Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lights Out on Christmas

Today's the last Sunday in Advent, and .... it's also the last Sunday before New Year's that some churches in the US will open on Sunday. While there's even been talk in the secular press about this, the mixed reactions of Christians surprise me. Many I've spoken to, even in my own church, think this is perfectly all right.

What I didn't realize before now is that many Protestant churches don't celebrate Christmas when it falls on days other than Sundays. Why this is, I have no idea. But Christmas on a Sunday forced them to decide whether they should hold services at all, because Christmas belongs to the family, right?

What gives? It's a case of the god of Family Values reigning supreme over all else, in an age of inappropriate emphasis on many things, family included.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family and would do anything to defend them. But isn't the whole point of nurturing children in the right sort of way all about the Incarnation? John 3:16 and all that?

We seem to have things a bit turned around in that case -- I thought Advent was all about keeping things dark and ratcheting up the illumination factor on Christmas. Instead, we blaze the lights through Advent and turn them out, and lock the doors, on Christmas.

Besides, if the laity is so worried about the minister not getting his day off with the family, then why not do the charitable thing, help with the service? That way, all can worship and praise the God who gave you that family in the first place and then made it possible for that family to have salvation.

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