COG 89: Worshipping God in January
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Welcome to the show!
I know this discussion is posting right before Christmas, and you may very likely have no interest in discussing January and the New Year until December is over . . . but I’m going to encourage you not to wait that long.
The biggest holiday celebration in January is actually the celebration of Christmas, so it has everything to do with the holiday to which you’ve been looking forward all December.
But before we jump into all of that, I want to let you know that one of the best Christmas presents you can give to The Celebration of God is a 5-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Facebook, or wherever you can leave a review.
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Another great Christmas gift idea is money. I mean, who doesn’t like getting money for Christmas. I know that some people think that money is impersonal and stuff, but — honestly — The Celebration of God just doesn’t need any more socks, sweaters, or ties. That’s just how it is.
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And, lastly, don’t forget that we have free transcripts and holiday resources available for you at CelebrationOfGod.com. And all the necessary links will be in the description of today’s episode.
Now, why is it important for you to start thinking about your January worship of God in December?
If you have been with us since the beginning, or you checked out our Christmas resources at CelebrationOfGod.com, then you know all about the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Now, I’m not going to take the time right now to explain what they are, because we have other episodes about that, and I’ll link those resources in the description.
But I do want to talk about how the Twelve Days of Christmas really impact the month of January, and then I want to talk about other ways we can celebrate God in January after the holidays are over.
1. Let’s talk about Christmas.
As you should already know, the first day of Christmas begins on December the 25th. In fact — if you want to be technical — it begins on the evening of the 25th.
That means that during the day on January 1st, you’re only in the seventh day of Christmas, and when the evening starts, you’re only in the eighth day of Christmas.
There are still four more days of Christmas left!
I would say that Christmas is the second best Christian holiday. The top two are — in order of when they’re celebrated — Christmas and Easter.
Christmas is awesome in that it inaugurates the beginning of God’s redemptive work on earth, but Easter encompasses the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ without which we wouldn’t have anything to celebrate.
Christmas is the beginning, Easter is the middle, and the Consummation is the future end of God’s redemption of man.
So, Christmas is really important, and I — as well as millions of historical saints — believe that it deserves more than one day of celebration.
That’s why — traditionally — believers have observed Christmas on twelve full days.
So, the twelfth day of Christmas happens on January 6th, that means that almost the first full week of January is a continuation of the Christmas focus.
That’s the first important reason to start thinking about worshipping God in January right now.
The other is New Year’s Eve.
So . . .
2. Let’s talk about New Years.
If you live in a country that celebrates the New Year on January 1st, then you probably want to make sure you’re ready for it.
We don’t want to be caught off guard because — like I mentioned last time — it’s too easy for our conscious brains to turn off and slip into mere amusement. That always results in us worshipping the flesh instead of the Lord.
So, it’s wise to keep our intentionally conscious minds engaged as we approach a holiday that would otherwise tempt us to consume the pleasures on ourselves.
Now, what about the rest of January? What happens when the holiday season is over, and we find ourselves in the middle of what is often considered a bleak month.
Well . . .
3. Let’s talk about the rest of the month.
It’s true that there aren’t any other official holidays in January. Perhaps your country has one, and I do really look forward to studying the holy days of other nations. Now, when I say that, I need to clarify. I don’t plan to give any real attention to the holidays of other religions. That’s not the point. But I am interested in how Christians in other countries worship God in special ways.
However, for today’s discussion the vast majority of us don’t have any other official holidays in January.
But, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have 25 really special days to worship God in January.
Four of those days are Sundays. Sundays should be like mini-Easters every week! I pray you’re part of a local body of believers and that you meet with them regularly in order to corporately celebrate God.
If you’re uncertain about the importance of this, I’ll invite you to listen to our Celebrate God at Church Series.
Every Sunday gives us an amazing opportunity to give God special attention and focus that should be a corporate representation of what we plan to individually do throughout the rest of the week.
That means that Monday though Friday is really important too.
Sunday is the day our pastors equip us for the work of the ministry, and God expects us to do that work of the ministry every day of the week.
Whether it’s at church on Sunday or work on Monday or Soccer practice on Tuesday or school on Wednesday or music lessons on Thursday or game night on Friday or home on Saturday, we should be involved in personal worship, evangelism, and discipleship.
God deserves the preeminence every moment of every one of those days.
That includes Saturday as well.
I look forward to a future discussion about the idea of a Day of Rest, a Sabbath. Of course, I’ll mention right now that I don’t believe a Day of Rest has to be taken on Saturday, but I do believe it has to be taken in order to give God the glory that He requires.
And though we’ll talk of it in more detail later, I want to point out that whether it’s Saturday or another day of the week, a weekly Sabbath is a great way to worship God and put Him first in your life.
That means that there are tons of amazing ways to worship God in January.
Make new friends, open your house and be hospitable, share the gospel, disciple a member of your church and be discipled by them, work for God’s honor and glory, please the Lord in your schooling, eat and drink to the glory of God, read His Word and pray every opportunity you get.
And don’t forget that in January we’re still meditating on the Grace of God and the beauties of Glorification.
Those should not be one day focuses. We want to relish and admire and adore those realities all three months of the Season of Grace . . . because God is definitely worthy of our celebration is January.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets, plan to join me on Wisdom for a live conversation in which you can participate, and join us next time as we start a very exciting study called The Discipleship Spiral.
I’ll see you then!
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The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.