Bringing Santa to Church With You

Growing up in church I never much questioned or even gave a second thought to church on Christmas. It was just “what we did”.

An expectation, obligation.

This is hardly what I want when it comes to church on Christmas.

This is hardly what God wants from me…at church…on Christmas.

So I ask myself, and those around me, what’s the point of church on Christmas?

“to celebrate Christ’s birth as a congregation”

…yeah, I get that.

but,

that’s NOT why we show up.

We show up because we’re expected to.

…because we have to.

She only finds joy in going to show off that new sweater, piece of jewelry, or pair of boots that were torn from their packaging just minutes before barreling out the door in a fury.

He finds joy in that it will be “over” in an hour and that hour will soar by with his new “tech” device.

She only submits to going if her new  insert overpriced toy here can accompany her, and since she has to sit in the service with Mom and Dad, “why not?” they shrug.

He is more consumed with the newest DS game, kept on silent of course, than anything to do with that baby in the manger…although, what’s most important is grabbing one of those candy canes they’re passing out.

Sound familiar?

Harsh, yes, but what is our true motive for attending church on Christmas?

warm fuzzies?

hearing the nativity read?

singing Christmas carols?

flaunting your loot?

or are you ready for more?

I know that this Christmas season in particular I am seeking so much more…Mason and I are wrestling with what we will give the Lord for HIS birthday. We are looking to practice the spiritual discipline of giving to HIM rather than pouring more of what He has given us into “stuff”. We are seeking to reflect, listen to His leading, and respond as He directs us. What a change from my past perspective on Christmases…

I have a completely different perspective about “church on Christmas” these days.

I want more!

I want to be challenged…

held to a higher standard as one who is a believer in Christ and steward of all that He has given me.

I refuse to bring Santa to church with me.

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One thought on “Bringing Santa to Church With You

  1. Thanks for thoughts, Marla. Harsh as it sounds, there is a lot of truth it what you said. I too am digging through what it means to celebrate Christmas, and John and I are figuring out what it means to have traditions as a family. I love and admire the fact that you and Mason are striving to live as “one who is a believer in Christ and steward of all that He has given [you].” I’m glad we are in that boat together. ^^

    I often wonder if we (as a culture) celebrate Christmas all wrong, and if so, what would it take to change that? Even in my own family? Is it even possible to escape the oppression that is Western materialism? What would that look like?

    I know that I so often just do what is expected of me because it is easier. But I wonder what “doing hard things” for Christmas would like look like? A lot of our familial Christmas traditions and priorities are also based upon cultural expectations. I personally value that we, as Westerners, prioritize celebrating this holiday season with our families, but I wonder how much of that is just based upon long-standing tradition and culture?

    Oh so many questions. Sorry for my long response.
    Let us pray that God meets us all right where we are at this Advent season. Happy Christmas to you dear Stanleys!
    EMMANUEL!

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