God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

This Christmas, I’m Defining Family by My Single Friends by L. Wilbert

This Christmas, I’m Defining Family by My Single Friends by L. Wilbert

(Link): This Christmas, I’m Defining Family by My Single Friends by L. Wilbert

Excerpts:

Blood relatives are key to the holiday. But I share a deeper DNA with the body of Christ.

Every Saturday, after evening church services, my husband and I open our home to friends— mostly unmarried ones.

Sometimes it’s four or five friends, sometimes one, sometimes it’s just my husband and me and our housemate, a 24-year-old intern at our church. Whatever the number, we gather around the table in the nook of our kitchen, light candles, listen to one another, pray, sometimes play a game, sometimes mourn with each other, and usually laugh.

Continue reading “This Christmas, I’m Defining Family by My Single Friends by L. Wilbert”

21 Hilarious Solo Christmas Cards

21 Hilarious Solo Christmas Cards

(Link): 21 Hilarious Solo Christmas Cards

Here is just one of several images on their page:

funny_christmas_cards-12


Related Posts:

(Link): Single Woman Photographer Opposes Societal Marital Pressure with Mannequin Family

Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day to Be With Family by J. Roys

Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day to Be With Family by J. Roys

Yes. I’ve been noting on this blog for the last few years that Christians have turned the Nuclear Family into idols, and this comes at the expense of divorced, widowed, childless, childfree, and never married adults.

(Link): Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day by J. Roys

Excerpts:

Christmas this year falls on a Sunday, which has some churchgoers in a tizzy.

…Religion writer Amy Sullivan once suggested that the reason American Christians don’t normally go to church on Christmas is because we’ve adopted a civil religion that elevates the ideal of family “to a sacrosanct level.” The Norman Rockwell image of a family gathered around a tree, she argues, has become a Christmas icon that rivals baby Jesus.

“For most Christians,” she said, “Christmas is a day for family, not faith.”

I think Sullivan has a point. Recently, I was listening to a Christmas album by the a cappella group Pentatonix, which I absolutely love. But the lyrics to their song “That’s Christmas to Me” pierced my heart. The song is beautiful and nostalgic — and completely godless.

After talking about Santa and stockings and mistletoe, they croon, “The only gift I’ll ever need is the joy of family. Oh why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me.”

I love my family dearly. But Christmas is about the birth of my savior without whom I’d have no hope for the future. And to me, there’s no better way to celebrate Christmas than to join with my church family, as well as my natural family, to worship our savior.

But again, many Christians attend services on Christmas Eve. So, what’s wrong with foregoing church on Christmas Day? However, Sullivan notes that many Anglican and Catholic Churches similarly hold midnight masses or vigils the night before Easter. (My church does that, and it’s a highlight of my year.) But everyone still shows up the next morning for Easter services. No devout Christian would ever consider missing church on Easter! So why do we not have the same attitude toward Christmas?

As Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay, notes, “If Christmas falls on Monday through Saturday, churches might be closed on December 25 — but almost never on a Sunday.”

Still I wonder, how many will attend church on Christmas Day joyfully as opposed to dutifully? And how many church members will actually show up? Many churches, which normally hold multiple services on Sunday morning, are only holding one service on Christmas day.

…That’s my hope too. I fear we have replaced adoring God with adoring family on Christmas. And as much as I love family, and see it as an incredible gift from God, I love Jesus even more.


Related Posts:

(Link):  The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel (Re: People Who Are Alone At the Holidays)

(Link):  Merry Christmas to Single People

(Link): God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

(Link): Church Is a Family, Not an Event by K. Kandiah

(Link):  Please Shut Up About Family and Christmas – by Laura (some people are alone at the holidays; they are not married, have no kids)

(Link):  Churches Ignoring The Olds: Increasing Population of Senior Citizens In America – Yet Churches Keep Obsessing About Kids and 20 Somethings

(Link):  “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link):  If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again (Married people who have spouses with dementia)

The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel by Paul (Re: People who are alone at the holidays etc)

The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel

(Link): The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel by Paul

Excerpt

You have heard the saying, “Misery loves company.” How about loneliness, or is that a contradiction in terms? Still, I thought I would reflect upon the subject given that Christmas is likely one of the loneliest days of the year.

How can this be given that Christmas is considered perhaps the most joyous and communal holiday for a great number of people across the world? No doubt, all the emphasis on joy and community highlights all the more the social isolation many people feel.

