This Saturday evening, we’ll have our annual Christmas Eve service at 4pm. Then at 11am on Sunday we’re planning a worshipful, family-friendly, less-than-an-hour Christmas Morning Service.
About Sunday morning, let me start by stating the obvious: I completely believe that you are free in Christ to make your own decision about how to best use this holiday Sunday. And you shouldn’t feel guilty if you make another good choice about how to spend Christmas Day.
There are very good reasons to NOT attend a worship service this Sunday. I know that many of you (including several of our elders and deacons!) have plans to be out of town all weekend, or plans to get on the road Sunday morning to visit nearby family. That’s great! Believe it or not, I’ve even encouraged a few people to “skip church” this week in favor of other plans they have. The last thing I want to do is create a weird sense of sense of duty, or guilt, or failure, or even a holier-than-thou competition about making different good choices on on Christmas Day.
But if you’re still on the fence about whether to attend on Christmas Morning (and completely for the sake of your joy, not for the sake of guilt!) I wanted to share a few great reasons why you might consider gathering to worship Christ this Sunday Morning:
Reason #1: It’s his day, isn’t it?
I think this reason is pretty self explanatory. For nearly 2,000 years, disciples of Jesus have called Sunday “the Lord’s Day.” It’s a habit of grace, a rhythm of worship, a day set apart to exalt Jesus together. This Sunday happens to be Christmas, which we remember as kind of like a celebration of his birth…so, you get the point: it’s his day, right?
Reason #2: It’s an opportunity to celebrate Christmas with loved ones.
We love being with family on Christmas Day. And if we take our theology seriously, this is only an additional reason: to gather with brothers and sisters who have been adopted into the Father’s family through faith in Christ.
Reason #3: The kids are watching.
Kids are really perceptive about what their parents treasure, right? Which doesn’t necessarily mean you should drop everything to be at church. In fact, if you come to church with only a begrudging sense of duty, they’ll probably notice that — and that’s not the message you want them to hear!
But if you want to gather with brothers and sisters in Christ to exalt Jesus together on Christmas, even if it means adjusting the schedule for breakfast and unwrapping presents, the statement of those actions may speak louder and stick longer than you realize.
Reason #4: This is why we exist!
Why do we exist as a church? To exalt Christ. Why do you exist? Gathering to exalt Christ on Christmas Day lines up really well with the purpose for which we were created.
Again, if you read these reasons and just feel guilty, then you’ve missed my aim.
And if you read this and only feel more clear that you will best exalt Christ with other plans on this holiday (even if those plans are to stay home all day to the glory of God), then great! I’ll give you a “holiday high five” for any Christ-exalting plans this Sunday.
But if you read this and feel motivated to gather with others to exalt Christ on Christmas, then hopefully we’ll see you on Sunday morning.
Whatever your plans are, brothers and sisters, “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”