Christmas Eve Hospitality

The number 1 attended worship service by non- or nominal Christians is Christmas Eve.  Put differently, many of those who attend Christmas Eve worship are not active Christ followers.  A pastor and church have a (literally!) God-given wonderful opportunity to share the gospel.  Theologically speaking, this is a time to share the great doctrine of the incarnation – God with us in human form, in the person of a baby no less.  It is prime time evangelism.  One of my concerns about Christmas Eve is that many churches and pastors appear to operate from the opposite assumption.  We seem to plan Christmas Eve worship and preach as if only active Christians who know the lingo and liturgy are present.  To be sure, active Christians are present in great abundance.  They make up a clear, overwhelming majority.  But, the opportunity to share the gospel of God’s love in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit cannot be missed.  Indeed, long time Christians will benefit from hearing the gospel again as well.  Last Christmas it snowed and the roads iced over on Christmas Eve.  Services had to be canceled.  It was difficult to tell when and if a church would be holding Christmas Eve services.  We had friends visiting from out of town that we were planning on taking to a Christmas Eve service.  The service we had intended to go to was canceled and so I started to look for a different church.  Seven or eight calls later, I discovered that only one church had updated its recording.  Most phone recorded messages never even mentioned Christian Eve worship (let alone any changes because of the weather)!  By then my curiosity was up.  I got on line and went cruising through the Central Texas Conference looking for web-site listings of Christmas Eve worship.  What I found, or rather what I did not find(!), was disturbing.  Few churches listed this worship opportunity prominently and a significant number (I checked about 15 sites) failed to list Christmas Eve worship at all!  Hospitality (without even being radical hospitality) begins by letting people, especially non Christian people, know about the opportunity to greet the new born Savior in praise and celebration on the eve of His birth!  Invite.  Invite using the web and the phone. At least prominently share the times of worship!  Invite especially with personal invitations to family, friends, neighbors and strangers.  Come, let us praise Him, Christ the Lord!