Christmas on a Sunday? Ahhhh!
I have been asked what we will do about church falling on Christmas morning. Multiple times. Down through the years in fact.
I’ve heard the question all around me in person and on social media. “Should I stay in with my family or should we come to church on Christmas morning?”
First off, let’s be real for a moment. Whether you will be with a worshipping community Christmas morning or not does not dictate your Christianity. We all have the power to choose to be at home with our families or with our Christian family this December 25th. Jesus is not watching with a ledger. So let’s keep grace and love flowing freely in this dialog. Sadly I have observed the opposite and it’s embarrassing to see others divide on this issue.
Guard Against Pride
And so, for those worshipping with the community on Christmas morning… I would ask the question would you still desire to be with your church family if it didn’t fall on a Sunday? I’d hope so. Don’t exploit Christmas falling on a Sunday to puff up your spirituality. The answer to the question above is important. It is easy to look down our noses at others on this one. Don’t fall for it.
Three Things to Ponder
For those choosing to stay home this Christmas morning… please consider this:
Our entire message centers around the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We get two days a year to really bring that message home: Christmas and Easter. So when Christmas falls on a Sunday, you would think we would be more likely to show up to worship together. I could be the exception. (Don’t tell my leadership team, but I would love to have a small service each year on Christmas morning. Shhh.)
Secondly, I love my family a lot. I really do. But they didn’t rise from the dead for me. On Christmas morning we have the honor of giving our devotion and focus to the one who gave everything for us. Our family time is fantastic and beautiful. Memories are made and there is an overflow of joy. But in the end, for an hour or so, commemorating the birth of our savior together with other brothers and sisters in Christ seems to carry a bit more weight. A few thousand years of church history around the world across various traditions confirms this.
Lastly, where I will be on Sunday will say something to the people around me as well as my own family. I wouldn’t want my family to hear that our faith in Christ matters… but not more than the gifts we bought or the “family feeling” of Christmas morning.
In Essentials Unity…
So while I lay out the reasons for why I believe worshipping on Christmas morning with the church is important, whether it falls on a Sunday or not, there is grace and freedom in the body of Christ.
No shame, no judgment, no pride, and no ego. To each their own. Remember the oft-used phrase used in the body of Christ for centuries:
In the essentials; unity. In non-essentials; charity.
Happy 3rd week of Advent everyone.