rebelling against low expectations

Should we still attend church when Christmas is on a Sunday?


J. WRITES: My family will definitely still be attending church on Christmas Day this year, but I know some won’t. Should Christians still attend church on Christmas Day? Why or why not?

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  • That is a great question. Churches here in South Africa, no matter what denomination, or religion, they always hold services on Sunday. Since my dad is the pastor, we have always attended on Christmas. I think that it is very important. We are not celebrating Christmas because we get gifts, we are celebrating Christ’s birth. And if that really is your motive for celebrating Christmas, going to church wouldn’t be question.

    • I am so sorry, I was just reading through what I just posted, and realized that I meant to say that “Churches here in South Africa, no matter what denomination, or religion, they always hold services on Christmas day, no matter what day of the week it is” hope that that will make more sense

  • Of course we should! Christmas is about praising and thanking God for his redemptive plan, specifically sending Jesus into the world. What better way then to come together as the church body and celebrate corporately? Besides, if you aren’t going to church to praise God on Christmas, what are you doing instead? Opening presents? Eating food? Our natural tendency is to focus on ourselves, not on Christ. The church helps us to intentionally focus on Christ.

  • While it isn’t sin to miss once, I honestly think you’ll lose a lot.

    Olivia nailed it from a loving God perspective, so I’m going to take the loving others side of things.

    The church is for each other. So when you’re gone, not only do you miss the encouragement of being with them and hearing the Word, but they miss out too, simply because you aren’t there. Part of the body is missing, and they’ll feel that. So if you can, be there– for the love of God, his people, and your own spiritual growth.

  • You know, I have a idea if that happens: Organize a Christmas party in your church. Why not? it’ll help the Christmas cheer.

  • Jesus is the reason for the season, so I definitely think that people should attend church on Christmas! I understand that by doing so, many people will not have the traditional Christmas morning, that is why my family will be opening gifts a couple days earlier this year… that being said, I don’t want to judge people who have chosen to miss one Sunday; I just think that going to church is a sign of respect for our King, and going on Christmas Day is not something we can do every year (at least not at my church). That is why I am personally looking forward to celebrating the birth of my Savior with my church family this year!

  • My family will be going to church on Christmas Eve for candle light service. I am very excited because I love candle light services. My church isn’t even having a Sunday morning service. They are encouraging everyone to come on Christmas Eve and then enjoy Christmas morning with their families.

  • Yes! What better way to celebrate Jesus’ birth! Please go to church this Sunday. Your church needs you and your fellowship. There will be a much smaller crowd in the pews this Sunday, your pastor will be so encouraged when you go!

  • I don’t know. I don’t think it’s a problem to go, I don’t think it’s a problem to not go. A lot of people will be having fellowship with family and friends outside of church, and since it’s Christmas day I know a lot of people won’t go to church. Frankly I was stunned to hear our church was having service on Christmas Day and New Years Day mostly because the church staff was having to work on Christmas.

    Anyway, I don’t really have an opinion. I would just warn against being legalistic about mandatory church attendance. Sometimes people can’t make it, sometimes they choose not to… But it can accidentally become a “you didn’t go to church on Sunday(never mind that it’s Christmas) so you aren’t a good Christian” kind of thing. Not saying it will, just putting in a warning. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • What would it mean to you if your children didn’t show up to celebrate your birthday?
      I understand what you mean by fellowship with our blood families on Christmas morning. But our families should be second to Christ. We can glorify God as a body of brothers and sisters in Christ by worshiping Him corporately on Christmas day.
      It is right to not be legalistic, but I think this is one of those good-better-best decisions. Just like @Meredith Johnson wrote, God does command us to keep the sabbath Holy.

  • What better way to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the world than to meet with His people for fellowship and worship? ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t look down on those who choose not to, but to me, it’s such a small thing to give Him an hour or two on Christmas. I consider it an honor, like giving Him a special Christmas gift of my time, talent, and energy, (especially because He deserves SOOO much more than I normally give Him.) Anyway, I certainly am not judging if you don’t, but I believe there is a special blessing for those who do. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I just meant that when we honor God in specific ways, (especially when it IS something “optional” like this where there isn’t a specific verse saying “go to church on Christmas!”), that God never fails to bless us for that. At least in my experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ For example: There have been times when I have asked my parents for permission to do something or go somewhere that it would not be WRONG for me to go to or do…but I can tell that their preference would be for me not to. They have said that it’s up to me, etc. When I choose to specifically honor their wishes in those ‘gray areas’, I know that my parents are greatly blessed by it. In much the same way, I think this is the way God is with us. In my experience, He always rewards us for things like this! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s all I meant. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Honestly, I don’t think it matters. We can worship God when and wherever we are, so if you feel like you should go to Church on Christmas day, go. If not, don’t. It’s a conscience thing, like what Paul talks about in Romans 14:5-9.
    On another note, I grew up in Australia, and our church never had Christmas Eve services; they were always on Christmas Day. So it was weird to come to North America, where people don’t go to church on Christmas day. I wouldn’t even have to ask this question at my church in Australia. We’d always go to church on Christmas day, regardless of whether it was Sunday or not. ๐Ÿ™‚ Different cultures.

