(BNC) Editorial by J. Randal Matheny — Sunday is such an important day for one’s life in Christ that preparation and care should be taken for best advantage. That’s the point of the article, published yesterday, “What can you do on Saturday to make Sunday more worshipful? Here are 7 suggestions.”
At the same time, Sunday, as the Lord’s Day and first day of the week, provides Christians with the opportunity to lock in spiritual perspectives and concrete intentions that honor God’s eternal purpose.
Worship honors God. The adoration of the Almighty celebrates his great acts in history and proclaims his continued action in the lives of his people. These truths allow saints to center their lives during the week in the person and purpose of God.
God created man to live in close proximity to himself. Human life contains but a single purpose to be sought and refined in every single activity — communion with the Creator. Sunday recognizes and reinforces this truth, keeping the disciple with the frenzied agenda from losing his direction.
In the assembly, God truly becomes “one God and Father of all, who is over all [the church] and through all and in all” Eph 4.6 NET.
The assembly’s got your back. Stepping into Monday, the saint knows that a whole community cheers him on, prays for his success, and joins in his efforts to shine light into darkness by proclaiming Christ as Lord and Savior to people who have yet to submit to his sovereignty.
God is not pleased when people claim to commune with him in a fishing boat instead of meeting with the saints, or when people break their own bread at home, as if the ritual can be valid when separated from the spiritual family. Faith is a community action, and Sunday’s assembly is the central, indispensable moment of joint expression.
Just as the body of Christ needs every member to function, according to 1 Cor 12, so every member needs that same body in order to perform his duties and contribute to that body’s overall health and renewal.
The Sunday assembly acts as a service test. The assembly is designed for edification, Heb 10.24-25. Some, however, come for ritual bread and fruit of the vine, thinking their weekly obligation fulfilled. Such fail the test.
Fit in this category also the non-singers, the nitpickers, the latecomers, the early refugees, the sermon critics, and the comfort consumers.
If edifying one’s brother and sister in Christ proves difficult, the evangelization of the lost will fail altogether.
So the assembly will either reinforce our selfishness or contribute to tearing away the remaining vestiges of our resistance to cross-bearing. Together with the church we finally learn how to deny self, Lk 9.23.
During the Week
During the week, hymns sung on Sunday hang on to heal the hurts, Scripture texts heard in readings and lessons massage the truth of God into the soul, prayers led by qualified men prompt greater openness to the needs of one’s neighbor, and encouragement received in the assembly motivates mightily to live every moment for the God who saves and sends.