So When Is Christmas Day?
Saturday, December 3, 2011 1:12:51 AM
The church has aided and abetted this of course. I've heard pastors say "Christmas is about families" and so there is no need or even a desire for the christian community to gather to celebrate Christ. The dilemma is forced to the surface when, as this year, Christmas Day happens to be a Sunday.
We now have to choose- is this a Sunday or is it Christmas Day? Will it be families or Christ we celebrate that Sunday? I'm glad that something like 67% of churches in the U.S. (and I guess the proportion is similar in Australia) will be having a worship service of some sort on Christmas Sunday
To avoid the conflicts, many churches are holding their "real" Christmas celebrations and outreaches ever earlier. I've been hearing on Vision FM a number of notices for Christmas pageants, fun days and so on for this present weekend, the first weekend in December.
The way we are going the church will soon be reclaiming the real meaning of Christmas in July.
This kind of mission/evangelism is built on a kind of pragmatism that says "We will get the message out when people are available and the competing messages aren't quite so loud." The trouble is that the competing messages will always be competing, and to most, more compelling.
The alternative is to stand back from it all and embrace the Advent wisdom of the ancient Church. Regardless of what the world is doing in its endless clamour, we will spend four weeks in anticipation, waiting, preparing our hearts to celebrate the awesome wonder of God taking on a human form.
Maybe instead of trying to "get the word out there" we need to get the eternal Word into ourselves and show the world what He really looks like.