The problem with Christians decrying a reduction in Christmas expression by corporations and governmental institutions is the expectation that all people, businesses, and institutions must comply with Christians’ Christmas demands. This diminishes the witness of Christ by co-opting the message of Christianity with nationalistic priorities.
In the 21st century, and in the world that is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, churches that see their congregation as a platform for good in the community will thrive and connect with more people than churches that see their congregation as a pipeline of ministry.
Finding and accessing hope in a pandemic world comes from faith in God that God is not done with our crisis. Who are we to pronounce judgment that God is finished with us, our problems, or our world?
This pandemic has weighed heavily on our traditional plans of Advent and Christmas and required us to think creatively, but that does not mean our hope is lost. The Christian Church first started as a movement of house churches and micro-communities struggling to figure out how they can practice their faith in extremely challenging times. This year for Advent and Christmas, your church, family, or community can pivot to have a vibrant and imaginative holiday season.
Churches are not often equipped as professional mental health centers, but we can do some simple things to create a hospitable culture for those in anguish.