Yesterday we learned of the Jewish roots to the Sabbath. Ask three believers what the Sabbath means to them today, however, and you will likely get three different answers.
Pastor and author Stewart Briscoe describes in his book The Ten Commandments his childhood memories of the Sabbath: “We went to Sunday morning church, Sunday afternoon church, and Sunday evening church. In between those services, we played no games and could not play outside; instead we prayed or read or took part in quiet family conversations. Once my parents got a radio, they never switched it on on the Lord’s day. Neither would they dream of going to a restaurant on a Sunday; that would require someone else to work.”
While Briscoe’s experience may seem extreme to many, it illustrates one side of a struggle between those who believe Sunday is an extension of the Jewish Sabbath and those who believe Sunday is just another day of the week.
As Christians we do not observe the Sabbath (which is Saturday for Jews), but we do celebrate Sunday as the day our Lord Jesus rose from the dead. In our only glimpse of an early church worship service in the New Testament, the church met on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). The New Testament, however, never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath.
How then should we live on Sundays? The key word is balance. At Grace Church we believe Sunday should be set aside as a day we gather together as a church family to focus on God and worship Him in spirit and truth. We do not believer, however, that one is sinning if he goes out to eat on Sunday or watches television or goes to the grocery store.
With that said, however, it is important that Sunday is a day we focus on God. This does not mean that we squeeze in a morning worship service and then plow into the day as if it were Saturday or Monday. Sunday is the Lord’s Day. We are not commanded to observe the Sabbath, but we do desire to honor God with our time and show the world that for believers, Sunday is different.