What Happens when Christmas Falls On Sunday?
Here's What I Think
What Happens when Christmas Falls On Sunday?
In 2016 Christmas fell on a Sunday. It will happen again in 2022. Somewhere between sad and mad are the emotions I would use to describe the feeling I get when I walk into church and realize that most have opted to stay home for the holiday. I wonder sometimes how Jesus must feel. Christians SAY we're celebrating His birthday, and then we don't even bother to give Him an hour of our time? I just don't get it.
Even more amazing are the churches that will be closed on Christmas morning. I know for some it's because so many people have already said they'll be out it doesn't make sense to heat the building. But in reality, why are Christians calling the day "Christmas" if a mass with Christ gets cancelled because it's inconvenient?
So, I created this for you to add your thoughts on why you do or don't attend church when Christmas falls on a Sunday as well as a spot for those who don't attend on any Sunday. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say.
But remember - BE NICE!!!
Will You Attend Worship on December 25 the next time in falls on a Sunday
Prior Poll Results
In 2011, when Christmas fell on a Sunday, more than 74% of the respondents planned to attend worship on Christmas Day.
During the 2016 Christmas season, 99 people responded, and again about 74% expected to be in worship. 17% of those who voted never go to church, so it was only about 9% who usually attend that stayed home. I think that's pretty good!
Will you attend church on Christmas Sunday?
- 67% You bet! I'm there every Sunday. I'll be there on December 25.
- 7% I attend every Christmas and Easter, so I'll be there!
- 1% I attend every Christmas and Easter, but it's Christmas Day . . . I just can't make it.
- 4% I usually attend worship, but I'll have too much to do to go on Christmas
- 4% I haven't decided yet, depends on my schedule.
- 17% I don't go to church any other time, why would I go on Christmas?
This poll is now closed to voting.
Advent Reading on Kindle
Advent readings are a great way to prepare your heart to celebrate Christmas in the truest sense. This series features 1 Corinthians 13 and reminds me that of all the gift I give this Christmas, none are greater than Faith, Hope and Love.
From a New Christian's Point of View
Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2005. At the time I knew a college aged man who had become a Christian sometime in the 11 years since the celebration of Christ's birth had last fallen on a Sunday. He hadn't even considered going to church on Christmas day in the past. He wasn't raised in a home where going to church was important, and they certainly would not have changed their Christmas traditions to fit church into the mix.
So, in 2005, he was looking forward to this first Sunday Christmas celebration. He told me he was certain that the church would be full. After all, wouldn't every Christian want to spend Christ's birthday worshipping Him? One would think . . .
I warned him not to be disappointed, and then I started a campaign. I invited everyone I knew to come to church on Christmas. I worked for a few months encouraging people on Facebook, through e-mail and in person to attend church on Christmas Sunday. The tremendous day came, and the attendance was not at all what my young friend anticipated.
Christian's everywhere let this young man down. I asked other church leaders about their attendance, and every one reported the same statistic. Less than 3/4 of the "regulars" showed up on Christmas Sunday, and the "occasional" attendee count was even more meager.
I wonder what message that sends to those new Christians who are excited about their Savior, the ones who are still in awe that the King of all creation would come to earth to live just to demonstrate His love for mankind. How many young believers (regardless of their age) are we leaving disillusioned by our priorities on this most special Sunday?
I understand everyone has family pressures. Most young families have more than one place to visit on Christmas day, and if there's been a divorce somewhere along the line, there may be a few extra Christmas gatherings scheduled. You may very well feel overwhelmingly obligated to be someplace besides worship on Christmas Day, but if you begin now to explain to your family that you'll be in church on Christmas morning (and invite them to come with you), perhaps they'll reschedule their celebration. Perhaps some families could plan a Saturday afternoon celebration. Our girls and their families come to our house after candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
Especially if you have children, the place you spend Christmas morning when you have an opportunity to spend it in church will forever teach them the level of commitment you have to Christ compared to your family and friends. I pray when His birth celebration falls on our regular day of worship that those who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ will take 90 minutes or so out of the Christmas festivities and spend it in the house of Him whose birth we celebrate.
If you're not in your hometown because you're traveling for the holiday, find a church near where you're staying. If you need help finding one, contact me! I'd love to help you find a church to worship in! I'm getting pretty good at it. We worship away from home every time we leave town. It can actually be fun!
No matter what your usual plans are for Christmas day, I pray you'll at least entertain the idea that being in worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ is as important, if not more important, than all of the other celebrating you'll do during the holidays. And if you do go, please stop back here and let me know! I want to hear how you worshiped Christ on the day we celebrate His birth!
An option if you're in Eastern Ohio
In east central Ohio, right on the Ohio River, not far from where West Virginia and Pennsylvania meet the state, there is a big stone church with a not so big congregation. We call ourselves Sycamore Tree Church as a reminder of the little man who went out of his way to climb a tree to see Jesus. Not only do we want to go out of our way to see Jesus, we want to be a place where people can climb out of the hustle and bustle of the world and see our Savior.
The 2016 season at Sycamore Tree Church was a blessing. We aren't a huge congregation, so our 100 or so on Christmas Eve was wonderful. And Christmas morning we had about 40 come out for breakfast and even more show up for worship. We appreciate this great group of followers!
We're at 301 North 4th Street in Steubenville, OH 43952 (and you'll find us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter if you want even more info)