Christmas as Worship
It is a profound biblical truth that we become what we worship. The way that we worship makes a statement about who we worship, and what we hope to become. This is fuelled in the week by week, Sunday by Sunday, celebration of Jesus’ Lordship in corporate worship. As Christians listen together, stand together and sing together, making confession of our sins and giving thanks to God for his graciousness towards us, the word of Christ dwells richly amongst us. Christian worship carries a practical and narrative logic. Our habits, practices and liturgies tell the Christian story, making sense of the gospel. When we are immersed in that logic over and over again, you absorb that story on registers that you may not even be aware of. Thoughtful Christian worship shapes our desires, affections, and cognition in the grace of the gospel.
We become what we worship. And while this is fuelled on the micro level by regular, corporate worship, the macro frame to all of this is the Christian year. This macro frame brings together the various week to week habits of corporate worship, and forms them into what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls a “social imagination”. As the liturgical year moves through the gospel, it forms a people who are shaped of the coming kingdom:
“The practices of Christian worship over the liturgical year form in us something of an ‘old soul’ that is perpetually pointed to a future, longing for a coming kingdom, and seeking to be such a stretched people in the present who are a foretaste of the coming kingdom.”
Christmas is a season of joyous thankfulness. The festivities of the season are designed to enmesh us in one simple truth: Emmanuel – God is with us! As we celebrate the lavish abundance of God’s generosity towards us in the gift of his Son, come among us to heal our afflictions, the Christmas season trains our heart, mind, and body to hopefully anticipate that when we feast in God’s kingdom, when God will be all in all.
How to participate in the Christmas Project
This year The Christmas Project will collect resources to help us feast with thanksgiving. Our aim is to celebrate for a whole Christmas season, to sustain our joyful thanks for the incarnation not just on December 25th but for the whole Twelve Days of Christmas. We want to explore ways to sustain our worship where in other years Christmas has quickly given way to the excitement of summer. Cricket, beach missions, New Years celebrations and BBQs are all good gifts to be enjoyed with gratitude: take the opportunity this year to reclaim them as Christmas.
- Sign up
Throughout Christmas we will be collecting a huge range of resources to help you celebrate: music and poetry, prayers and sermons, recipes and craft tutorials. Follow or subscribe to receive weekly updates during Advent and daily updates throughout Christmas.
- Explore on your own
Rifle through our resources section, find your favourite poems, songs and sermons and make your own plans for celebrating Twelve Days of Christmas this year. Our resources section will keep expanding during the Christmas season.
- Share your celebrations
Are you a social media nut? Share your twelve-day-long Christmas celebrations with #the12daysproject hashtag. But even more significantly, share your celebrations with family, friends and lots of people who don’t know Jesus. God became flesh and dwelt among us; that is definitely worth celebrating with as many people as possible.