Dec 22, 2005

christians/christmas in the news again

Looks like one more thing to veeeeeedio tape (as one of my college profs used to say it). Coming up on ABC World News Tonight: "Find out why some churches will have thousands of empty seats on Christmas Sunday. "

My wife mentioned seeing the ad on this, not to mention her pondering about how the media often will focus on Christians doing something controversial (i.e. "hypocritical") instead of proactive (i.e. "One Life Revolution" style ministries). I guess that's what makes news, eh?

Regarding the issue of being open or closed on Christmas, I am amused at how passionate an issue this has become. So let's just officially kick at the tires of this "issue," okay?

1) Was the first Christmas special?

2) Why/why not?

3) Did they have a church service?

4) What does this tell us?

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Yeah, there was some talk about such things over at Messy Christian.

I like going to church on Christmas morning, but I certainly don't consider it a requirement.

Patricia Tryon said...

Mostly, it seems to me, that it depends on the primacy accorded the Feast of Christmas relative to the primacy of the Sunday gathering. Catholics like me will find our butts in the pew regardless of the day of the week on which Christmas falls; for us, it is a holy day of obligation (a day when we are obliged as Christians to gather with the Christian community for word and sacrament). So the question is something of a moot point for us.

But the primary issue is the significance we accord Sunday. For us, Sunday is always a feast day because it marks the day of Our Lord's resurrection. So, for instance, even during that most penitential season of Lent, Sunday remains a Feast Day. Of course we will have a liturgy -- literally, a "work of the people" -- particular to Christmas Day, but the context is that of Easter Sunday. For us, Easter is the primal feast, viz. our fifty day celebration as contrasted to the Christmas Octave (eight days).

Christmas or Sunday, Christmas AND Sunday, we'll be gathering with the faithful in a context that embraces the grace of the Incarnation with the eternal life in Christ promised by the resurrection.

I'm not prepared to call this "better" because I have absolutely zero sense that God "prefers" our way of doing things. What makes this different way better for me is that it draws me closer to the mystery of the Trinity and its unfathomable love for creation. Because I'm "prone to wander", I need to be drawn close as often as possible! ;-)