Why I Will Go To Church On Christmas

Watch for it: a plethora of opinions will be published this month both in support and in defiance of churches holding “church” on Christmas day. Because Christmas happens to be on a Sunday this year, many churches will choose not to have services that day. They will highlight the need to honor their volunteers and staff by not making them show up on this family-oriented holiday, or they may encourage their members to do something missional instead. Or they may just say unapologetically that when Christmas falls on a Sunday, church can’t happen. Its just too much.

I honor all those choices. I would even say that depending on the context, opting out is a valid choice.

I’m confident that those who choose to stay home on Christmas day have solid reasons for it. It can’t be easy to juggle traditions, church responsibilities and sheer tiredness from all that leads up to the big day. I get it.

Be that as it may, I’ll be in church on Christmas morning and while my reasons may not work for everyone, these are the reasons that work for me.

  1. 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. When Christmas and Sunday fall on the same day, I am not less likely but more likely to show up because I worship Jesus and I want to honor the day the honors him.
  2. Jesus has asked me in a hundred different ways in the Old and New Testaments to give my Sabbath to him. I actually think of it as a great gift to be able to go into the House of the Lord and worship him in a season when so much else points toward the secular. Even as a pastor, I count Sunday morning as part of my Sabbath. Yes, I “work,” but I do so willingly … enthusiastically even. I have learned to worship as I lead, so I count the worship of Christmas day as a high and holy privilege.
  3. Where I am physically on Sunday will say something to the people around me. Again, this isn’t for everyone; this is just me. But I don’t want my family to hear that Jesus matters … but not more than the gifts we bought or the “family feeling” of Christmas morning.
  4. 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.

It may well be that your family travels on Christmas day, or meets with a loved one who is not able to get out. What a blessing that you have that time to give. Don’t let my reasons get confused with your circumstances. My reasons may not even be good reasons but they are my reasons. I will be in church on Christmas Sunday, worshiping and adoring Jesus, the Christ. If your life allows, 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!

Carolyn Moore

I follow Jesus within the communities of Mosaic Church, Asbury Seminary and the Moore household.

12 thoughts on “Why I Will Go To Church On Christmas

  1. Thanks for the post. I love the way you think. I have many who have discussed with me which service they will attend: Christmas Eve or Christmas Sunday. I find that kind of odd. It seems like those who do not go very often go on Christmas Eve with family and those who church regulars want a day to themselves to have with family and friends. We changed our schedule slightly so we do not have early AM classes and one worship time at 9:45 on Christmas. There are so many great songs to sing we can hardly fit them all in so there will be a Sunday of Christmas Music. Jesus died for me and that’s reason to sing. I love seeing so many community faces on Christmas Eve and hanging out with church folk on Sunday. That’s the greatest gift of all: people giving thanks to God for the gift of His Son.

  2. First, am blessed by your content, glad to have found it and proud we are sisters in Christ! Second, if we actually did what the bible teaches, we would gather DAILY to break bread together and study God’s word. Then we would apply what we learn to our actual lives, to our thoughts and our daily activities. Shame so very few do this. Gathering with the saints should be a priority and since the New Testament clearly does away with “special days”, if Sunday is your Body gathering together day, no matter what other traditional holiday may fall on Sunday, churches should be stuffed to the rafters!! Do a regular service, do a special service, but GLORIFY GOD in all you do.
    Christmas morning, you’ll find my family in fellowship with our church family at the appointed time as is our habit on Sunday. Merry Christmas and God bless each as each determines in their own heart what is right for them and their families. THANK GOD there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus! :0)

  3. When we moved to the US, my Indian-born husband was appalled that churches didn’t have Christmas day services – on whatever day Christmas falls. We’ve been here 22 years and he still misses it. Let’s see if our church here has Christmas on Sunday…if so, we’ll be there.

  4. We will have Christmas Eve service at 9:00pm (rather than our tradition of 11:00pm), then Christmas Day we traditionally have a service at 9:45am, which we will do rather than our typical Sunday of Sunday School at 9:45 & Worship at 10:45am. So we have done some accommodating with our schedule, yet it is unthinkable for me that we wouldn’t have a worship service on Christmas Day or on Sunday. Christmas isn’t a family vacation day; it is a family Holy Day!

  5. We will be worshiping the Lord, on
    Christmas day,it will be a vary casual service some have asked if they can where pajamas,im all for it.we will not have Sunday School giving families time for their morning traditions, Our Church will also be hosting our communities Christmas Dinner following the service.I personally can’t imagine being anywhere else. We will also have two Christmas Eve services at 6 and 11pm. Have a Merry Christmas Filled Christmas.

    1. Our church is having a FAMILY worship service. We will not be holding children’s worship, nursery or Sunday school classes. This will allow for families, including the church volunteers, to enjoy a truly special family Christmas Sunday worship.

  6. Have you ever heard a Christian say, “I can’t go to church on Easter Sunday…after all I was in church on Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday, so how can I be expected to attend church on Easter Sunday?” I’ve never this argument, so why should it apply to Christmas? It seems that the reasoning used when Christmas falls on Sunday would never be applied to Easter, giving evidence that culturally, Christians are conflicted about their priorities, no matter how loudly we proclaim “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” (Sorry, I’m not as gracious as Carolyn.)

  7. Our community church is having a service on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. That day has been a day of special services for many churches of various denominations for many years.

    We will celebrate Communion.

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