Christmas Sunday Services

Here we go. There’s a ton of blog talk right now about why many churches are closing their doors on December 25th this year. The last time Christmas landed on a Sunday was 1994 (and I think I remember going to church that year on Christmas Day). Many say it is a travesty that the doors are closed since it is a Sunday and it is also the second most important Christian holiday (second only to Easter). If churches usually meet on Sunday, why close it on such a “high holy day”? The critics say that churches are bowing to consumerism and the need for families to open presents around a tree.

Others, though, say that no day should be regarded as more holy than another. And each person should make up their own mind about how important they make holidays (see Romans 14 in the Bible). Furthermore, there is talk that family time is a time of worship for many Christian families, so why assume that churches are restricting worship just because they meet on Saturday night?

This is Tradition versus Tradition. There is the Tradition of the church meeting on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. This is the first day of the week, the day Jesus rose from the dead (although I’m not sure if the Gregorian calendar can prove that Jesus did in fact rise on a Sunday). All we know is that he arose on the third day, and we remember his crucifixion on a Friday.

I side with the second view – that it’s OK to celebrate Christmas as a church on Saturday and with your family on Sunday. For a good explanation of the first view, see Ben Witherington’s blog ( Go to Ben’s Dec 4th blog. For someone who supports the second view, see Scot McKnight’s Blog ( Go to his Dec 8th blog. Tell me your thoughts.


ps-there will be some juggling information on here someday!

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Dr. Jesse Joyner travels nationwide as a speaker and entertainer. His primary role is that of a performing juggler spreading joy and the love of learning to family and kids events. H earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids - the perfect number for juggling children.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Sunday Services”

  1. “Have It Your Way”. Burger King coined this culturally relevant statement years ago, but it applies perfectly to the angst surrounding the issues this Christmas season.

    My church is not meeting on Christmas Day? I wanted to bring my unsaved family! How else will my kids hear The Story? But what about Me?

    My church IS meeting on Christmas Day? That’s my Sunday to do nursery! Don’t they know I have family? What were they thinking? But what about Me?

    So I can’t say Merry Christmas, either? Its only a greeting, but I think I’ll take it as a personal attack and forget about the message that comes with my life. What about ME?

    Much like the pagan cultures of the Old Testament we have all our little idols lined up on the mantle: the Christmas dinner, the gift opening, church at just the right moment to accomodate our traditions. MY plan for Christmas. And if I can’t say Merry Christmas when I want to and go to church when I expect to, the Cultural Christmas and decision of my pastor is not the problem. God is simply showing me my Idols on the mantle. And He will remove them if I am identifying myself with Him. The message is Jesus – a simple message that know no cultural bounds. Unless of course, we try to squeeze Him up on the mantle with our Idols.

    So we can only say Happy Holidays? Thank you, I like that one much better anyway – since I can use a long vowel sound for the “o” in holidays.

  2. Jesse, I gave you a shameless plug on my blog. Take a peek at it some time.

    Hang in there with the blogging. I still believe that you have a lot of potential to be a blogging powerhouse.

    Blessings this new year,

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