It’s not uncommon for churches to adjust their schedules during the holidays to accommodate the need for families to spend time together. That’s particularly true when Christmas Day falls on or near a Sunday. This can “ruffle some feathers” in a church, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Churches are able to give significant attention to the birth of Jesus prior to Christmas Day and many will have special Christmas Eve services regardless of when Christmas Day falls. So, if you’re a Bible teacher you may be looking forward to the “break” and the opportunity to spend the day with your family.
At the same time, many families (including the families of teachers) have young children who are out of school and anticipating “the most wonderful time of the year,” which for them means toys, packages, toys, candy, and toys. Conscientious parents and teachers alike will be thinking about helping the children under their care remember the real point of the celebration. If you’re one of those who may be missing the usual Sunday morning Bible study and worship event this year, here are a couple of suggestions you might want to consider…
Talk About Why
We are admonished in the Bible to give love and loyalty to God’s people through the local church, but children can (and should) understand that church attendance isn’t the only measure of devotion to Christ and His people. Use the break from the usual Sunday morning routine to talk about WHY the schedule is different. In this instance, the change actually is intended to enhance our devotion to Jesus and the people He came to redeem. Coming together as a family to celebrate the birth of Jesus is a beautiful thing and the fact that it may be happening on a Sunday is something to recognize.
Help Children Explore the Story at Home
Parents can typically expect the child’s Bible class to look at some of the passages related to Christmas during the holiday season. But, the fact is that travel plans and special events at church often can limit a child’s exposure to these stories. At the same time, kids are typically out of school before Christmas and the days following Christmas. As excited as they may be about sleeping in and avoiding homework, boredom can set in faster than we might expect. Consider helping kids fill the time with activities that can help them study and remember the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. We have compiled a long list of free, printable, Christmas-related activities that kids can enjoy in those moments they would typically be at church.
Of course there’s always the option of catching a few extra moments of sleep if the Sunday morning schedule gets adjusted and there’s nothing wrong with that either. But, if you find yourself wondering how to explain the change or fill the time, maybe you’ll find the above ideas helpful.
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.