear Betsy, I continue to keep your brother in my prayers. I am praying for you and your family, and Grace and her loved ones. Sending Love to you!

  • Julie December 16, 2018, 8:29 am

    Yes, love came down on Christmas and lived among us and now we are called to continue shining this love into the world.
    I am so thankful for this group and I learn and grow each day through your thoughtful words and kind sharing of your lives. I am thankful for your prayers. My fingers are doing their winter thing but my cold seems to be progressing and I am hopeful I will be free of it by the holiday. Megan and I will spend it with my family as we did Thanksgiving.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. I completely understand Erich’s feelings of being in public as I struggle with the same feelings with my fingers. Many people react adversely, in fact I once tried to work and had to be let go after one day due to people’s adverse reaction. I was working in retail and people returned their merchandise because i had touched it. Since I suffer from a disease no one can cantract it from me but no one wants to ask and they just assume. My heartfelt prayers for Erich and resolution of this issue.
    Prayers for Jill and Gloria and their family as each approaches the new year with different cares and concerns.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may she shine the love of God to them.
    Prayers for Lou and her family. May her daughter be safe as she travels, may her youngest find solace in her siblings visits, amd may her son continue to enjoy sharing all aspects of his life with Lou. Prayers for her puppy because sometimes animals are the best companions.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family and their Advent worship and her joy in this season.
    Prayers for Connie and her family as they share the most important aspects of life toether, the quiet and silence.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she have relief from her pain today.
    Prayers for April and her family as they find the true joy of Christmas.
    Prayers dear UR family

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:48 pm

      Dearest Julie, I continue, always, to keep you and Megan in prayer. I am happy you are spending Christmas with your family and pray that h leaves you be to enjoy yourselves. Since nothing is impossible for God, I pray this comes about and that He joyfully receives our endless praise for the celebration of the Christ Child. I am so blessed by God to have been and continue to be encouraged by you, my sister. I also continue to include your sweet kitties, Chai and Tazzie, in my prayers. They are a comfort and joy to you. I am sending lots of Love and a big hug to you and Megan!

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 4:49 pm

      Oh, and thank you for including me in your prayers every day, dear Julie! Please know how grateful I am for them!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 16, 2018, 4:51 pm

      Thanks so much for your prayers dear Julie!

      Praying that your fingers to get well and that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Connie December 16, 2018, 8:39 am

    The sunrise today was a beautiful deep, deep pink. Here in Illinois the snow is scant. I am trying to keep my mind focused on the “reason for the season”, but negative things pop up (as they do in all lives). Lou mentioned being lonely….funny, as my son left I said “thanks for coming, I get lonely”. It isn’t logical, though.
    “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever”

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 5:22 pm

      Connie, I continue to pray for you and your health. I, too, am lonely and despondent at times, missing my Mom and Dad, and even my grandmothers. But I know that Jesus is always with us, will always be with us, and that God is closer to me than I am to myself. I pray your son is coming for Christmas, dear one. I love your comments and your thankfulnesses. Sending Love to you!

      • Connie December 18, 2018, 8:08 am

        Can you feel the love, Marcy? It is sent to you. We may be lonely at times, but we have our family in Christ, my dear sister and are never alone. My visit with my son was wonderful. I hope the New Year brings you better health and good help to keep it that way.

  • Andrea December 16, 2018, 12:45 pm

    We had a beautiful sunrise here, too, pink and orange. I was up that early because today the bell choir performed and we had a rehearsal before the choir practice before the service. We played Once in Royal David’s City. What beauty. Now I am putting out more Christmas decorations, including one red poinsettia and one white. The touches of red transform the rooms and speak of joy.

    My prayers for all who are lonely and who mourn. My prayers for all dear UR friends – our sheltering circle of prayer warriors. Blessings.

    • Marcy December 16, 2018, 5:26 pm

      Andrea, you and Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson are always in my prayers. I pray each morning for our UR siblings and friends and all who visit here. I’m thankful that after being properly diagnosed with broken bones, Lowell can now be on the mend! I so enjoyed your descriptive winter walk! Thank you! I am thankful for your prayers and am sending Love to you and Lowell!

      • Andrea December 16, 2018, 10:14 pm

        Thank you, Marcy. Thank you for your prayers for me, Lowell, my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. I am grateful for your presence here, for the courage and faith you display. You are a gift. You are ever in my prayers, and now I pray too for Mary. May you and Mary feel our Gracious God’s Loving Arms embracing you. May you, Marcy, get stronger, and may your medical needs be met. Sending a loving hug to you through cyber-space.

  • Marcy December 16, 2018, 5:53 pm

    Oh yes! Amen!
    “As we wait for Christ’s arrival in this holy season of watching,
    may we proclaim with our lives the healing and good news the Messiah brings.”
    Dear Father in heaven, please sustain us through the coming days, as we contemplate and reflect on the Christ Child’s birth, with these words of trust in You and praise for Your Presence in our lives. Almighty God, I love You, Your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with all my strength, mind, heart, and soul! I believe in our Savior, Jesus Christ’s teachings, trust in His guidance through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and know You love us, endlessly and infinitely! Fill us with Your Peace, Hope, Joy and Love, Holy Father, as we lose ourselves in You! Amen.

    Hello blessed UR siblings and friends! I am grateful beyond measure for this forum, place of healing, filled with gracious, loving and caring children of God. Although I don’t comment as much as I once did, please know you are always in my prayers! I pray for all who come here in need of prayer. And I am praising God for those whom He has blessed with health, happiness and harmony in their lives!

    I keep in prayer all of you who I have replied to today, and also April, Pam, Francesca, Gail, Rusty and K, Jean, Joan, Carol and Robin, Chloe and Paige, Ami, Gerri, Edy, Timothy Wells, Shirley and her daughter, Michael P. Butler, Mary Graczyk, and all their families and loved ones. Also I am praying that Perla Goody, who works with and for immigrants, is successful in the good she does for these, who are in such need. I pray blessings to Perla and her family. Praying for all those dealing with mental, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual issues, especially at this time of year.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Sending Love to all on this, the Third Sunday of Advent!

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