But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water* of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. --Titus 3: 4-7
I read this passage after scrolling through an online article from Newsweek in which two biblical scholars address the firestorm raised by the cover story the magazine ran on a religious argument FOR allowing gays to marry. By the time I finished, I felt that we were no more closer to resolving the fears of the Southern Baptists and other biblical literalists than before. In fact, it seems some of them are sadly very entrenched in their thinking, so much so that they can say they don't think homosexuality is a "choice", but they don't have to accept people as homosexual and encourage them to change. That is scary.
So, the above passage assigned for Christmas Day is a refreshing reminder of the broader picture that is God: we are all part of the body of Christ because Christ poured out his spirit on us. And "us" includes the "me" and the "you" and the "them". If we can strive toward that, I believe, we are striving toward God.