“On the first day of the week we came together to break bread.”
Acts 20:7 (NIV)
“On the first day of every week,
each one of you should set aside a sum of money
in keeping with your income, saving it up,
so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV)
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV)
Many times, when preaching, I have made the statement, “If I had any say in the matter, I would declare a moratorium on the word “Sunday” and insist we all call it ‘Resurrection Day.”
Where do we get the names for the days of the week anyway? They came from the ancient names for gods and celestial objects such as Thursday for the god Thor and Sunday for our sun.
It appears from our verses today that the early church gathered together on the first day of the week to break bread and make contributions to the Lord’s work. Why did they use that day instead of another? For that matter why do we meet on Sunday instead of Saturday or Wednesday? Ask the average Christian and they would suggest Sunday because we are free that day from work, etc. Rarely can people give the biblical reason.
The early church made Sunday their day for coming together because it was on the first day of the week Christ rose from the dead. So, I suggest we think of every Sunday as Resurrection Day or Easter Day. If we did this it would reinforce the central doctrine of our faith. We need this emphasis on Christ’s resurrection to feed our faith especially in the face of death and dying all around us.
All societies have cemeteries but only Christianity has an empty tomb. That fact needs to be celebrated by us regularly. I find it very interesting that the infant church chose resurrection day to celebrate Jesus’ death by breaking bread. The church brought together the two most profound truths of the Gospel i.e., Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. The two truths that happened in history as predicted in Scripture.
If you remember, consider thinking of Sunday each week as the day of our Lord’s resurrection and that is why you spend time in worship, breaking bread, singing, prayer, reading Scripture, fellowship and receiving a sermon. It is a grand celebration worthy of our best and heartfelt participation.
Safely through another week
God has brought us on our way;
let us now a blessing seek,
waiting in his courts today;
day of all the week the best,
emblem of eternal rest.
While we pray for pard’ning grace
through the dear Redeemer’s name,
show thy reconciled face;
take away our sin and shame;
from our earthly cares set free,
may we rest this day in thee.
Here we come thy name to praise;
let us feel thy presence near;
may thy glory meet our eyes
while we in thy house appear;
here afford us, Lord, a taste
of our everlasting feast.
May thy gospel’s joyful sound
conquer sinners, comfort saints;
may the fruits of grace abound,
bring relief for all complaints;
thus may all our Sabbaths prove,
’til we join the church above.
– John Newton