To Go Or Not To Go

(12/20/2005)

It has come to my attention that there has been some controversy this year involving going to church on Sunday.

The great debate, it appears, is that Christmas falls on a Sunday (which is does every seven years or so) this year and many think Christmas should be spent with family and church attendance would be sparse with people traveling. Most of the morning news shows have interviewed pastors and preachers asking their opinions as to why there should or shouldn't be church on Christmas Sunday. One preacher even expressed that it says more in the Bible about celebrating Jesus' resurrection than his birth. That made me think of the chicken or the egg debate, didn't Jesus have to be born to be resurrected?

Luke 2:10-11 says, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord". That tells me that the Bible is telling us to have great joy and celebrate Jesus' birth! I am also reminded of Deuteronomy 4:24 "For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." That scripture tells me that we should not put anyone or any- thing before God, not even our families. One person I know said that "we shouldn't have church on Christmas Sunday so the children can have time to open their presents and play with their toys." As Christians should we be sending that message to our children, the future of our churches? Without Christ there would be no Christmas or even a reason to celebrate presents or family gatherings. When I was younger I don't remember being so engrossed in my Christmas presents that I didn't want to go to church on Christmas Sunday, there was no choice in the matter either. Jesus was the reason for Christmas therefore you went to His house on his birthday to celebrate.

I also have to wonder about the great percentage of the population that only comes to church on holidays, especially Christmas. What kind of message are we sending by closing the doors? Jesus is our Messiah and the reason we are Christ- ians but we are taking his birthday off? What if by coming to church on that special day someone could have been saved or received another blessing? I wonder about our older citizens in the community or anyone that doesn't have family, what of their need to be with their Christian family on Christmas day. There will be several services in the community the night before and after Christmas day but is it the same?

The controversy this year has made me feel stronger about my religion, my belief that Jesus is the Messiah, and to stand up and be proud of what I know is right. I am very thankful and appreciative for the religious teaching provided to me by my parents and grandparents. It has made me equipped to deal with worldly issues about religion I am not comfortable with and how to defend my beliefs with the words of the Bible. I wish everyone had that upbringing. As for me and my house we will be attending church on Christmas morning because it would not be Christ's birthday without going to His house for a celebration! (For listings of church services on Christmas Sunday see the community page of the Hur Herald)

Merry CHRISTmas,

Jenny Boggs