In recent years, many American churches, especially influential megachurches, have chosen to cancel Sunday services when Christmas Day falls on the weekend. The rationale is that Christmas should be a more personalized, family-focused “experience.” However, this emphasis on experience over corporate worship reflects a troubling mindset.
If church is just an experience we consume, why not replicate it at home or ditch it altogether? Bypassing Sunday worship on Christmas shows a lack of understanding about the meaning of that holy day. Historically, Christ-mass was a communion service, focused on Christ’s atoning death. When Christmas falls on a Sunday, it also marks his resurrection, which the early church commemorated each Lord’s Day.
Some churches cancel services as a concession to busy staff and volunteers. But this prioritizes family time over gathering with Christ’s family on his birthday. Christmas and Easter attract many who don’t normally attend church – don’t miss this chance to share the gospel. For regular attendees, resist the distractions of presents and secular celebrations. Make time for Jesus amidst the busyness.
This Christmas, come together to worship the savior who rose on Sunday and calls us to gather in his name. Don’t settle for a personalized experience – participate fully in the church’s corporate praise.