As the COVID-19 cases surge due to the downgrading of management of the epidemic, most churches in China conducted online Christmas worship services, while some celebrated in advance in person.
Scheduled to be held face-to-face with appointments, two Christmas Christian rallies with the theme of “Hope” took place virtually in Chongyi Church, Hangzhou, Zhejiang on December 18 and December 24
The evangelistic meetings opened with hymns, followed by testimonies, sermons, callings, and praise. On December 18, Rev. Mingliang delivered a sermon titled "Eternal Hope" based on Isaiah 7:14, calling on seekers to welcome Jesus who is their living hope.
In the sermon on December 24, the pastor shared sincere seeking, inner restlessness, and sincere worship with the story of the Eastern Magi. Four different attitudes towards the birth of Jesus were specifically mentioned.
In the live stream worship in Hangzhou Sicheng Church on Christmas Eve, Rev. Zhan Jingbo stated that the three offices of Jesus as the anointed one were a prophet, a priest, and a king, citing Luke 4:18-19.
Suzhou Shishan Church in Jiangsu urgently changed music and worship services on Christmas Eve and Christmas to online ones, attended by more than 3,800 people. The pastoral staff synthesized the pre-recorded audio and video clips into a complete and coherent video for playback, reported Suzhou CC&TSPM.
Guangzhou Dongshan Church in Guangdong also held an online Christmas Eve worship service with the theme, "For us, a baby is born".
Rev. Huang Tianhua was invited to share a sermon titled "The Gift of Love", saying "Christmas Eve is to celebrate the birth of a baby 2,000 years ago, who is God's gift of love to each of us."
Guangzhou Fangcun Church held an online live broadcast of Christmas Little Theater named “City and Island” on the evening of December 25th. Two Christmas Sunday services with the themes, "Emmanuel" and "A Christmas Carol" were held respectively in the morning and afternoon.
In the first one of three online Christmas services in Zion Church in Guangzhou, Rev. Yang Yongchun preached a sermon with the title “Hope”, citing John 1:4-5. He said that Christmas was not only a time for gift-giving and celebrating, and more importantly, people should understand that "there is hope in Jesus Christ".
The Church of Heavenly Peace in Fuzhou, Fujian, hosted a Christmas Eve candlelight worship service. With the choir singing, Senior Pastor Chen Anti lit five candles under the cross in the church, delivering a sermon titled "Light of Salvation". In the end, the candlelight was scattered from the five candles on the altar to the congregation one by one, indicating that Jesus is the true light that enlightens each person. The light of salvation and the light of the world was spread to believers, and then to more people around them.
The next day, a Christmas Sunday service and online music worship were hosted in Xiaoling Church, Fuzhou, with Pastor Chen giving a sermon with the title "Emmanuel – God’s Salvation Has Come". He urged Christians to remember that the Son of God was born for them no matter where they were.
In its WeChat group, Changtu County Church in Tieling City, Liaoning Province, displayed the 2022 Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations, including praises inside the church and programs performed in rural courtyards, such as a program played in an allegro tempo and yangge, a Chinese folk dance. It also forwarded other churches' celebration activities.
Beihai Church in Guangxi conducted four services each Sunday this month and Fangcun Church in Guangdong held a Christmas party on December 18. Two churches in Liaoning and Shenzhen also celebrated Christmas on the Sunday before Christmas.
- Translated by Abigail Wu