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.