by Sean P. Cavender | The Bald Knob Builder
The New Testament church has had the long-standing practice of meeting and assembling for worship on the first day of the week since the church began. In keeping with the practice and example of the first century church, we continue to meet on Sundays even today. “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1) – it makes sense that His church would meet on the day that He triumphed and was raised so we could enjoy the blessing of being His children. When the church assembles on the first day of the week, we commemorate Christ’s death in the Lord’s Supper and worship Him for His resurrection from the grave. Therefore, we can rightly call the first day of the week “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10) – the day Christians meet to praise the resurrected Savior.
Assembling with the saints is important for Christians to grow and develop properly in their walk with the Lord. We should not purposefully forsake and miss the gathering of like-minded brethren with whom we regularly worship. “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). By the regular assembling of Christians, we are able to devote time to study of God’s word, promote love and good works among the brethren, and continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. The importance of the Lord’s day and the purpose of our gathering does not change. It is a regular meeting that we keep, each and every first day of the week. Just as the Israelites kept a regular and weekly holy day of worship to the Lord, so do Christians.
Sadly, it appears the Lord has stiff competition for people’s time, even on the first day of the week. This is a cherished time of year when people want to be with family and loved ones. The holiday season is a time where we can spread good cheer, grace, love, peace and forgiveness towards one another. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Being able to spend time with our loved ones is a wonderful blessing, especially if we are unable to get together with them very often.
However, do not forget about your spiritual family on the Lord’s day. This year Christmas day happens to fall on a Sunday, the first day of the week. Next Sunday will be the first day of the week and will be just like every first day of the week—the day we come together to worship the Lord. Jesus taught us the importance of our spiritual family, “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). The Lord valued His spiritual family. He did not mean to de-value His earthly family, but wanted to promote the spiritual family of God. While we may be granted another Christmas day and time filled with family and loved ones, do not neglect to spend time with your spiritual family to worship the Creator. It is because of Him and His providential blessings that we have an opportunity to share in the most wonderful time of the year.