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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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23.11.2020

Top Five Ideas for Your Church’s Covid Christmas

How can we convey the timeless message of Christmas in a timely way – especially in light of Covid?

This year, the backdrop of lockdown brings unique challenges and opportunities to the Christmas season. In response, last week the LICC Church Team held an event to help church leaders plan for December with confidence and inspiration: ‘Planning a Covid Christmas’.

While we’d prefer to be able to gather physically in packed church buildings, the new normal also brings some surprisingly positive advantages – particularly when it comes to inviting guests.

If we invite friends to an online Christmas event, the need to travel to a particular church, be free at a particular time, and get over the perceived barrier of walking into a new environment are obstacles which no longer apply. There may be people who are more likely to watch a Christmas service now than they would have been to attend a physical service last year – a chance for them to encounter the community and message of Christ that they might not have otherwise had.

We’re also faced with the task of adapting our tried-and-tested Christmas messages for a time of pandemic. Here are five key themes to help you connect the story of Christ’s birth to our current situation (check out the video below for a full exploration of each):

1) Why the title ‘wonderful counsellor’ resonates particularly strongly this year

The concept of a ‘counsellor’ includes the idea of a person who can understand the times and give wise advice. We all need some of that this Christmas – so thank God for our ‘wonderful counsellor’, Jesus.

2) We may feel out of sync with the Christmas season, but we’re never out of sync with the saviour

It can often feel as though Christmas is exclusively about celebration – something that feels harder to do this year than most. But at Christmas we can also remember that Jesus ‘stepped down into darkness’ for all of us – that when things look bleak, he is there with us.

3) What are we waiting for? Christmas 2020 after 9 months of waiting

In a world awaiting rescue from Covid after nine months of lockdown measures, Mary’s nine months of waiting for her promised child have a particular resonance – as does the ultimate rescue that came about through the birth of her baby.

4) The first Christmas, like this Christmas, was full of the unexpected

This Christmas may not always go according to plan – but we can remember some ways in which Jesus was always surprising (unexpected) and always fulfilling (expected).

5) How Jesus’ arrival is the real global game-changer

So many possible developments, from track and trace to a vaccine, are being hailed as potential ‘game-changers’ in the fight against the virus. That term brilliantly describes the impact of the incarnation. Grasping the reality of Immanuel – God with us, is the game-changer the world truly needs.

 

Watch the webinar

If you’d like more in-depth tips and themes to take into this Covid Christmas season, as well as practical thoughts and event suggestions, you can watch the full ‘Planning a Covid Christmas’ webinar here:

As a Church Team at LICC we pray that you’ll find help and hope in this material at this key time.

Ken Benjamin
Director of Church Relationships

LICC

A few of our Christmas resources…

Poems for Your Covid Christmas

We’ve filmed a few of Mark’s poems this year to help you find and use them however works best for you: as a reflection for a Zoom carol service, as the jumping-off point for a dramatic sketch, to send to friends and family, or to use in your own advent devotions

LICC Christmas Poster (PDF)

Every year we put up a Christmas poster on the display board outside our door, just off Oxford Street. Although there won’t be so many busy Christmas shoppers passing by in 2020, this year’s poster still reminds us of God’s humble, beautiful incarnation as a little baby – and the hope that incarnation brought.

Here it is in A1, in case you’d like to put it up too.

LICC Christmas Cards

Looking for a card your congregation can send to each other – or to loved ones, to share the good news of the season? Then look no further! An annual LICC tradition, our Christmas cards point to a biblical, gospel message and feature a poem by Mark Greene.

This year the card declares ‘God with us’, shows little baby feet, and wishes the blessing of the Lord’s closeness this Christmas, one that will be difficult for many of us.

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