Do I REALLY Have to Go To Church Tomorrow Night & On Sunday Morning? You Have To Be Kidding Me!

So, Saturday night is the night!  Candles, Oh Holy Night, friends, family and the stillness of Christmas Eve.  Saturday night is the night that we celebrate and remember the Advent of Jesus Christ.

Now, what do we do with Sunday, December 25th?  Over the last several weeks I have heard the buzz in the air of people wondering what their church is going to do with Christmas day?  I am hearing comments like, "If we have a Christmas Eve service does that count towards our worship service for that week, voiding the need for a Sunday service?  Is it asking to much of people to attend two services back to back?  What about family time, won't church cut into the precious family moments?"  While there is a lot to ponder above I have two observations for us to consider.  

The first observation comes from Pastor Paul McCain.  He states, 
"If your congregation even 'considers' cancelling church on Sunday, December 25th, then you are giving up your right to whine about how Christmas has become too 'commercialized.'  As reports begin to appear regarding congregations cancelling services on Sunday, December 25th, leaving those congregations silent on a day that is set aside for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord and which is also the day of the resurrection (Sunday), the complaints of collective Christianity regarding the secularization and commercialization of Christmas ring hollow.  You cannot in one breath announce that the Church will be empty on Sunday because it falls on Christmas and then complain in the next breath that Christmas has lost its focus upon Christ."
Secondly, the complaint about having to go to church comes directly from the Old Adam, our sinful nature.  Yes, our sinful nature would rather stay in bed!  Trust me on this one, even though I am a pastor, my Old Sinful Nature says, "Do I have to preach two times?"  The Old Nature and our default Theology of Glory will typically see worship as something that we "have to do" rather than something that we "get to do."  It is so typical for us to begin to believe that going to worship is something that we have to do for God, that somehow God needs us to come to church in order to give our best to Him and that by going we can check it off as a great moral accomplishment. This is the mentality of the Old Adam, it is in constant opposition to the Word.  This Old Sinful Nature typically turns gifts into curses.  

My dear friends, our divine worship services are really so much more!  Worship is a time for us not to go and attempt to give God our best, rather it is a time to go and "receive" from God, to receive God's best!  God is not the audience and we are not the speaker in worship.  Rather, God is the speaker and we are the audience in worship.  This Christmas Eve, we get to gather together as family to receive and celebrate the Advent of Jesus!  On Christmas Day, we get to gather together as family to receive and celebrate the Advent of Jesus!  

On my Facebook account a good friend stated the following, "I think church on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Morning sounds wonderful!  It's like Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but even closer.  We never cancel Easter because we had an extra service on Friday.  In fact we make Easter morning a big deal, why not Christmas morning?"

The reality is that we have twice the gifts this Christmas.  Gifts... not curses.  Two services... twice the gifts!  It is like opening gifts on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Morning!  Yes!

Jesus came for you!  Jesus is for you!  Let us receive, celebrate and relish this Gospel on Christmas Eve and on Sunday Morning!