Tonight churches around the world will be packed to the gills with worshipers who have come to celebrate the birth of the Messiah. Family and friends, neighbors and strangers will all file into church sanctuaries, fellowship halls, fire stations, and schools to worship. Tonight will be the second busiest day of the year for most churches, and this means that with an overflow of visitors churches will be rolling out the red carpet for their guests.
The problem comes when the “regulars” get their panties in a twist because there are fewer parking spaces, few seats, and more people to navigate around.
Check out this quote from the Examiner:
“A regular churchgoer in a Richmond church said this about people who attend church twice a year:“Call me a little selfish, but it kind of bothered me that I had difficulty finding a parking spot and a seat. It’s a little irritating when this is not a problem any other Sunday, and these ‘Twice-a-year Churchgoers’ come in and take over…”
Many of us welcome house guests and family each Christmas that we only see once or twice a year. Would we treat those guests the same way the Richmond churchgoer quoted by the Examiner might?
Tonight is an opportunity to not only celebrate the birth of Christ, but also an opportunity to welcome the stranger.
Check out the rest of the Examiner quote:
“…I finally did come to the conclusion that I really don’t mind. It won’t kill me to be a little inconvenienced. They can have the seats and the parking spaces.”
“No matter why people come to church on
Easter SundayChristmas Eve, let’s welcome them with opened arms. Let’s show them the love of God in abundance that will last until they return whether it is on Christmas DayEaster or sooner!”
So as you are gathering for a candlelit silent night remember that when we welcome the stranger we are actually welcoming Christ Himself.
You can read the entire Examiner article here.