Christmas falls on a Sunday this year and will not happen again for another 11 years. Christians have historically gathered to worship Jesus on Sunday, which is a perfect day to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Sometimes with all the events and traveling to visit loved ones, believers may wonder if they should attend church services on Christmas Sunday.
Christians should evaluate their choice about attending church on Christmas and approach this issue from a biblical perspective. Before skipping church this holiday season, think of why you should attend church, even if Christmas falls on a Sunday.
1. First-Century Church Met Despite Other Obligations
Christians met together in the first-century church on Sundays for worship and fellowship.
"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." - Acts 20:7
Although we might picture early believers meeting in buildings like how we "go to church" in the modern day, this is not so. Employers expected them to continue their duties on Sunday even though Christians worshiped on that day every week to remember the day Jesus was resurrected. Yet, despite work demands, these believers still consistently met on the Lord's Day to worship.
Many modern Christians receive time off on Sunday and for the Christmas holiday in Western Civilization. If first-century Christians could meet with one another after a full day of work, why can't we meet during a holiday?
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25
Sunday, the biblical day the church meets, is a wonderful time to celebrate Jesus' birth.
2. Christmas Is All About Jesus
Even if Christmas falls on a Sunday, going to church is essential because doing so helps remind us that Christmas is about Jesus, not any other traditions. This time of the year is not about decorations, trees, lights, presents, or even about loved ones.
Yes, these components of Christmas are enjoyable, but they should not be the focus of this holiday. Meeting with other Christians this Sunday can enable us to refocus on our Savior.
Christmas allows us to reflect on the splendor of His arrival and the hope He brought to a dark and dying world.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." - John 1:14
The Creator of the universe entered the world as a tiny infant and was laid in a manger. He came into this world to bring salvation.
On a day ensnared with distractions, we can purposefully focus on Christ by attending church and celebrating our Savior with other Christians.
We must convey this message to the world. Jesus came to earth to lay down His life for us.
3. We Are Set Apart As Christians
We are new creatures, set apart for the glory of God. People ought to be able to differentiate us from the world because of our values, love, and actions. We are ineffective witnesses in this world if we live like everyone else.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;" - 1 Peter 2:9
We have this unique role as a people set apart in Christ, and w should not act like the world.
The world promotes consumerism on Christmas Sunday, but we have an eternal hope established securely in Christ, not earthly treasures.
4. What if We Don't Attend?
Attending church does not determine a person's salvation. You are saved only by trusting in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. However, the question about church attendance on Christmas Sunday reveals a person's priorities.
If a church chooses not to hold service on Christmas, they communicate a message to the world around them. Church buildings are empty and silent on a day meant to elevate our Savior. This tells the world that His birth is not important in modern life.
We might find convenience in staying home and opening gifts with family. Yet, we miss an excellent opportunity to come together with believers and recollect the gift that we have already received. Jesus came to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. No gift can be likened to what Jesus came to give us.
We must not unconsciously state that festivities are more significant than Jesus. While we may not think or say this, skipping church, in general, reveals that our priorities are not centered on Jesus. Keep your sight of what matters and what Christmas truly means.
Like all of us, you may find yourself busy on Christmas. You may feel overwhelmed by adding "attend church" to your to-do list. But despite what the world says, Christmas is about Christ, and we must focus on Him, not the distractions in this world.
If you are going out of town for Christmas, find another church to attend on Christmas Sunday. The same applies if your church chooses not to hold services. Let us keep meeting together, even if Christmas falls on a Sunday. You will be happy that you joined other Christians to celebrate the birth of our Savior.