Our 2018 Christmas readings are gathered around the theme, “Walk with God.”
This theme appears in the book of Micah, where we read: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8); also in the book of Isaiah: “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” (Isaiah 2:3)
One of the things we see throughout the Christmas story is movement and forward progression—either figuratively or in actual fact. Zacharias and Elizabeth walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; Mary traveled to see Elizabeth; Joseph and Mary went to be registered; the shepherds traveled to Bethlehem; and the wise men followed a star to worship the Savior.
All of these movements in the Christmas story (and more besides) picture our own walk with the Lord, as He gently leads us from one state of mind to the next, and from one stage in life to the next. The action of walking in the Bible symbolically means living. In this context it refers to the life that we lead under the influence and guidance of the Lord.* More specifically, it means “acknowledging, obeying, acting, and living from Him and with Him.”** Another way to say this is that the Lord sets out a pathway of truth before us, and He invites us to walk that pathway. In one sense we could say that the very reason the Lord came on earth was to show us this pathway and to invite us—and help us—to walk it together with Him.
Where have you come from spiritually on this walk? What are one or two ways in which the Lord has been present with you along the way? What states of heart and mind, and what stages of life, has He led you through to get you where you are today? And where does the Lord want to lead you from here? These are questions that arise out of the different movements we witness in the story of Christmas.
Each daily email in this program features a scriptural passage from the Christmas story followed by readings from the Writings given for the New Church. 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. Their purpose is to help tie the readings together and connect them to daily life. 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.