Our 2020 Christmas readings are gathered around the birth of genuine, unselfish love in human hearts, minds, and lives.
Imagine a little baby that has been born—six pounds, eight ounces, and just eighteen inches long. Yet wrapped up in that little bundle of sweetness and innocence is terrific potential—potential for growing, learning, living, and loving; latent talents and abilities for reaching out, serving others in wise and loving ways, and impacting human lives for good—both in this world and forever in heaven.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” “Love your enemies,” He said, teaching us that we have the ability to benefit human lives, even of people who make themselves our enemies—supporting what is good and true in them, helping them (as much as possible) to make changes in their lives for the better, and encouraging them on a journey up gently sloping pathways toward heaven.
The message of the Lord in the Judeo-Christian scriptures is clear—at the heart of all human potential is the God-given ability to love. The birth of genuine love—in our lives and in relationships—is actually prefigured in the story of the Lord’s birth on earth. His birth was the birth of divine love into the world; and in a symbolic way it pictures the birth of unselfish love into our own hearts, minds, and lives. Each story or prophecy leading up to His birth, each character we meet in the divine narrative, every word that is spoken and every action that is taken, mirrors a part of our own growth and development, as genuine love, compassion, wisdom, and usefulness are gradually born in us. The story of Christmas is, on a personal level, about the potential for love and genuine humanness being realized in us, as we walk the road toward heaven, cooperating with the Lord in the process we call salvation.
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-six readings in all, designed to carry you from December 1st through Christmas day, with one extra reading for the day after, looking forward into the new year.