Some good articles have been written both in support and in defiance of churches holding "church" on Christmas day, which happens to be on a Sunday this year. I am a little slow on the uptake, I suppose. I didn't realize we had an option. We are Christians. Our whole message centers around the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We get two days a year to really bring home that message: Christmas and Easter. And every Sunday, we worship our God. When Christmas and Sunday fall on the same day, why would we be less likely to show up?
We're not a mega-church. I'm not a mega-preacher. I'm confident that those who are choosing to stay home on Christmas day have much better reasons than I do for going to church. Be that as it may, I'll be in church on Christmas morning and here's why:
1. My neighbors just might be watching. Some of them are not believers. It might matter to them that we live this faith even when it is not the most convenient thing to do. Maybe not, but I'm not willing to take that chance.
2. I can't imagine practicing Muslims staying home on their high holy days. If I were a Muslim, I'd be scratching my head to see a "closed" sign on a church on Christmas day. I will go to church because I don't want to be found less faithful than my Muslim friends.
3. To stay home would be to send a terrible message to Jesus, who has asked me in a hundred different ways in the Old and New Testaments to give my Sabbath to him. I'm not sure he would accept the "But its Christmas, Jesus!" excuse.
4. I would rather be shot than send the statement that WalMart is more right than my church when it comes to what's important about Christmas. Where I am physically on Sunday will say something to the people around me. I don't want them to hear that Jesus matters, but not more than the gifts we bought or the "family feeling" of Christmas morning.
5. I love my family a lot, but they didn't rise from the dead for me. On Christmas morning, I'll be sitting in the house of the One who loved me so much that He gave His only Son. And I will preach the good news about the Messiah as if it is the most important present any of us will ever receive.
Maybe these aren't the most compelling reasons for being in church on Christmas Sunday. They may not even be good reasons. But they are my reasons. I will be there on Christmas Sunday, worshiping and adoring Jesus, the Christ. I hope you'll be there, too. Then there will be at least two of us, and Jesus says where two or three are gathered ...
O come, let us adore Him!