This morning, as I rode my bicycle to the church, I went through a mall parking lot. I noticed people getting out of their cars (at 6:30 AM) to go in. I suppose they were employees getting ready for the early morning shoppers who want the latest, greatest deal. Is it really so important to shop on Sunday morning so that you can get the greatest deal?
I am not against people having to work on Sundays. There are certain professions that demand it. One of my daughters is a doctor and I am glad that she can be at work to help heal people. I understand that people work in restaurants. (Yes, I have eaten out on Sundays and enjoyed it.) Yet, I know that these people can go to a church which has a service at other times than Sundays. They can do so because it is their regular schedule. They can look at their schedule in advance and go to church accordingly.
The people at the mall this morning do not have Christmas shopping as their regular schedule. Many of them are unaware that there are churches that have services at other times. They did not make their church choice based on the Christmas shopping schedule. Would it have been so wrong to open shopping a little later for them?
It is really easy to allow Christmas to eclipse Jesus in importance. We can claim it is for His glory but eventually we must admit it is because we want to shop.
I hope the managers of these stores arrange the schedules of their employees so that they don't miss every Sunday morning worship. I suppose working one would not be so bad but I have seen many stores obviously short-handed. (How can we be short-handed at 10.2% unemployment?) I'll bet many employees will have to work every Sunday.
I guess I am just concerned for those employees.
What if I and my church and you and your church were to invite each of the clerks you encounter to a Christmas Eve service at your's and my church? Do you think we could remind everyone of the reason for the season?