Monday, December 30, 2013

Obamas Didn't Attend Church on Christmas-It Does Matter

There is some controversy over the fact that the Obama Family, vacationing in Hawaii during Christmas Time, didn't find the time or choose to attend Church Services on Christmas Day. There is a lot of commentary and opinion on whether this matters and whether other presidents in the past have attended Church services on Christmas. To me it matters. One thing I do as a religious educator is give talks to parents and children and I always make a point, during the talks to say how important religious rituals are to children and adults. Psychologists also say that rituals, even religious rituals are important for the security and well being of children and adults. There are numerous studies that suggest that attending worship services (of any one of the major world religions) is good for the body, mind and soul. Yes, prayer is good for you and so are religious services and Mass. Besides that, if you are going to be a believer, if you are going to believe and profess faith in Jesus Christ then on the second holiest feast day (at least in Catholicism, which is my tradition) shouldn't you spend time in adoration and prayer, with a faith community? I understand that some Protestant congregations do not have services on Christmas and I don't get that at all. Jewish people believe that adoration of God and praise of God is the highest form of prayer. Shouldn't Christmas be a time of prayer and reflection, in a communal setting for Christians. Why wouldn't a believer spend some time (one hour) in prayer and adoration on Christmas? It says in Scripture that Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." Don't we want to spend quality time with Jesus on Christmas Day?" If not then, when?  I think it's important and more importantly, I think for the President of the United States, who states that his religion is important to him, to spend one hour on Christmas Day in prayer with his family sends a positive message to the country, to the journalists covering his stay in Hawaii, to his two daughters and to believers all over the world. That's just my opinion.