What I Think About Sunday: In Bullet Points

  • From the Decalogue I conclude that God is concerned with how we organize our time
  • In managing one’s time in a godly way, there is precedent for especially focusing on one day, a special day.
  • Six days of work and one day of rest, that is, “Sabbath,” is the division at the creation, and was at one point taken to be a pattern. I don’t see any reason why that’s still not a good pattern.
  • The Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ, has the authority to alter the terms of the Day of Rest. Still questions for me: How much has He altered after the Old Covenant is voided?  Was that which was voided obviously temporary, and itself pointing to something permanent?  Can I tell only from Scripture what He voided, or do I also accept some of the decisions of the Church as declaring His will?
  • There is no scriptural mandate that the day of rest should be Sunday. Nor that it shouldn’t.
  • For myself and – more or less – those whom I lead, I’ll want to be informed and carefully consider what constitutes rest. Further, in order to preserve rest on a day of rest, I’ll want to set boundaries around true rest and enforce those boundaries.  For instance, I won’t miss church on Sundays because of vacation etc
  • However, I’ll steer away from legislating into a common code the particulars of rest.
  • My ability to rest is related to others’ ability to rest. Sharing a day of rest increases the capacity to rest.
  • As a matter of justice and religion, I am grateful for mores and laws that enjoin generally a common day off from regular work. As much as I’m permitted, I’ll strive to maintain those mores and laws.
  • Perhaps I’ll be especially pleased when a secular company purposely connects its day off to a religious reason, since I do the same.
  • Unlike the rest day, there is not, scripturally, a specific directive to have a day of worship.
  • However, there is apostolic precedent to separate one day from the others in order to particularly remember and honor the Lord Jesus; that is, the “Lord’s Day.” I guess this would be day of worship.
  • There is no certainty that the “Lord’s Day” is Sunday, although it makes sense, and by at least the 2nd century the Church took it that way.
  • The “Lord’s Day” and the day of gathering as a church isn’t necessarily the same. Although in the history of the Church they came to coincide.
  • There is no spelled out reason that the day of rest and a day of worship should coincide. Nor that they shouldn’t.  The Day of Sabbath and the Day of Worship don’t need to be considered as one.  Is worship work?  Certainly is for the clergy, and the “clergy-ish.”
  • A good commemorating of the “Lord’s Day” isn’t spelled out in Scripture. (We do have the apostolic phrase of “being in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day,” which sounds good but doesn’t provide specifics.)  Here we can learn much from other saints.
  • There is definitely scriptural command to gather together as a church. That needn’t be on Sunday.  Or on the Lord’s Day, if those days are not the same.  But in deciding which day to gather, of course I am dependent on a consensus. That consensus consists of early church practice recorded in scripture, Church tradition, local circumstances, especially the direction of church leadership.  This consensus will normally steer me into gatherings on Sundays.  While being so steered, I’ll also recall that it is not necessarily the only day to gather, and exigencies could compel us to gather on another day, and that’d still be ok.
  • The specific activities of those gatherings are learned by collecting various parts of Scripture and by weighing the examples of the saints. But how often should we gather?  How long should those gatherings be?  Do we meet in a building that portrays spiritual truths, or not?  What kind of singing?  Here we are left with suggestions.  These become matters of love and wisdom, and also issues of hunger and thirst: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

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