December 2019 Lectionary Preview: The Gift of God’s Presence

October 29, 2019 by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

December 2019 lectionary texts are related to presence, or, for the Advent/Christmastide season, we can say they portray God's present of God's presence. In other words, God's gift to us is God's self. And when God's self is present, people and things necessarily change.

The lectionary texts will speak of God's presence that brings light and calls forth readiness and repentance and the Lord's imminent immanence which brings peace and reconciliation. The texts will recall the Lord's provision in the parched deserts of life and the challenging wildernesses of our journey, the Lord's present of infant kings and of the infant Savior that expressed Immanuel God-with-us.

The scriptures will also remind us of the presence of the Lord in the grand and little things of life and history that shows God's care for every part of creation, the presence of God's Word and the coming of God's Word made flesh, and the God who is absolutely personal and personally absolute as the Lord pursues us and all of creation in love for justice and righteousness.

Click on an image below to be directed to the lectionary for that date.

First Sunday of Advent
December 1
Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 24:36-44
Second Sunday of Advent
December 8
Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12


Third Sunday of Advent
December 15
Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11
Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 22
Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25


Christmas Eve
December 24
Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-4 (15-20)
Christmas Day
December 25
Isaiah 52:7-10; John 1:1-4


First Sunday of Christmas
December 29
Isaiah 63:7-9; Matthew 2:13-23


Rev. Dr. Neal Presa

The Rev. Dr. Neal D. Presa is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Foundation. He is the Associate Pastor for Family, Connecting, and Communications Ministries and Coordinator of the Faith & Work Initiative at the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. He holds concurrent appointments as: Visiting Professor of Practical Theology for International Theological Seminary (West Covina, CA), Visiting Professor and Scholar for Union Theological Seminary (Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines), Research Fellow for the Faculty of Theology and Religion of the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa), PhD External Examiner for the Faculty of Theology of Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa), and Fellow for The Center for Pastor Theologians (Oak Park, IL). He was the Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and previously served on the executive committees of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, leading the Communion’s/Alliance’s Caribbean and North American Area Council. Author/editor of six books, Dr. Presa is working on a seventh book on joy as a liturgical spirituality. He holds the Ph.D./MPhil from Drew University, the ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary, the MDIV from San Francisco Theological Seminary, the BA from the University of California, Davis, and is a candidate for the MBA in Project Management from Missouri State University. The Presa family live in Carlsbad, CA.