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BONUS BLOG: Church on Christmas or Not?

December 24, 2022

December 25 is a Sunday this year.

For many families, that raises the question of going to church or not that morning.

And for many churches, that has raised the question of opening the church, holding a Service of Divine Worship, or as we say now, “having an in-person option.”

In other words: Church on Christmas or Not? That is the question.

Spoiler Alert: a real life friend and colleague, Leroy Allison, reports that he has looked ahead on his calendar and in 2023 Easter will be on a Sunday. Uh-oh.

Since we’re all entitled to our own opinions, permit me to share mine.

But before I do that, you need to know that my view is slanted heavily in one direction because of two pastoral experiences —

Once upon a time, the lay leadership of a church I served cancelled Sunday morning worship on December 25 “because Christmas is a family time.” That church is now closed.

Once upon another time, the lay leadership of a church I served planned, announced, repeatedly publicized, and thoroughly enjoyed a Jammie Day on December 25 “because most of us are gonna be in like Christmas jammies, or sweats, or something anyway.” Christmas morning was a complete combination of all sorts of imaginable attire. That church was and is quite healthy. (And then as now, nobody cares how anybody else is dressed, be that formal, or business attire, or super casual. Again, that church was and is quite healthy.)

“So, Joe, whaddya think, Church on Christmas or Not?

To answer that, let me simply invite you, weather permitting, to join me and the Wanda (IL) United Methodist Church on Christmas Sunday Morning at 10am. (4813 Wanda Road…Roxana IL 62084-2801)

If you’d like some rationale, Aaron Sibley says it far better than I ever could —

This opportunity won’t come again for another 11 years.

That’s 2033.

One of my children will be in college, the other not far from it.

There’s no way in this world we are missing this chance to be with our church family, celebrating the Messiah.

I hope you will consider doing the same.

— And then of course, me being me, from somewhere in my head or heart comes the question of why we only talk about this when Christmas comes on a Sunday. That won’t happen again for eleven years, so are we planning to have Christmas Morning Services when December 25 falls on a Monday through a Saturday?

Hey, all I know is that I’m looking forward to Christmas Eve AND Christmas Morning Services this year with that extended family we call Church!

Meanwhile and beyond: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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