New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Season’s Greetings

Christmas Letters from Those Who Were There

Ruth L. Boling • September 2024

BUY Print $14.99

Imagine opening your mailbox to find a bundle of Christmas letters addressed to you from long-ago Bible characters who were there for the birth of Jesus. Mary. Joseph. The innkeeper. A shepherd. The midwife. King Herod. The Magi. How do each of these writers remember the unfolding story? What did they know? When did they know it? How did it change them?

In Season's Greetings, twelve vividly imagined letters from "those who were there" speak to the many meanings of Christmas. Awe. Wonder. Disruption. Scandal. Hope. Collected together, the letters invite you—the reader—to add your voice to the conversation, to put Christmas into your own words.

Scripture texts, companion prayers, reflection questions and journaling prompts accompanying each letter lend themselves to individual or group study.

Whether you love Christmas or dread it, whether you are a believer or a skeptic, the letters in Season's Greetings will speak to you. This Advent devotional delivers straight talk with honesty, intellectual rigor and a touch of humor, allowing you to hear with new ears the old, old story that changed—and is changing—the world.

Season's Greetings also includes an Afterword for Clergy and Church Leaders offering creative ideas for using the book in various ministry contexts, as well as a Small Group Leader's Guide.

Categories: Advent, Devotional
Ruth L. Boling is a writer and Presbyterian minister who has served churches Ohio, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey for more than three decades. She is the co-author of the bestselling A Children's Guide to Worship and author of Come Worship With Me: A Journey through the Church Year. Season’s Greetings began as a labor of love for her congregation in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and grew into a book during her Doctor of Ministry program in Creative Writing and Public Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-2044-8

Imprint: Upper Room Books

Pub Date: September 2024

Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5

Page Count: 142

BISAC Categories:

BISAC1: REL034020 RELIGION / Holidays / Christmas & Advent 

BISAC2: REL012020 RELIGION / Christian Living / Devotional 

BISAC3: REL006110 RELIGION / Biblical Meditations / General 

“Be prepared in this book meet the people of the biblical Christmas story in ways you have never encountered them before. Through the literary gifts of Ruth Boling, one of our most imaginative and faithful writers, Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, the Bethlehem Innkeeper, and others step forward from the pages of scripture and speak directly to our lives, our minds, and our hearts. This volume will allow the hope of Christmas to shine even brighter.” —Thomas G. Long, Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology

“Take a look at your nativity scene and imagine all the characters coming alive and speaking to you. Ruth Boling creatively invites you into Christmas in a new way with letters from those present at Jesus birth written to readers today. If you are looking for a contemplative way to engage the familiar in refreshing new ways, this book is for you.” —Rev . Dr. Elizabeth Caldwell (she/hers), Professor Emerita of Pastoral Theology, McCormick Theological Seminary