Friday, December 09, 2005

What is Christmas really about?

Silly me, I thought it was about celebrating the incarnation of Christ and about worshipping Him.

But, some may say, what do all your boxes of decorations, lights, baubles, etc., have to do with that? While some may say I've become too caught up with cultural trappings, I have always regarded Christmas as being about Jesus, and as being a time to contemplate the incredible miracle of God becoming man, living among us, and dying for our sins. That is what I celebrate.

Our church has always had a Christmas Eve service and this has fit so wonderfully into our family's tradition of doing most of our celebration on that evening. (Our German heritage means we prolong the celebration for the "First Holiday", the "Second Holiday", and even beyond.)

A few times, we went to an Episcopalian church for their Christmas morning service, just to be able to attend church on that special day. I've sometimes envied my Catholic friends, with their lovely traditions of midnight mass...

But apparently my desire for more church on Christmas is old-fashioned and out of step with today's cutting-edge Christians. It seems that Christmas is really about family, not about meeting together and worshipping as the Body of Christ. How silly of me to think otherwise.

Thanks to SpunkyHomeschool, I read the following article, Some Churches Take a Holiday, which stated in part:

This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several mega-churches throughout the country.

Even though the holiday falls on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day.

Critics within the evangelical community, more accustomed to doing battle with department stores and public schools over keeping religion in Christmas, are stunned by the shutdown.

It is almost unheard of for a Christian church to cancel services on a Sunday, and opponents of the closings are accusing these congregations of bowing to secular culture.

"This is a consumer mentality at work: ''Let's not impose the church on people. Let's not make church in any way inconvenient,'" said David Wells, professor of history and systematic theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Hamilton, Mass. "I think what this does is feed into the individualism that is found throughout American culture, where everyone does their own thing."
I'm with David Wells. Back in the day, the churches tended to be packed on Christmas and Easter, to the point that we referred to those people we saw only twice a year as "C and E Christians". Now it seems that this trend has reversed, and even the regular attenders don't want to darken the doors of a church when they would rather stay home and do their own thing.

What is Christmas really about?

I guess it's all about the presents. At least for some people.

Sometimes I think the real "attack on Christmas" is not coming from outside of the church. How sad.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Rebecca, you old fuddy-duddy. Get with the times ;-).

    Besides that, you've been tagged