At this point, you’ve probably noticed that Christmas falls on a Sunday. Several months ago, as we were looking ahead at the calendar, we noticed this and decided (fairly quickly) to have a service on that morning. As the day approaches, you may have concerns. What does that mean for the traditions I have with my family on Christmas morning? Will there even be enough people present to have a service? Even if I come, I don’t think I’d be able to focus—it’s Christmas after all! Maybe you’ve already made up your mind that you’re not coming to church on Christmas.
We wanted to take a few minutes and explain why we decided to have a church service on Christmas morning.
1. It’s Christmas
This is the one day out of the year that we have set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ. And we’re not just celebrating a nice story about shepherds and a baby. We’re celebrating the fact that God became flesh so that he could save us from our sins. It’s the foundation for our faith. It’s the reason we even come to church the other 51 weeks out of the year. With maybe the exception of Easter, there isn’t a more fitting and appropriate day to gather as God’s people in his house to worship him.
2. It’s Sunday
For Christians, Sunday is a day that should be prioritized above every other day, regardless of what holiday it might fall on. It is the day when the body of Christ gathers together and worships. At CHBC, we see every other ministry we offer as supplemental to what happens on Sunday morning. So while we may cancel Connection Point or Sermon Discussion or Men’s Breakfast or any other ministry when conflicts arise, we don’t think it makes sense to cancel our Sunday service. (Occasionally, the weather is such that we feel we woud be endangering the congregation if we had church. However, this is a different situation altogether, and assuming we won’t have a blizzard on Christmas day, it doesn’t apply here.)
This is also one of the main reasons that the Christmas Eve service on Saturday cannot replace our service on Sunday morning.
3. It’s Church
We’re talking about the Body of Christ and its corporate gathering. This is one of the most dominant themes in the New Testament. Hebrews explains that we shouldn’t be “neglecting to meet together” (Heb 10:25). Timothy is commanded to devote himself to the “public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” (1 Tim 4:13). Paul tells his audience in Ephesians that they should be worshiping together with “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” (Eph 5:19). The church is to gather and worship together. And not as an option – as a priority. Kevin DeYoung expressed it perfectly when he said, “I want my family to know that we rearrange our schedule for corporate worship; we don’t expect corporate worship to be rearranged for us.”
4. It’s Not About Us
Despite what we might all tend to think after receiving generous gifts from others, Christmas is not about us. It never was. So our approach to this day should be with an outward focus. Yes, remember the birth of Christ, but also remember other people. Not everyone has family in town. Not everyone has a slough of traditions to look forward to on Christmas morning. Not everyone is looking forward to being at home on Christmas day. As the family of God gathers on Christmas morning at CHBC, we have an opportunity to open our hearts to others and wish a “Merry Christmas” to people who otherwise may not have heard that.
We hope you’ll make the Sunday morning service a priority for your family on Christmas day. Whether you’re here in town or traveling, find a local church and worship with them—celebrate the birth of our Savior.