Christmas on Sunday? How Inconvenient!

I’ve been reading in the news lately of several churches who are deciding to cancel their Bible classes and worship services on Christmas Day because it falls on Sunday.  Several rather influential churches have announced that they are closing their doors on Christmas day, which of course, falls on Sunday this year.  Apart from the obvious inconsistency in this practice and their oft repeated statement, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” there is another factor I would like for you to consider.

According to these churches, the reason for closing their doors on Christmas is because they value families, and want families to be able to spend time together. Having to schedule opening presents, a meal with all the trimmings, and all that goes along with Christmas, around Bible study and worship service is considered too inconvenient, so those who have preached we need to put “Christ back into Christmas,” will be locking the doors to their houses of worship, keeping those who have accepted their message locked outside in the cold.

But now consider. Where will this end? How long will it take for someone to see the logical end of such a position, and call for its implementation less sporadically. Imagine this Spring the following AP News Headline…Churches Cancel Worship Services Since Easter Falls On Sunday. “In order to promote family time, churches across America will be closing their doors on Easter Sunday so that families won’t be inconvenienced with having to schedule their Easter egg hunts and Easter egg paintings around Bible study and worship…”

Who are we fooling? This isn’t about valuing family. It’s about individualism. It’s about consumerism. It’s about having what we want, when we want it, the way we want it. And apparently, even God can’t be allowed to get in the way.

Friends, while I value my family and respect others who value theirs, I am reminded that family should not be elevated above my relationship to the Lord. It was Jesus who said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).

Are these churches really prepared to stand by their logic which elevates family over the Lord when special occasions fall on Sunday? If so, I wonder what will occur on Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day Weekend, 4th of July, President’s Day, Groundhog Day, etc… I guess time will tell.

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Comments 15

  • Thankful to be in a congregation where the though never crossed anyone’s mind to cancel services on Christmas.

  • Excellent article. It is really no surprise. What can you expect from churches that are man-made anyway.

    But I can’t think of a better way to show how much I love my family than to bring them to worship and Bible study.

  • Steve,

    You might be interested in this article I recently wrote about our Elders decision to remain faithful to worship this Christmas day.

    http://joepalmer.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/happy-holy-day/

  • Thanks for the post, Steve.
    Unfortunately, some of the Lord’s people made the same choice in a certain congregation the last time “Christmas” fell on the Lord’s Day (2005). The congregation’s elders decided to postpone the worship until 2:00 in the afternoon so the kids could have the morning time, etc. How sad when we are led by shepherds of the Lord’s flock to put the Lord “on hold” over family! Haven’t we preached in the past that the Lord comes before family? Didn’t Jesus teach that, as Steve already stated? (Matt. 10:34-38; 12:46-50) My wife read this post earlier today and said, “What better way to spend time with family than in worship to God?” And I will add, “What better way to teach children about spiritual priorities?”
    Roger Leonard
    evangelist
    Adel Church of Christ
    Adel, GA

  • The best article I have read in a long long time. In the first place where in the Bible does it tell us to celebate His birth anyways, I am glad he was born but I am not sitting a special day aside to celebrate. On the notes about having :”Santa” time is another thing that rubs me wrong, we tell our children about Santa, The Easter Bunny, the Lord etd but they cannot see Santa, he doesn’t exsit, they cannot see the Easter Bunny, he doesn’t exsit, they cannot see the Lord……………….. How can our children believe us? I would like someone to give me a good answer on that one.

    Just a concerned mother/grandmother

  • christmas is man made doctrine, that is why those men also can order for the close of a worship hall on sunday. Christians celebrate christ daily.

  • I find this preoccupation with where we worship to be interesting. Church is not a location, it is a group of people. Everywhere in the Bible God places more value over relationships than on ritual. The question has to be asked, why do we meet? What is the purpose for our gathering? Does God require that we meet in the buildings we have constructed (he never commanded us to build assembly halls by the way, we decided it was convenient and the Catholics had established that practice so we adopted it.) Is the “time of worship” outlined somewhere in scripture? “Thou Shall Meet at 9 AM for Bible Class 10 AM for Worship” what about the churches that meet at 10 for class and 11 for worship… what about the groups that don’t meet on Sunday Night at ALL!!! is that a condemn-able offence? Did you know Some groups meet on Thursday night instead of Wednesday? Are they wrong?

    When we as a people realize that God is happier that his people meet, “house to house, sharing a common meal,” than sitting in structures we have made for our comfort and convenience, then maybe the Church will be stronger.

    I find it truly humorous that there is a proliferation of articles about silly things like this when there are serious issues that the body of Christ needs to be addressing… As you drive back and forth look at the properties owned by “churches” do some mental calculations about the value of those properties. Now realize that there are people hurting, cold, hungry, in genuine need that also pass all that “God Owned” property everyday, What do they think of God’s wealth?

    Please stop writing and supporting silly articles like this. This isn’t what Christ or his followers are all about. There is more important work to be done than worrying about whether or not a building is open or closed on a certain day.