  • First of all, a disclaimer: I’m a pastor’s daughter which means I’m not only biased, but I don’t have much choice in the matter. It’s not something I’ve ever had to choose for myself; it’s just the way our family(and therefore, myself) do it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    That being said, I believe the Bible commends Sunday worship, for example, in the 4th commandment(“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”). And why sacrifice the Biblically instituted practice of weekly church gathering for a man-invented holiday? (Note: I have nothing against Christmas. It’s absolutely my favorite holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s just that I think church attendance should take precedence.)
    Plus, as many others have mentioned, church may be the best way to focus your thoughts on Christ’s birth. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Romans 3:27 says “Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.” I don’t think the Bible commands Sunday worship. The fourth commandment you referred to actually meant Friday night to Saturday night, not Sunday morning. The New Testament simply says to not forsake the assembling of the brethren. It did not specify a day. I absolutely believe in the church body gathering together on a weekly basis, but I don’t think God cares about the specific day. He has given us freedom from the law; what He really wants from us now is for us to believe and have faith in His word.

      • The majority of Christians worship weekly on Sundays. So for the majority of Christians, meeting on Sunday morning as usual would be in obedience to the commandment that Meredith mentioned.

  • “Church” in this sense, is a gathering of believers to worship and fellowship together. I think it’s entirely up to you whether or not you want to do this on Christmas, or any other time. It is scripturally important to gather and fellowship with other believers if at all possible. How and when you do that, isn’t really that important.

  • Yes! I Believe Christians should go to church on Christmas. If it’s open, it’s a great opportunity to share an evangelistic message to people who only go to church on Christmas week. If it’s not open, it may be benefitial to serve at a local food bank.

  • Yeah we should! I will be going to church on Christmas day, I think it’s really important to put Christ at the centre of Christmas, and one way to do that is by going to church and worshiping God and thanking him for sending Jesus into the world to save us from our sin.

  • My pastor asks our congregation to attend church on Christmas because “if you think of church as an interruption to your Christmas festivities, you might need to think about your priorities”. He says it very kindly though and tells us (our congregation has over 1000) that people can definitely come in pajamas :). We don’t have children’s church and have only one service on Christmas so that minimal workers are needed and everyone can go home to celebrate quickly afterwards.

  • Yes, why not? When Jesus said in love, ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ before he suffered that cruel cross for us. He came to this world to die for us. So let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name. Heb. 13.12-15.

  • Well yeah, I would think so because Jesus is the reason for Christmas, it is to honor him and celebrate all that God has done for us.

  • Absolutely. I mean, Jesus is the entire reason for Christmas! My church didn’t have Sunday School or evening activities last week–just the service from 10:30-12, although I had to be there early for music practice. It was pretty empty, though–a lot of people came to our Christmas Eve service and then went out of town.

  • I think that it’s a really important question because a lot of people do not attend Church when Christmas is on sunday.and that’s too bad! Because Christmas it’s Jesus! Jesus is Christmas. The aim is not to celebrate the 25th December all the night and to be tired the morning. No THE REASON OF CHRISTMAS IS JESUS, so we should DEFINITEVELY attend Church when Christmas is on Sunday.
    That’s what I think…

  • There is no doubt about it. Jesus is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. The question should be, “Why would we not go to church on Christmas?” One reason there are Christmas Eve services is to celebrate Jesus in the purpose of his birth, which is why the holiday was created. Christmas Eve services are something to celebrate and remember the whole reason of this holiday. I find it very wise to remember the meaning of the holiday on the actual day. Overrated Christmas presents can wait while you get to hear of the best gift of all that came into the world.

  • Staying home in my opinion depends on if you worship and honor Jesus in all of your life and not just at church, I think that if the only time you can be in the presence of Jesus is at church then you have a bigger problem than not realizing the true meaning of Christmas.

  • Isn’t church about Jesus? Isn’t Christmas around BECAUSE of Jesus? I say it would be especially important to go to church on Christmas Day, if your church has a service on Christmas Day.

  • Yes, we should go to church on Christmas. Usually when Christmas falls on a Sunday, my family opens gifts on Christmas Eve, leaving Sunday as a day to go to church and worship God among fellow believers. We are commanded in the fourth commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) I don’t think opening gifts counts as keeping the Lord’s Day holy.

  • Yes, I think we should. My family does. The church is the house of God. What else should Christmas revolve around but God? Church is a very special part of Christmas, a time for fellowship and learning with fellow Christians on a very special day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I think yes. When Christmas happens on a Sunday, we celebrate on Christmas Eve with presents and etc., and then it gives Christmas Day for celebrating the birth ofour savior.

    • I agree, and if you’re heart is set on celebrating Christmas on the 25th then you can always wake up early and open presents before church

      • @disqus_eqY8qIMDWH:disqus Yes, that seems reasonable. I think it is just important that you remember “the reason for the season” and it is been good growing up in a Christian household where we do Advent and things and our parents always help us remember

  • I believe that Christmas is Jesus’s birthday, not ours. Its our gift to him to go to church on his birthday.

    • I don’t think we have to go to church. We can still celebrate Jesus and do presents. It gives us a chance to celebrate Jesus with family for
      a whole day. Some of us go to church almost every Sunday of the year.
      Missing another day won’t hurt, and basically you wont because you can
      have church with family at home during Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I think we should. Even though spending time with family is important, I feel we should still celebrate the birth of Jesus by worshipping as a community in our church.

rebelling against low expectations

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