“Lifestyle-friendly”? Who coined that ridiculous piece of neology? Hey, while we’re at it, let’s just stop having church at all. People are just “very, very busy.” I’ve seen or heard about something similar in LC-MS churches: Holy Communion makes the service go half an hour longer, so let’s drop pieces or modify in order to streamline things. God forbid we should drop something like the children’s “sermon.” No, we need to feel good about providing something “for the kids” but when it comes to the Gifts of the Lord, we don’t have enough time. Since when do Lutherans begrudge Jesus His forgiveness? Alright, Jesus, that’s enough good news for today; we’re in a hurry.
And now our families are more important than the Holy Family and the Holy Child, Jesus. Instead of holy substance, we settle for wholly sentimental. I’m not for a holy day of obligation, a la Rome, but when the recalcitrant donkey (as opposed to the Talking Donkey) of the self-absorbed, old nature rears its head, it might need some obligation to wear it down.
Interesting, isn’t it, that some evangelicals are upset, not with missing church on Christmas, but missing church on Sunday. Of course, that’s not nearly as bad as the always-innovative Methodists and their “blessing of materialism–” uh, “toys.”
I should say that my vicarage congregation had their major service at 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve, and I have no problem with having services on Christmas Eve only. My problem is with the near-idolatrous motivation for not having church. “You’re talking about a lot of volunteers and a lot of logistics to make Sunday happen in a lot of those megachurches,” [Bill Turner] said. By the end of Saturday’s services, “you’re pretty well wrung out.” Another reason to dislike megachurches. Come to think of it, can anyone give me a good reason for megachurches, other than they’re, um, “mega”?
I guess you just can’t stop the “enculturation” of Christ’s Church…can you?