Taking Christmas Off: A Form Letter to Wandering Sheep
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25
This year, Christmas falls on a Sunday. The last time this happened was 2005. It will not happen again until 2022. So, this year provides a rare opportunity to test the health of a given local church without having to visit, meet anyone who goes there, read its statement of faith, or listen to a sermon. This rare test of church health is simple: Is the church cancelling its Sunday worship service on December 25th? If the answer is yes, then the church is unhealthy. Pastors should consider the sheep of such a church up for grabs (the industry term for a pastor inviting a member of another church is his is “sheep-stealing”). Friends and neighbors should take the opportunity to invite the members of such a church (presuming that it has “members”) to their own worship services, not just on Christmas Day but on any given Sunday. If a church doesn’t gather for corporate worship on the Lord’s Day because its people are too busy celebrating the Lord’s birthday (by unwrapping consumer goods and eating citrus fruit) in their own homes, then that church isn’t worth being a part of. Its leadership has failed to exercise its duty; its people (in aggregate) are unsalty. If you’d like to pluck a friend or neighbor from the tumultuous waters of a business that closed for the Christmas holiday church that doesn’t meet on Sunday when worship gets in the way of more important plans, consider posting the form letter below on social media or in a private message to that friend.
It has come to my attention that your church will not be meeting on Sunday, December 25th. I’d like to take the opportunity to invite you to worship with my church that day and every Sunday thereafter. We will be lifting praise to Jesus in song, giving of our resources, and listening to the word of God exposited by Christ’s undershepherd on December 25th. We do this every Sunday because it is of grave importance to us. Unfortunately, your church does not place such weighty importance on corporate worship. Somehow, the idea that “spending time with your family” is somehow mutually exclusive to coming to church on Christmas has been propagated in your church. The head of a Christian family should recognize that he would be the best example to his family members if he brought them to church on the Lord’s Day. I hope you’ll join me at church this Christmas. I also hope you’ll reconsider being a part of a “church” that chooses not to worship Jesus on a particular Sunday.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.