David Lindell - James River Church West Campus Pastor
By: David Lindell12/15/16

Why I Love When Christmas Falls on a Sunday

Can you believe that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year? It hasn’t happened since 2011, and won’t occur again until 2022. According to the Pew Research Center, 9 in 10 Americans celebrate Christmas. What’s perhaps most encouraging, is the number of Americans, both saved and unsaved, that believe in the historical accuracy of the Christmas story.

During Christmas time, people’s interest is piqued in all things Christmas, including the true reason for the season. With all the talk of joy, faith, goodwill, and peace, there may not be a better time to invite someone who has yet to experience life transformation power of the Gospel message. Here are seven reasons why I love when Christmas falls on a Sunday…

1. It’s Jesus’ Birthday!

Well, not really, historians aren’t are exactly sure what day is Jesus’ actual birthday. December 25th is the day that the world celebrates the Christ child’s birth, so it’s especially fitting that the church would gather when that day falls on a Sunday.

2. It’s Family Time

One of the reasons that the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year is that it is filled with family time. Cousins, grandparents, brothers, sisters, your crazy uncle Larry, and everyone else gets together to enjoy time around the tree. As meaningful and memorable as family time is, when Christmas falls on a Sunday, our individual families have the unique opportunity to gather with our bigger family, the family of God, to celebrate the sending of our Savior.

3. It’s Fun

If you are having trouble finding your joy this season, one of the best decisions you can make is to be in church on Christmas day!

Christmas is a celebration! In 2 Chronicles 30:21-23, all of the Israelites come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, which was the celebration commanded by God in remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt. We are told the Israelites, “celebrated exuberantly.” It was fun. God had commanded that Passover be a seven-day celebration, but when the seven days of worship and praise to God were over, they were so overjoyed by being in the presence of God, that they decided to celebrate for another seven days!

Being in God’s presence is fun; it’s a celebration. It is where we find our joy; and how much more so on Christmas? If you are having trouble finding your joy this season, one of the best decisions you can make is to be in church on Christmas day!

4. It’s Soul Stirring

Christmas is about God’s Son coming to us. God so loved you that He sent Jesus. God very God came as a helpless baby to accomplish the plan of salvation. Scripture proclaims that Christ came so “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,” (Hebrews 2:14 ESV). This is how the power that sin holds over our lives and our relationship with God is defeated.

Christmas is about God’s Son coming to us.

This is the reason Christmas is merry. Being in church on Christmas morning provides an opportunity for us to marvel, once again, at the mystery of redemption.

5. It’s a Prophetic Witness to a Watching World

When Christmas falls on a Sunday, and the doors of the church open, it’s one more reminder to a watching world that it’s all about Jesus. It’s about worshiping Jesus, celebrating Jesus, thinking about Jesus, and singing about Jesus. It’s about the gift of Jesus. And, when your neighbor sees your garage door go up and your family load up on Christmas Sunday morning, your actions serve as a poignant reminder of the real reason for the season.

6. It’s an Opportunity to put Priorities into Practice

Christians are good at talking about the true meaning of Christmas, but when Christmas falls on a Sunday, we get the opportunity to live it. It’s great to have holiday traditions; it’s fun to tear open gifts on Christmas morning; it’s great to spend most of the day in your pajamas.

The best thing about Christmas falling on Sunday is that it provides an open door to invite people to hear the good news.

All of those things are great, but when Christmas falls on a Sunday, we get to do something even better.

7. People Meet Jesus

Perhaps the best thing about Christmas falling on Sunday is that it provides an open door to invite people to hear the good news.

You don’t know who is waiting for an invitation from you to be in church on Christmas morning.

It would be a day they would never forget, and the opportunity to invite someone to church on Christmas won’t happen again until 2022. Don’t miss what God could do through you!

So, if you are in Springfield on Christmas morning, make sure your family joins the James River Church family for our Carols and Communion Christmas services at 9:00 AM and 10:45 AM at one of our three campuses or online! Merry Christmas!