Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Churches Closing on Christmas Sunday

Collin Hansen of Christianity Today has it right when he queries the logic of closing churches on Sunday because Christmas happen to fall on that day of the week this year. Here are his comments:

"With Christmas landing on a Sunday this year, some trendsetting churches have decided to stay closed that day.

"At first glance it does sound contrarian," said Gene Appel, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, which will close. He told the Chicago Tribune, "We don't see it as not having church on Christmas. We see it as decentralizing the church on Christmas—hundreds of thousands of experiences going on around Christmas trees. The best way to honor the birth of Jesus is for families to have a more personal experience on that day."

Indeed, churches designed for people who don't go to church will not attract many on Christmas morning. And Willow needs a lot of money and volunteers to pull off their Sunday services. Why not just shift those resources to another day?

Well, because thousands of family experiences around Christmas trees cannot replace worship with the family of God. This family gathers around the center of the gospel. "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Worship with the body of Christ is the best way to remember the meaning of Christmas.

Well said Collin. We agree.

No comments: