Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Monday, December 24, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
Main Idea: The highest being from the highest heaven has given us the gift of presence.
The angels of the Lord came to proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest heaven!” It makes me wonder, are there lower heavens, and if so, what are they?
Many major religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism reference seven heavens.
First heaven: lower astral world, closest region to earth
Second heaven: middle astral world, where souls can move about the cosmos
Third heaven: upper astral world, where souls settle in the realm of a star; they meet similar souls there
Fourth heaven: world of positive souls, of love, peace, truth
Fifth heaven: world of light, paradise, and enlightenment
Sixth heaven: world of the holy
Seventh heaven: outer forms cease to exist, and souls rest within God
God lives in the highest heaven, the place the angels refer to in their praise. If God lives in the highest heaven, then we worship the highest being known to exist.
In another view of the heavens, Paul wrote, “I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows.” Paul proclaimed that Jesus came from the highest of the three heavens that include the earth and atmosphere, outer space, and the realm of the Holy. If Jesus passed through the highest heaven, then once again we worship the highest being known to exist.
What wonderful news, that the highest being in the highest heaven has given us the gift of presence, Immanuel... “God with us!” God brings God’s presence to the earth, and gives us hope that we too, will one day live in the highest heaven, where outer forms cease to exist, and souls rest within God.
Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’