Worship Materials: Christmastime/Christmas Day

Theme: The Everywhere God


If we allowed ourselves to meet God everywhere, each day would become a Christmas.

Christmas is not so much a season of the year as a season of the human heart.

Christmas is the festival of the inner child ‑ the celebration of vulnerability and peace, of play and delight, of laughter and tears and of that wonder without which we are alienated from the mystery at the heart of life.

To reverence the child in each human heart is to reverence the Christ everywhere.

There is no temple on earth more expansive than the manger in the human heart.

Christmas is the feast of the child, a celebration of the child in the manger  and the child in each of us.

Deeper than the incarnation lies the purple incandescence of the mystery.

Like the wise men of the Christmas story, if we search for the child we will find ‘that of God’.

Both the image and the myth are looking glasses through which we may pass to encounter the mystery.

Christmas reminds us that the inner meaning of what can be seen is as great a mystery as that which cannot be seen.

Our idealizing of childhood may say more about our inability to live as fully functional adults than about the realities of our own childhood.

The Word made flesh is a mystery within culture and yet beyond all cultures.

Christmas comes whenever adults nurture the wonder, love and imagination of their inner child.

Until we can cuddle our own wounded inner child we will not know wholeness

The incarnation is not an invasion by God into a world without divinity but an affirmation of the presence of divinity in all flesh. It is the ultimate denial of the dualistic belief that flesh is unholy and spirit holy. Flesh and spirit are but two manifestations of the one holistic life-force.

Christmas is more than a special day in the year, it is a special way of looking at life- a way that finds the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary.

To see life from the perspective of Christmas is to see life through the eyes of the child.



O Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate today, may the poverty of the shepherds, the humility of the wise men and the prophetic passion of Mary enable us to discern divinity in all whom the world seeks to dis-empower.

O God, whom we see as the Christ in the stall, help us to create a manger for our Inner Child, that through our nurturing we may break the cycle of violence and replace it with a holy circle of your enfolding love.



Let’s live nativity. (BL)

Celebrate at Christmas time. (BL)

If cobwebs fill the corners. (BL)

Tiptoe softly, gently. (BL)

O Child within the Christmas scene. (BL)

God is present in each baby. (BL)

My spirit shall rejoice in God. (BL)

When the child is at the center. (BL)

Who is this Herod in my heart. (BL)


Within the eyes of every child.


Within the manger of our mind.


Christmas is a mother.


You do not need to come, O God.


Each Christmastide.



Carol my heart, carol myself. (STS1)

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time. (STS1)

In mothers pain. (STS2)

Come join with me. (STS2)

Christmas in the Summer. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred, Vol 1 2011, Vol 2 2014, World Library Publications



Let’s live nativity. (SYSJ)

Christmas is a time for children. (SYSJ)



May the God of the child delight our adult, may the God of the poor confront our wealth, may the God of the weak mellow our strength; and the blessing of God in human flesh be perceived in us and in all people, now and forever.

May the imagination of the shepherds, the persistence of the wise men, the transforming acceptance of Joseph, the compassion of Mary for her child and for all the oppressed, be in our minds and actions today and always.

May this Christmas be for each of us a time of moving beyond reason to wonder, beyond grasping to letting go, and beyond competition to cooperation, in the power of the Babe of Bethlehem.






We meet the child in

The mind that travels beyond the known (the Wise Men).

People who do not take themselves too seriously (Kings leaving privilege to search for child).

The spirit that waits and listens (shepherds marrying work and mystery).

The heart that is inclusive (unlike that of the inn keeper).

The person who is prepared to see beyond the limits of traditional morality (Joseph resisting the temptation to put Mary away privately when he found that she was pregnant and he was not the father).

People who don’t let others dehumanize them (Mary forced by bureaucracy to embark on a highly unsuitable journey while she was pregnant, rejected by the inn keeper, yet who retained the ability to sing her analytical song of celebration—the Magnificat).



We become aware of God in our dreaming of liberation. God’s dream is justice, peace and the inter-woveness of creation. Not simply a dream for the future but how things are at their deepest level.  (Luke 21/25-36)

We become aware of God in our planning for liberation.

identifying the injustice and oppression (Luke 3:1-6) human beings have created in society and in the rest of nature

discerning the causes

determining appropriate courses of action, listening to, learning from and sharing with the oppressed.

We become aware of God in our attitudes which create the conditions for liberation or oppression (Luke 3:7-8)

struggling to avoid the need to be aware

accepting the possibility

changing our attitudes and life-styles

We become aware of God when our song is the song of liberation, the song of the oppressed, the song of the earth, the song of Mary and Jesus, the song of all who walk the Way.  (Luke 1:39-55)

God is with us. As Meister Eckhart the famous medieval Christian mystic said ‘God is always at home, it is we who have gone out for a walk’.




The image of people being children of God is a helpful one if it is taken to  indicate that there is something of God in each of us. However it is unhelpful if it is used to legitimatize and encourage people into an infantile dependency relationship with a paternalistic otherworldly super power. What we all need is to be empowered as co-workers with the Artist, Sage and Prophet who is in all and through all.



Let me be surrounded by the children,

let my spirit play,

let my spirit sing,

let my spirit dance.

Let me dream of a world where all are one,

for the child within me is the spark of the divine,

the spark of the universe.



The incarnation was not an invasion by God into a world in which divinity was absent but an affirmation that God is present in all the matter and energy, flesh and blood of this Cosmos. It is the ultimate denial of that dualism that asserts that flesh is unholy and spirit is holy, that up is good and down is bad and that there are two worlds the physical and the metaphysical. In contrast the Incarnation affirms that everything is sacred and while many things can be misused and abused by human beings their intrinsic sacredness cannot be destroyed.



Does the power of the Christmas story depend on its historical accuracy or on what it evokes in our hearts today? Is it a life changing myth or has it degenerated into a piece of commercialized sentimentality?

Could we enrich our Christmas meal by the lighting of candles to remember our loved ones who have died and also by providing opportunities for sharing our own stories?

Can reflection on the powerlessness of the Christ Child help us to see the presence of God in the plight of all refugees and in all those who seek to aid them?


Also see “An Inclusive Christmas Celebration” another section of “Festive Worship” on this website.

Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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