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Go to Church? On Christmas?

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Every seven years, Christmas and New Years Day fall on a Sunday, and 2011 is one of those years. Since most families have special plans and traditions on these days, going to church may create some scheduling conflicts. Some families may even decide to skip church altogether, thinking, “Since it’s Christmas, we’ll stay home on Sunday, just this once.”

Of course, it is a good thing for families to be together, especially during the holiday season. Most families do not spend enough time together as it is. Nonetheless, our service to God must be a priority. Can a Christian justify giving God a Sunday “rain check” so he or she can have more family time on Christmas Day? I believe the Lord’s Day must take precedence, even on Christmas. Jesus said to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33, emp. added), which means that serving God – including worshiping Him on Sunday – must come “first,” even if it means having to adjust our holiday plans.

Christmas should be about spending time with our families and enjoying the blessings of our loved ones. The Lord has been good to bless us with our families and the people we love, and there are countless reasons why we should be thankful to Him. I submit that Sundays are the best Christmas Days because we have the opportunity to be with both our earthly families and our spiritual family, worshiping the Name that is above all other names.

It was the practice of the early church to meet on the “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2). Jesus was raised on the first day of the week (Lk. 24:1, 7), and His church was established on the first day of the week (Lev. 23:15-17, Acts 2:1). Sundays, even Christmas Sundays, belong to the Lord. Therefore, on every first day of the week, we must make it a priority to be with our spiritual family and worship our Heavenly Father. When we decide to skip worship services because it becomes an ‘inconvenience,’ we’ve lost the ‘big picture’ of the Christian life. May we all understand and appreciate the importance of what God established and make Him the priority in life.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas as we enjoy our time with our families; giving thanks to God every Sunday for the immeasurable blessings that we have both in Him and in one another.

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