Christmas on Sunday: Should We Go to Church?

Encouragement for Your Heart and Mind from Pastor David Staff

I know from talking to pastoral colleagues around the country.  It’s a difficult decision to know whether or not to have a gathered worship service on a Sunday which is also Christmas Day.


Well, because most church decide to have multiple services on Saturday, Christmas Eve Day.  If you are gathering for worship on Saturday evening, why come back again the next morning?

Would it not be a better call to encourage God’s people to invest Christmas Sunday morning at home, in family time?

But wait a minute! (some would argue)…Sunday is still the Lord’s Day (the Christian version of the Hebrew Sabbath).  Is it not more fitting to be faithful on Sunday and come together for worship, despite it being Christmas Day…or perhaps because it is Christmas Day.


Honestly speaking (may I do that as your interim pastor?)…there is no “right” or “wrong” answer to the question which heads up this weekender.  It’s not a matter of Scriptural command whether we gather in worship on Christmas Day, or we offer one another freedom to celebrate the day at home.  To make this a matter of “right vs. wrong” is to unfortunately do what has often crippled the joy and unity of Jesus’ church; namely, to impose a command without a clear justification in Scripture.

Paul said it to the Christians in the city of Colossae: “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food or drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath; these are a show of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (2:16-17).  Unfortunately, we often are legalists at heart.  Paul counsels that we limit what we may want to codify.  “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.  Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:15).

In addition, our call to be worshippers is not tied to a service or an event.  Worship is a lifestyle, even as Paul made clear in Romans 12:1-2.  It’s a moment-by-moment, living-sacrifice honoring of God in all we do in all of living.


Nonetheless, we are offering a Christmas Day worship service (at 10:00 AM) for all who desire to come and sing together, pray together, hear a message from God’s word together, and encourage one another.  We will meet in the name of Jesus, remember the wonder of God’s birth as a human being, and be reminded that “The Wise Still Seek Him” (a message about the magi, Matthew 2).

Happy Birthday, dear Lord Jesus.  We love being your disciples.  Thank you for being our Savior.  May you be present in our gathered worship this coming Sunday morning, Christmas Day.
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