O.K. So I need to poke a little fun at myself for a moment while challenging all of us to think about something.
Every year about this time there is a big brouhaha about “keeping Christ in Christmas.” For many this boils down to simply whether or not some store uses the word “Christmas” instead of “Holidays” or whether our kids get to sing Silent Night instead of Frosty the Snowman at their school’s 6th grade “Winter Concert.” And if you happened to be sitting at our family table each year, you’d hear this papa bear loudly growl, “Yah! And don’t expect to see me shopping at those stores!”
But I’ve been looking in the mirror a little lately. While I’ll be the first to wish someone “Merry Christmas” or reply to the more politically correct greeting of “Happy Holidays” with “Happy Holy-Days to you, too,” I’m almost starting to like the fact that we are decoupling the crass commercialism of the season from the holy nature of the true celebration. While displaying “Merry Christmas” may help a store sell more toys to parents of church-going Christians, I don’t think the words the store chooses has all that much spiritual impact on the shopper’s souls, do you?
This cultural conundrum seems all the more evident on a year like this one when Christmas falls on a Sunday. While not a legalist about holy days, Sabbaths or not shopping on Sundays, I find it a bit odd to see some churches actually canceling worship on Christmas day because it falls on a Sunday. Whose not “keeping Christ in Christmas”? If we are truly that concerned about keeping the focus in our own hearts and in our culture upon the Christ child, why wouldn’t we rejoice “with exceeding great joy” that it actually falls on a Sunday?
I know. Christmas is a special “family day” for many. Most families want to spend relaxed, uninterrupted time together on Christmas day. I do too.
But YOU, God’s people, are my family as well. And for many Christians today, the church IS their closest family. That’s why spending Christmas alone can be so difficult.
Sundays in our culture used to be special “family days.” We lost that specialness to new 24-7 store hours and changing work schedules. But why are we surrendering Christmas with God’s family as the church when no one is demanding we do that?
How about we, God’s kids, work harder at really making sure our Savior Jesus Christ is FIRST and FOREMOST in our Christmas Day? Whether that means your family has a special at-home worship time this Christmas Sunday with your extended family or whether it means we set aside the gift-giving and food-consuming for a couple of hours to take the time and make the drive to be with God’s family in a worship service, let’s all decide to keep Christ in our Christmas. Let’s keep making Christ THE reason for Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
CHRISTMAS EVE CELEBRATIONS: This year we are building the Christmas Eve services at 3:00 and 5:00PM around our “Ultimate Gift” theme of this Advent season. Through the use of four premier mini-dramas and wonderful Christmas music, we’ll be celebrating God’s Giving of The Ultimate Gift.
I say “celebrating” for a reason. When someone you know turns a year older, they have a birthday PARTY, right? It’s a celebration to complete another year on this earth. So, in keeping with the festive nature of birthdays, we’re planning this year’s Christmas Eve worship as a celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ. We’ll even have a birthday cake with candles. You’ll have to come and see if we can fit all 2,011 of them on the cake!
So take this day and season to invite an unchurched friend to the one celebration of the year more people like to attend than any other—Christmas Eve.
CHRISTMAS SUNDAY WORSHIP: Believing in family at Christmas, we’ve decided to squeeze the whole Mosaic Family into ONE SERVICE this Sunday, December 25th at 11:00AM. This may well be the last time we can do that for a few years. We’ll also be having the family of worship leaders from one of our Mosaic families leading us in worship that morning as we ponder “Unwrapping the Ultimate Gift.”
YULE TREE (read “WOOD”) CUTTING NEED: One of our Mosaic families still needs about a chord and a half of wood for their winter heat. If you have seasoned wood or dead trees that we could come and harvest for this purpose, please contact Daniel Repsold at either
or 710-1627. Thanks!
On behalf of all our church staff and families, I want to wish each of you a truly blessed Christmas this week. You have all been such an amazing blessing! We’ve loved taking this year’s spiritual journey together and can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of us in 2012. THANK YOU for your kind generosity to each of us and to God’s Kingdom work.
MERRY CHRISTMAS…& HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!