A few weeks ago on my blog I shared our church's weekly liturgy, and then followed up with the principles that guide us each week as we choose songs, prayers, readings, etc. Most churches, for better or worse, have already settled into their liturgy so that they work within those forms and formulas. And then Christmas rolls around and... now what? Most churches emphasize the birth of Jesus Christ during the season of Advent. Some are well organized in graphics, themes, or campaigns. Others are more casual in their approach. But for all of those who are pointing to the birth of Christ this season it is critical that we are working a theologically robust Christmas liturgy.
Of course the incarnation is the theological emphasis, but while many push the doctrine it's easy to miss the forrest for the trees. I'd like to offer four principles that will help to guide and guard our Christmas worship gatherings while allowing for our differences in lesser matters.
As we focus on the incarnation it is critical that we emphasize:
Christ's humanity without sentimentality.
Christ's deity without glamour.
Christ's presence without ambiguity.
Christ's invitation without apology.
If you want the breakdown head over to The Resurgence and check it out.