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Our Worship: Why Sunday?

We gather for worship on Sunday because it is the first day of the week. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week. His resurrection into his glorified body means that God is perfectly and eternally satisfied with the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross to save his people from their sins. We who were alienated from God because of our rebellion and disobedience are now wooed and welcomed into his presence because of what Jesus did. Each Sunday that we gather it is a statement that we serve a risen Lord who is fully God and fully man, enthroned at God the Father’s right hand and ruling a kingdom that will never end. Just as the present creation began on a first day in which God created light, so the new creation has begun in the rising of the eternal Son, the dawning of a new day that will never end.

The Holy Spirit came to birth the church on the first day of the week according to the Lord Jesus’ promise. We read the account of Pentecost in Acts 2. Before he ascended to his throne, Jesus promised that his people who remain here would receive the power of his Spirit to witness of his victory to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Every time we gather on a Sunday we are acknowledging God’s faithfulness to bring the gospel to us and our commission to proclaim that gospel till Christ returns.

The record of the early church’s example shows that our first brothers and sisters gathered on the first day of the week. Biblical evidence points to Sunday as gaining the name “Lord’s day.” Each time we gather we are affirming the continuity of the true church across ages and cultures, defined by the gospel which we proclaim. Throughout the centuries of the church’s sojourn in this present world she has most often preferred to set aside the first day for her primary worship gathering when possible and appropriate.

We are free in Christ to worship on any day. And all that we do is an expression of worship. The church does not cease to be a worshiping body when her members scatter throughout the culture pursuing various callings. But since we commit that we will gather to worship together at least once each week, the very best day we can choose is the first day. God in his mercy has provided that most people can set aside the Lord’s day to give priority to public worship and mercy ministry. We gladly perpetuate this practice for God’s glory and our good now and in the future.

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