You might wonder what in the world I might possibly have in mind. Another guilt trip perhaps? Or perhaps another attack on our culture and its rampant commercialism? But, as a matter of fact, I have none of these things in mind. So, relax! And enjoy this article.
The question of when our Lord Jesus was born is both an open question and an irrelevant one. For those of us who have only heard the argument that Christmas has its roots in Roman pagan celebrations related to the winter solstice, I think we have been misled. Christmas, as you know is celebrated on the 25th, not the 21st. Furthermore, there is at least one tradition that I am aware of in which it was argued that the 25th is actually the date of Christ’s birth. But as I have said, this really is irrelevant. Indeed, it is even irrelevant that the early church did not practice Christmas, that the practice was established later. What is extremely relevant is that Christians have universally set aside either the 25th of December or the 6th of January as the celebration of Christ’s birth. So, let’s celebrate!
All this to say, I know that in a most inconvenient way, Christmas day falls on a Sunday this year! And I do know that your spiritual life won’t collapse if you don’t go to church. Indeed I am also aware that you have family traditions on the 25th and that many wives already feel the pressure of extra preparations on that day, and might feel like collapsing.
But to quote from Pastor Kevin DeYoung, “It’s Christmas, for crying out loud!” And might I add another thought to that one. “It’s also the Lord’s Day, for crying out loud!” And given those two factors, don’t you just want to worship, and pray, and hear the word of God and celebrate? After all, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us! The long awaited Messiah has been born to us! God has demonstrated that He keeps all His promises! God so loved the world that He gave us His Son!
To that, I add several more thoughts. In a recent survey done in the United States, 89% of Christian churches have a service on Christmas day this year. I don’t know what the number is in Canada. But if your church decides to close down this Christmas day, don’t complain; find one that’s open. Another thought: the non-Christian world around us seems to understand this, and some might even join us on this day. And if you go to church on Christmas day, I promise you that you won’t be the only one there. Furthermore, there is still a large part of your day left for family, so you really haven’t given up a lot.
Might I also just help clear up one more important matter? For those of you who are overly sensitive and think that your pastor should also have Christmas off, let me suggest a thought. When your pastor signed on to being a pastor, I’ll bet he might have understood that he would never get Sunday’s off, nor would he get Christmas and Easter off. It just goes with the package!
So, having said all of that, let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas day! Let’s raise our voices in song, let’s bend our knees, let’s sit under the word and let’s hug a fellow worshipper and proclaim loudly and joyously, “Merry Christmas!”