Pastor's Blog

Some Things Are Just More Important Posted 12.16.2016

Christmas will be here in a week.  It arrives faster every year – and leaves even quicker.  I want to soak in the season and enjoy each festive moment.  But I have come to appreciate Christmas for something more than it’s festivity.  Throughout the year, no matter where the Lord leads and no matter what challenges pull the family apart, there is a moment when we are all together.  Christmas morning.


I may be a bit odd, I admit, but when I’m in Uganda I think of Christmas.  Why?  Because I know there is a time ahead when I can be at home and with my family.  Everything else goes quiet for a morning, and family and Jesus come together in a unique way.  Christmas has become a touch point in the ebb and flow of life.  I can be in India or Bombo or Capernaum or Rock Creek Lake and guess what’s still ahead?  Christmas.  At home.  An anchor in the rhythm of life.  Those are precious moments.


Now, let’s be honest, we won’t always be as we are now, together for Christmas.  Life will change, as it should.  Knowing that, I guess I appreciate even more these days of celebration together.  And that is sort of the point, being content with where you are.  My faith doesn’t ask me to change my circumstances, but to find in them the grace and blessing and hand of God.


Of course, the calendar can force us to change our regular routine of a quiet Christmas morning together. Around the tree. Cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and egg soufflé and chocolate croissants.  Not this year.  Christmas is on Sunday.  So why not just choose to “do church” on Christmas Eve and be done with it?  I admit that’s a challenging decision.  One with which I still struggle.  Personally, have church on Sunday means for us a much more carefully choreographed Christmas. 


But in deciding a schedule for the church, I just couldn’t bring myself to close the doors on a Sunday.  Even for Christmas.  Could we?  Of course.  Lots of churches do, especially the big ones.  But I couldn’t bring myself to closing the doors on a Sunday, even for Christmas.  Why not?  It is a statement of our faith.  If our hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus (on a Sunday), then we may not want to hint that perhaps Christmas is more important than that one morning on the first day of the week.  I am not judging any decision a church makes –we might join them in 2022.  Personally, holding a service on Sunday is more important than even a quiet family Christmas morning at home.  As sacred as that has become. 


Having church on Sunday is a statement of our faith – nothing is more important than the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Not even His birth.  Not even a quiet morning around the tree.  The centrality of the resurrection changes everything, even as we celebrate the incarnation.  We’ll be “open” Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Choose what fits your schedule.  But keep a resurrected Jesus at the center of your family.

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