Churches Cancel Christmas
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, and some of the nation’s largest megachurches are cancelling their regularly-scheduled church services on Christmas Day. GetReligion, one of my favorite blogs, has a post about it, which has attracted a lively discussion in the “Comments” section of the post. So has the entry at the blog of New Testament scholar Ben Witherington: Churches Closed on Christmas?
One rationale offered by the megachurches is that Christmas is a “family day.” Evidently “family values” are more important than worshipping Christ on the day we celebrate his birth.
One of the churches mentioned in the GetReligion post, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, is not only cancelling services on Christmas Day but on New Years Day as well. I didn’t know January 1st was such a “family day.”
As an Episcopalian, this is all very strange to me. My church always has a Eucharist service on Christmas Day, even if it falls in the middle of the week.
In the words of Candace Chellew-Hodge, Editor of Whosoever: “Isn't this amazing? They want Christ in Target stores, but won't open their doors to him on Christmas day. Astounding!”
Here's the post, from the always-informative GetReligion blog:
Put Christmas back in the church.
Update: The CBS News website has an article about this (including the "Closed" graphic, above), which quotes a spokesperson for one of the megachurches as saying "you don't have to be in a church building to worship." That really begs the question: then why have church services at all? Why not just close the building down and distribute DVD's for "home family worship," as some of the megachurches are doing for Christmas Day? Here's the CBS/AP article:
Some Churches Closed on Christmas.