Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas and the marginalised

Had some great discussion Tuesday night about a whole range of topics, what is church,worship, Christian living, and also a bit that sprung from my link the other day about big churches closing down for Christmas.

I'm not a fan of the idea, but one of the guys made a couple good points about why he liked it-in terms of people being at homes with their families, volunteers not spending too much time at church etc. Valid points but I'm still not a fan.

I went on to talk about how one of my main issues was the people who don't have a great family Christmas, for whatever reason-loneliness, lack of money, tough family relations, an unwillingness to put the Christ in Christmas or whatever, and how by not having a church service we're depriving those people of the oppurtunity for Christian community, to connect with God, reflect on the true meaning of Christmas etc.

Then he threw back that perhaps just inviting some of these people, particularly the poor/marginalised, to church was a soft option, that in fact if we really cared about them we'd invite them into our homes and lives, invite them to be a part of our family's Christian community...

I know that's challenged me all week...


Anonymous said...

WWJD? hehe

Anonymous said...

A toughy. I think that church can be anywhere- not just at a church type place.
So for christmas, just re-direct your focus. I think a lot of people are focused on church as a building rather then a fellowship meeting with each other in the presents of God (which is everywhere).
So the "buildings of church" may be closed but i guess that doesn't mean we should shut down our faith as well...if that makes sense? This way you mix the family time and the church together. As for volnteers and stuff, this'll give them a break from the norm.
The next revolution- a BBQ christmas service...
meh too many thoughts!
But i like your points here digs- go for gold!

kat said...

It does make you extremely vunerable, deciding to share your personal life with other people rather than the arms length approach that we often use (ie, the soft option). you're right. it should be challenging to us.

lets take it.

you reminded me of something that jon jensen spoke about at the summit in july - sharing their life with the juditsu (sp?) guys. They were totally throwing their family space open to the guys that were hanging out with them, and alot who ended up living with them. it takes guts and steady faith to follow through like these guys do.

Anonymous said...

My experience is that the marginalised
lack good community, which we as a church can provide - individuals just don't do it
as well. FCofC have a BBQ this Christmas
morning, in a local park, for lonely guys.

Anonymous said...

It's a great, and real, challenge your friend offers Digger.

It all good and well to say we are mission minded, but when it impacts on our private worlds in a really significant way our true hearts start to show.

You know as well as any that 'church' is not just the gathering on a sunday. It's an important part, but not the only part. Church is a community and that happens all the time. So, inviting somebody to a Christmas worship service but then sending them on their way afterwards, perhaps still lonely and hungry, well....I think the book of James (ch2) sums it up best.

We're opening our Christmas up to a woman whose husband walked out on her this year and her Mum whose husband died (a bad year for them both!). I initially resented having to have them there, but later thought how difficult a time it would be otherwise. hopefully it will show my boys a little more about what community means, particulalry at Christmas.

Digger said...

Yeah no doubt Esky, if you;ve got a handle on that church is a community thing you'll enjoy VETAMORPHUS with me next year mate!

And yeah of course we wouldn't shut down our faith, but many people like, and many need, a place to express that faith on Christmas day.

Thats it hey Kat-extremely vulnerable-just like Jesus coming as a baby at Christmas...

Digger said...

Good stuff Matt-looks like you've finally got all that I've been teaching you all year! You're so lucky I'm here ;)