This is year is kind of an unusual one. For the first time since 2005, Christmas falls on a Sunday. This makes for a pretty interesting December 25th for us Ministers and other church go-ers… To have a Christmas day service or not? THIS POST by Jon Acuff made me think about this question again, and it made me want to post my own thoughts about it.
Although our last Sunday Christmas day was only a few years back, I honestly don’t remember what our family did that day. I had just completed my semester of college, and I do remember that I got pretty sick over the break, so the 2005 holiday is pretty much a blur to me. Also, it was the first Christmas that my brother and sister didn’t spend the majority of Christmas break at home. That shook things up around the house a bit. And to top it off, it was the first of several years that my dad spent Christmas away from home on medical mission trip. All this to say that it already wasn’t a typical Christmas at the Elizondo’s that year.
The only previous Sunday Christmas day previous to that (that I was old enough to remember) was in 1994. I remember being bummed out that we had to get all dressed up and leave home for church when I wanted to stay at home and play with my new toys. Granted, as a 7 year old, their really isn’t much else on the mind other than to play with your toys.
This year, I have been struggling with the fact that Christmas lands on a Sunday meaning that Staci and I will be at our church’s 10am service rather than staying in enjoying the warmth and comfort of home. That is, I struggled with this thought until this past Sunday. During our church service, our senior pastor gave a pretty compelling message why it should be a no-brainer to have and attend church this Christmas day.
He pointed out how ironic it is that Christians are usually pretty good about getting upset that Christmas, the day we celebrate our Savior’s birth, is so horribly commercialized. We fume about how the mainstream media is pushing the phrase “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” We demand that Culture not take the “Christ” out of Christmas! Yet… we look at our calendars dreading the year that Christmas fall on Sunday. Why? Because it’s too inconvenient to go to our place of worship to celebrate Christ’s birth? Because we’d rather stay in and play with all the new gifts and toys we got for Christmas?
I don’t post this to sound preachy. I only post it because I was so convicted as the words came out of my pastor’s mouth.
Hopefully I can make Christmas more about this…
And less about this…
Presents, family, friends, memories… They’re all great! And they are great by-products to the season. But hopefully we can still put Christ at the front –above all else– this Christmas.
That’s my prayer for me this year.