Our 2019 Christmas readings are gathered around a theme titled, “Our Part”.
It’s a theme which acknowledges the role that each one of us plays in our eternal destiny. The Lord our God is the Savior of all, but He can’t prepare us for heaven without our cooperation. He has given us hearts that can love, minds that can think wisely and creatively, and bodies that can do many useful things. His hope and even expectation is that we will take these gifts and use them to orient ourselves toward Him and toward others around us. He wants us to consider the role we can best play in any given situation, and then pour our energy in that direction.
This theme shows itself throughout the Christmas story. There, each person or group of people has a part to play in the divine narrative: Zacharias and Elizabeth walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; Mary and Joseph trust the Lord’s leadership, and they devoutly do what is required of them; the shepherds come with haste to see the newborn babe, then they make widely known the saying which has been told them concerning the Child; the wise men follow a star to find the newborn King, and when they find Him, they present gifts to Him, then they fall down and worship Him; Simeon waits patiently for the Lord’s coming; and Anna the prophetess speaks of Him to all who seek redemption. Each of these characters symbolizes a different part of each one of us, and a different role that each one of us has to play, in the birth of the Lord’s love and wisdom in our lives.
This year as we read Christmas story anew, what can we learn from the different characters that are there? In what way can their lives, and the examples they set, help us do our part in making loving and wise choices, doing useful things, and contributing to the goodness of any situation that we find ourselves in? How will all of these things carry over into the new year?
Each daily email in this program features a scriptural passage from the Christmas story, followed by commentary from New Church theology.. Each reading and commentary touch on one part of the divine birth in us. Underlining has been used in some of the scriptural quotations to help link them to the theological points. At the end of the readings for each day is a set of reflections together with some questions for consideration. There are twenty-five readings in all, designed to carry you from December 1st through Christmas day.