If you are not on a church staff you may not know the numerous discussions that happen when every seven years Christmas morning happens to land on a Sunday morning it goes something like this…. (this is a pretend story)
Person 1 “So what are we going to do for Christmas morning services?’
Person 2 “Are we going to have Christmas morning services since we will have Christmas Eve services the night before?”
Person 1 “Of course! It is a Sunday morning we have to have services!”
Person 2 “I understand it is a Sunday morning…I just figured since we are wanting people to come out the night before for Christmas Eve services and many people will be traveling for the holidays maybe we could just cancel the Sunday morning services. Why don’t we just encourage everyone to come to the Christmas Eve services and let them have Christmas day with their families?
Person 1 “Sundays are meant to be spent with the Lord. We can’t let the materialistic, corporate world win. We have to make sure we keep Christ in Christmas and if we cancel church on a Sunday morning what is that saying?
Person 2 “I am not saying don’t have any type of services around Christmas…I am just saying we have multiple Christmas services on Christmas Eve so we are already celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Person 1 “I think we are going to just have to agree to disagree on this topic.”
Person 2 “I think that is probably a good idea.”
Person 1 quietly thinks to themselves…..they don’t really love the Lord.
Person 2 quietly thinks to themselves….wow they are a legalistic.
The funny thing and sad thing all at the same time is that this is probably not that far off from many conversations that have happened in many church meetings across our nation this holiday season. There are churches all around our nation that are having services and some are not. I think both sides have very good reasons for what they are doing.
For church on Sunday morning:
1. It is Sunday morning and this is when we typically worship the Lord together as a body of believers.
2. It is Christmas morning so this should be even more reason to gather together.
3. What if someone who does not typically attend church decides on Christmas morning to go to church only to find the doors locked?
Against church on Sunday morning:
1. We are having numerous services on Christmas Eve so we are already celebrating the birth of our savior.
2. We are asking our volunteers and staff to already be here on Christmas Eve let them have Christmas morning with their families.
3. Since most people will attend the Christmas Eve services the night before why not encourage families to take 1 hour out of their day to find a way to serve their community on Christmas day instead of attend another service?
I may be pushing myself under the bus here and opening myself for stone throwing but I would land in the camp to cancel services on Sunday morning if it lands on Christmas. I love the idea of encouraging everyone to attend the Christmas Eve services and then on Christmas morning encouraging families to take 1 hour of their day to go serve in the community and share Christ’s love. My church is having services on Christmas morning so as a staff member I will be here but if I had a choice that is what I would choose. How about you? What kind of conversations have you encountered on this topic? What is your church doing?