Don't Skip Church Today

Don't Skip Church Today

Exodus 20:8

"Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy."

Lillian Daniel

Admit it. You know you were thinking about skipping church today. Or at least some of you were.

After all, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and you may be planning to attend a service tomorrow, perhaps one with carols, readings and candlelight. And those Christmas Eve services can go longer than an hour, so you're already in the extra credit zone.

Church Sunday morning and then again Monday night? Isn't that the definition of a cult?

Plus, what about everything you have to do? Surely when the calendar puts Christmas Eve on a Monday, it's like drawing one of those "get out of jail free" cards--a snow day, a hall pass, an excused absence.

I know what you're thinking, because if I didn't work at the church, I'd be thinking it too.

But because I do work at the church, let me remind you that this Sunday morning, the choir rehearsed anyway. The reader prepared. The musician practiced. The usher got there early, as usual. The coffee makers made you something hot to drink. The preacher wrote a sermon. A first-time visitor is thinking about coming.

But most importantly God is showing up. In fact, I guarantee you God is already there.

Yes, I know, you can meet God anywhere. God will be at the malls with the last-minute shoppers. God will be in your kitchen where you cook up something special. God will be with you as you catch a few extra minutes of sleep.

But the Bible says that we meet the divine in a special way when we gather, even as few as two or three of us. So maybe two or three is the total church attendance on this Sunday the day before Christmas Eve. Who cares? You could be one of them.

And if you were not, stop and remember that this is still the day that the Lord has made. Let's do something to mark the occasion. 

Prayer

I give thanks for this Sabbath day, as I do for them all. No matter the time of year, this is your day, God, and I dedicate it to you. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the co-author of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers and author of the upcoming When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough.

Looking for a way to say "thanks" to someone at church? Click here to preview and order How Can We Thank You?, a new collection of reflections from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.