I have recently observed the chatter of church goers online criticizing churches who are not meeting Sunday morning Dec 25 at their usual time because it’s Christmas. To which some proudly boast “We have church every Sunday and especially on Jesus’s birthday!” or “We won’t compromise with the worldly traditions!” At first glance they seemed to hold the spiritual high ground. This led me to contemplate a fresh and a new the validity of the claim that a church must meet every Sunday and especially on a holiday.
First, let us ponder the Jesus’s birthday claim. “If you love Jesus, you’ll go to church on his birthday” they said. #1 Is Dec 25 his real birthday? #2 Are we instructed to keep his birthday? #3 If so, why don’t we go to church every year on Dec 25 instead of just the years that the 25th falls on Sunday? #4 Why doesn’t the Bible give us his exact birth date if it’s so important? #5 When did the celebration of Christmas even start?
Secondly, let’s ponder the Lord’s day. #1 Have you ever missed a Sunday for anything other than illness? Maybe for vacations, traveling to visit family, work, or other responsibilities? #2 Does our church only hold one service a week? #3 Do you attend every single service of every week? #4 Is it mandatory that the assembly have to meet on Sunday? #5 Is there ever a legitimate reason to miss a Lord’s day service other than illness?
Paul actually answers this dilemma in Rom 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” I’m not going to engage the online Scribes over this issue. He is already “fully persuaded in his own mind.” But before you take up criticizing our church calendar, ponder those two paragraphs of questions above and think of what you will doing Christmas morning. I’ll venture to say that you’ll spend it with your close family and that you’ll have Jesus’s birth in mind as you go thru the festivities. Therefore I don’t see the harm of a healthy church spending Christmas morning with their families this year or in 2022, 2033, 2039, 2044 and 2050. If you still “esteemeth one day above another:” we’ll meet at 5:00 pm Christmas Eve.