Christmas Day 2020

We have begun worshipping again as a gathered community, but we know for some people, it is not possible yet to join us for face-to-worship. Below you will find an audio recording for worship at home that includes a full worship service that you are invited to participate in – with prayer, the bible readings, discussion and wondering questions for Christmas Day 2020. You can listen to this with others or on your own. You may like to light a candle as you begin and have paper and pen nearby to make your own notes or art responses during this worship service.

If you would like to connect with the Richmond Uniting Church community in other ways as well as in audio worship, for example for Midday Prayers or Zoom ‘morning teas’, or a theology group discussion please email

You are not failing at Christmas if you don’t feel the joy

This Christmas Day Rev Dr Sally Douglas invites us beyond the ‘santafication’ of Christmas (in which God and Santa get confused) and beyond the assumption that we should be having an ‘awesome’ time because it is Christmas Day. Instead, drawing from the ancient hymn found in John 1.1-14 we discover that the proclamation of Christmas is that vulnerable God chooses to pitch tent with us in the middle of the darkness.

Listen to this week’s service using the embedded player below. You can also copy this link into your podcast player of choice if you would like to receive updates as they are released:

Music Suggestions for Worship:

O Come all ye faithful possibly written by John Francis Wade
(TiS 304) This version by the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir:


This reggae version of O come all ye faithful by Christafari:

Hark the herald angels sing by Charles Wesley
(TiS 303) this version by Phil Whickham:

Wondering Questions

  • When you hear the word ‘God’ what images come to mind? Is your image of God ‘Santa damaged’? Or is your image of God shaped by who and how Jesus is in the Gospels?
  • Were you taught to believe the lie that if you are a good person – good things will happen to you? This ‘santafication’ of God does not fit with reality. Nor does this view fit with Jesus – the God One – who is good and who suffers terribly. Can you imagine leaning into the Christian hope that even in the greatest suffering Jesus, the light of the world, is with us?
  • John’s Gospel proclaims that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1.5). How might you lean into Jesus’ illuminating presence when you travel through dark valleys?