We approach the cherished celebration of Christmas; exploring most Canadian church websites, you’d never know it.
We engage in Christmas activities because we’re celebrating the incarnation of God into man—God becoming man. We are not celebrating a newborn, family or friends, or freedom (though these things are excellent and must be loved). We’re celebrating the most humble and lowly transformation ever known, rivalled only by Christ’s atonement on the cross.
Although our generation continues to reject the story of Christmas, it commences with the legal parents of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, returning to Joseph's hometown of Bethlehem to complete Caesar Augustus’ censor. Approaching the town of bread, Joseph began to search for guest rooms at the inn for his fiancé and the soon-to-be-birthed Christ to rest and retire. He found none (Luke 2).
And so, in humility and lowliness, God desired that His Son should be born in a manger (probably not made from wood) fashioned out of stone resembling a tomb. It may have even been underground. Protected in the manger, the Creator and King of the Cosmos, clothed in poverty and righteousness, was privately introduced to a world that already hated him as Herod executed the command to terminate baby boys under the age of two in his dominion.
Now the church generally preaches one of two things during Christmas:
1. “Let us not be like the innkeeper. Instead, let us make room for Jesus in the church and open a door for Him into our sanctuary.”
2. “We are so evil and fallen that we would not have opened a room for the birth of Christ, either. Lord forgive us!”
But as we research churches to attend a Christmas Eve service, we discover many of them enforce maximum capacities, mask requirements, and other restrictions.
Let us think for ourselves—how is this any different than the innkeepers who denied hospitality to Christ? What if a man is lonely and depressed on Christmas Eve and, at his lowest and desperate, retreats to a Church where he has never been but is not allowed to enter because he’s unregistered? Is the church displaying the love of Christ?
“Oh, but we are preaching safety and lawful abidance.”
Are they? Is a man’s soul not eternal? What about the verse, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40)?
Thus, a church that (if the numbers demand) excuses some members of the population and welcomes others is blatantly hypocritical and should be avoided. Even if the church isn’t filled to capacity, and everyone who wants to attend can, the mere fact that a church would introduce this protocol means they shouldn’t have service at all.
Lastly, “You can watch online” is not a viable alternative. Whether with the METAVERSE or other simulations of reality, the present battle of our age is of what’s real vs. what’s imagined. Humans are made to congregate physically because we are made in the image of God, who eternally exists as a community Himself. The church is made to congregate and meet together in person, just as spouses must be together in person. To deny our bodies and spirits that camaraderie and communion is to live directly opposite how we are supposed to. Our choice is to either submit to God and live in accordance with nature, reality, and natural law, or become temporary and woeful masters of our fate, “living” in a fantasy, a simulation, a lie.
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