Sunday is coming…

The Christian church came into existence in the midst of Judaism: the first Christians were all Jewish.
One of the momentous decisions the first followers of Jesus took, was to not celebrate Saturday as their holy day, as they had been used to in the Before Christ era.
The early church decided to celebrate on Sunday. When this decision was taken we do not know. The first solid proof of the fact comes from The Epistle of Barnabas, written shortly after the end of the New Testament era. This letter is dated by scholars anywhere between 70 and 135AD.

The writer of this letter says, ‘we spend the eighth day in celebration, the day on which Jesus […] arose from the dead.’ (Barnabas 15.9)

In the time when Barnabas wrote this, the church leaders were very strict in abiding by the examples set by the Apostles. Barnabas and his contemporaries would not have dared to change an institution of the Apostles - so we can safely assume the Apostles themselves instituted the celebration on Sunday.

In this light, it seems quite sure what Paul suggested in 1 Corinthians 16.2, in regard to an offering: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up… so that there will be no collecting when I come.” I think this hints at the fact that the first church held its meeting on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Barnabas gives us the reason that was used in the early church. Sunday was the day of the ressurection of Jesus. It was the day of a cosmic new beginning.

We meet every Sunday to celebrate the ressurection of Jesus, and we personally make a fresh start every Sunday. We leave our old life behind us, we confess our sins, and we enter into the new week forgiven and refreshed.

We are all people who need new beginnings all the time, and God offers it! Do not miss out on the experience of the reality of God touching your life: He is always making all things new. And he uses the Sunday worship service as an important means for this.

Sunday is coming. I hope to see you this Sunday, and every Sunday. We all need it.

Jos Strengholt