Easter Sunday is around the corner, the annual reminder to the world proclaiming Jesus Christ rose from the dead and conquered sin and death for all mankind.
Yet each Sunday stands as a reminder of the resurrection, a mini-Easter of sorts. Or at least it used to. Consumer reports and trends show that Sundays are looking more like any other day of the week.
For example, a special Sunday these days is “Super Bowl Sunday.” More and more, sports are pulling Christians away from church on Sundays, be it a Little League tournament or attending a sporting event. Is it any wonder our youth have grown up to view church attendance as a lower priority?
Could it be that some social ills we are seeing today, such as family breakdown and waning worship service attendance, are partly attributable to Christians giving up on Sundays?
Recall that in the Bible, the Sabbath was given as a gift to man (Gen. 2:2-3). U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an observant Jew, even wrote a book on the topic (obviously, he refers to Saturday, not Sundays like we understand it), called The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath. In our hustle-and-bustle world, a dedicated day of rest would be a huge blessing.
It would also mean Christians were uncompromisingly committed to Sunday as a dedicated worship time. Yes, every day is a day to worship God, but as early as the Book of Acts we see the shift to Sunday as a time to gather for worship. Viewing Sundays as set apart aligns us with the Christians who went before us.
Treating Sundays as special would also mean more time with family. In studying family breakdown, one of the leading indicators of family health was the amount of time spent together. Maybe what the Family of God needs most is more consistent time together, and Sundays afford that opportunity.
No one is calling for a legalistic return to Sabbath observance. We each have freedom in Christ (Rom. 14), but a strong case can be made that Christians were far better off–and society as a whole– when everyone understood Sunday was set apart.
Each week, the ringing church bells and quieting of commerce stood as a testament to our desire to turn aside for dedicated worship of God. It is not too late to realign our habits in this way.
Yet we must return to Sunday as the Lord’s Day soon, because what one generation tolerates, the next embraces. Whether Easter Sunday or next Sunday, let’s gather in the Name of the Lord and thereby proclaim, He is risen. Then the world will marvel as they hear Christians say, Thank God It’s Sunday!