With Christmas landing on a Sunday this year, some Churches may be considering whether or not to bother with a Sunday morning service. Certainly many Christians who normally attend church will be debating if they’ll take a Sunday off to celebrate Christmas at home with their families.
Let me outline three reasons why our Church will be having a service on Sunday, Dec 25th.
1. Christmas is first and foremost about Jesus.
We talk a lot about how commercial Christmas has become. We preach about spending less and worshipping more. We stress the importance of not missing the true reason for the season, which is, Jesus… right? Right?? Hmmm… I’ve noticed that when many folks talk about the true “spirit” of Christmas, they often cite values such as sharing, generosity, caring, loving, and being with family. Those things are all wonderful Christian values, but, they are not ultimately or primarily what Christmas is about – they are wonderful by-products / spin-off benefits of the celebration of Jesus’ birth. But it is the celebration of Jesus birth, the incarnation of God, that defines Christmas… not merely a warm feeling or even time shared with loved ones. Christmas is about Jesus. Worshipping Him with a community of believers on Christmas morning is an entirely appropriate response to His birth.
2. Going to Church doesn’t make Christmas less of a family day.
The main issue that people raise about having church on Christmas Day is that it will take away from precious family time. I understand the immense value of being together in the home as a family (it’s something we should prioritize all year long), but I also believe one of the most valuable things a family can do is attend Church together. Yes, it means some extra work to get everyone rounded up and out the door, but, if this Sunday wasn’t Christmas, you’d be doing it anyway.
3. Some members of the Church will otherwise be alone on Christmas morning.
While we usually assume that Christmas morning is a great time for everyone to be with their family, many people, especially the elderly, will not have families to celebrate with on December 25th. To deprive these individuals of their Sunday worship service because of those who want to be with their families is not only unfair, it’s insensitive. Those who don’t have families will especially appreciate their Church families on Christmas morning as they celebrate and worship their Savior together.
You can see, there are good reasons to hold a Sunday service on Christmas morning, and good reasons to attend one. Do I expect everyone in my Church to show up on Christmas? No. And neither would I want people to come only because they feel obligated. It is a matter that each family should discuss and decide on their own.
Our Church, however, will most certainly provide the opportunity for people to come and worship Christ on the one day a year that has His name in its title. It’s His birthday and we will be throwing Him a party. By the way, you’re invited.
– Michael Fredericks