  • Hello there friend,
    Thanks for taking the time to share your comments, but from what I can tell, you have been fighting against the wind; arguing against things that that I didn’t affirm; and arguing for things I don’t deny.

    For instance you said…
    The church is not a location, it is a group of people. I agree.
    Does God require we construct buildings? No, nor did I affirm that is the way we must meet.
    Is there a time of worship outlined in Scripture? No, nor did I affirm that there was.
    What about groups that don’t meet on Sunday pm? That’s a local eldership’s decision. No one condemned that.
    What about groups that meet on Thursday rather than Wednesday? That’s a local eldership’s decision. No one condemned that either.

    You’re flailing at the wind with these comments.

    Now to address a few substantive points that you made.
    You said…
    “God places more value over relationships than on ritual.” – My response to that is that God places importance on both relationship and ritual. There are a number of Scriptural references that demonstrate divinely appointed rituals had to be observed properly. Both are essential, and neither can be ignored.

    You affirmed…
    God is happier when people meet “house to house” than when they are sitting in church buildings. – My reply – Really? Could you provide a Scripture that reveals his attitude on this subject?

    You also condemned God’s people for the money that has been spent in “church property” in light of people who are hurting, cold, and hungry. – My reply – Jesus said we will always have the poor with us. There will never be a time when there aren’t people to help. So we must be good stewards. Those who have wasted money will give account for their stewardship. However, the existence of the poor and needy is not an argument against owning a church building, having a second car, having a saving account, or an extra $10.00 in my wallet.

    Finally, you asked me to stop writing such silly articles when there is more important work to be done. Two comments – 1) You say it’s a silly article, but in your first sentence you said you find it to be interesting. 2) I never claimed that this was the most important topic about which one could write. But by your condemnation of this article on the basis of there’s more important things to write about, are you then condemning all writing that falls short of those “more important” matters?

    I hope you’ll reconsider your comments. I don’t think they touched on the real issue.

  • Great article, truthful and helpful, but would not say “silly”. The statement above asking you to stop writing the truth..that was a silly comment. Some people just don’t want the truth because it requires work. Anyone can write a response with no Biblical references. Meeting times are established by the Elders, who have the God given authority. The apostles met on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s supper. That is Sunday. No, the Bible does not say “meet at 7 on Wednesday nights”, but it does say that Elders have authority to shepherd the flock, and that we are not to forsake the assembly. If everyone would just do what the Bible says and not add or take away from, this world would be in a better place. Christmas is fine to celebrate, but as a social man made enjoyed holiday, not in place of Sunday morning worship. We are commanded to remember Jesus’ sacrifice by remembering his death, not reserve one day a year to celebrate his birth. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • You send excelent message to them bro.Jack. As per Apostle Paul, They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. They love christmas and they have not reject it but they reject Christ and His doctrine. What can we do, we simply pray for them for knowing the knowledge of Word of God.

  • Bro.Jack, you send excellent message to them. They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge as Paul said. They love Christ but not the commandments of Christ. The words that Jesus said in John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” is to be changed their mind.

  • Church worship service is closed on sunday because of christmas celebration is not at all good as per the Word of God. We give high importance for Lord and His commandments and the rest. Jesus said in John 14:21, ” He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” So my friends You are not like the people who love Christ but not His commandments.

  • I thought this was a GREAT article. You put into words what I was thinking and feeling SO well. It’s NOT about us. It’s about HIM. Thank you. I look forward to being with my church family on such a wonderful day!

  • Steve,
    Many of us share your convictions, and are blessed to be associated with brothers & sisters who do, too. However, many have bought into pragmatism and decided to go with whatever works best for them while keeping the majority “happy, at least ‘for a season'(?)” !!! There were several congregations that cancelled Sun. p.m. services on Christmas, some left a.m. worship in usual place and moved their Bible study afterwards, while others opted only for morning worship. Sad to say, much of this happens weekly by the choice of individuals, but it becomes a travesty when it is by the decision of the shepherds leading souls away from the Lord. Service times at some sister congregations were good matches for several denominational groups in town this year, even more so than ever.

    Please keep up the good work, including your writing. It is an encouragement to many of us!!! Thank you.

  • Steve,
    Many of us share your convictions, and are blessed to be associated with brothers & sisters who do, too. However, many have bought into pragmatism and decided to go with whatever works best for them while keeping the majority “happy, at least ‘for a season'(?)” !!! Several congregations cancelled Sun. p.m. services on Christmas, some left a.m. worship in usual place and moved their Bible study afterwards, while others opted only for morning worship. Sad to say, much of this happens weekly by the choice of individuals, but it becomes a travesty when it is by the decision of the shepherds leading souls away from the Lord. Service times at some sister congregations were good matches for several denominational groups in town this year, even more so than ever.

    Please keep up the good work, including your writing. It is an encouragement to many of us!!! Thank you.

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