The (Link): Daily Mail reports that according to Great Britain’s most senior casualty doctor, Prof. Keith Willett, the fear exists in the UK that “Beleaguered A&E [Accident & Emergency] departments face being overwhelmed at Christmas by lonely, elderly people.”

Britain’s Care Minister Norman Lamb called upon Britons to care for their neighbors who experience isolation so that the UK does not become a “neglectful society” (For more on the situation, refer here to the BBC’s story).

The problem does not only exist in the United Kingdom. It also exists here in the States, where according to one of my students serving as a chaplain in a retirement center, we often warehouse our elderly.

The problem is not sequestered to the elderly either. Single people without families and networks of friends, as well as other isolated persons, feel the weight of loneliness. They are not alone. We are not alone.

The Lord Jesus himself experienced loneliness during his sojourn here on earth, as did his parents, no doubt, given the child they raised. Perhaps we can find comfort in knowing that the Lord himself experienced loneliness, in part so that he could identify with us.
Jesus was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3).

….As we celebrate Jesus’ birth this season, may we celebrate others, especially those who like Jesus endure isolation. In view of the neglected God incarnate who does not neglect others, may we not warehouse them or allow them to give birth to increased loneliness outside the inn. May we join Jesus by reaching out to them with a warm smile, a phone call, a card, a visit, a meal, an embrace: “God with us, Immanuel.” God with us with them, Immanuel.


Related posts:

(Link):  Please Shut Up About Family and Christmas – by Laura (some people are alone at the holidays; they are not married, have no kids)

(Link): Church Is a Family, Not an Event by K. Kandiah

(Link): God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

(Link):  Churches Ignoring The Olds: Increasing Population of Senior Citizens In America – Yet Churches Keep Obsessing About Kids and 20 Somethings

(Link):  “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link):  If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again (Married people who have spouses with dementia)

(Link): Mature Christians Need to Stop Allowing the Under 30 Crowd to Direct the Entire State of Christian Affairs

(Link): Elder / Senior Abuse and Neglect – Christians need to stop worshipping youth – there are other needy groups out there

Merry Christmas to Single People

It’s Grumpy Cat – who hopes you have a horrible Christmas

Nothing because I'm single
Nothing because I’m single

Related:

(Link): God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

(Link): 21 Hilarious Solo Christmas Cards

(Link): Being Single During Christmas (by J. Acuff)

(Link):  Please Shut Up About Family and Christmas – by Laura (some people are alone at the holidays; they are not married, have no kids)

(Link): Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest

(Link):  Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity 

(Link):  James the Single 40-Something Guy Asks 700 Club’s Pat Robertson Why Churches Don’t Help Singles

(Link):  The Isolating Power of Family-Centered Language (How churches exclude singles and the childless) by E A Dause

(Link):  Come, Let Us Adore … Family? Churches Closing Their Doors on Christmas Day to Be With Family by J. Roys

(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States (as of 2014)

(Link):  The Neglected God Calls Us to Reach Out to the Neglected at Christmas: God with Us and Them—Immanuel (Re: People Who Are Alone At the Holidays)

(Link): ‘I’m A Single Mid-Lifer – Here’s What I’m Planning to Get Me Through Christmas – I Feel Crushing Shame About Being Single in Mid-Life’

(Link):  This Christmas, I’m Defining Family by My Single Friends by L. Wilbert

(Link): Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles? by S. Hamaker

(Link):  Churches Ignoring The Olds: Increasing Population of Senior Citizens In America – Yet Churches Keep Obsessing About Kids and 20 Somethings

(Link): Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured

(Link): Mom Blows $10K on Veneers, Botox While Refusing Kids’ Christmas Gifts

(Link): Killer Dad Yanked Son’s Teeth Out With Pliers, Gave Him Coal For Christmas and Raped Him To Death With Stick

(Link): Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD

(Link): Post by Sarah Bessey Re: Churches Ignore Never Married Older and/or Childless Christian Women, Discriminate Against Them

(Link):  If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again (Married people who have spouses with dementia)

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link):  Creepy: ‘Barna: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’

(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

(Link): Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link):  Bethke: “Christians Do Not Need To Get Married To Live A Full And Flourishing Existence”

(Link): The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake – by David Brooks – and Related Links