The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Why this day for our assembly? Why Sunday?

Some say the third commandment compels us to be here. But Saturday is the Sabbath and our Christian practice of worship on Sunday doesn’t change that. Sunday isn’t the Christian Sabbath, the day of rest. It’s something else. It’s more.

The most obvious reason we assemble on Sunday for eucharist is that this is the day Christ rose from the dead and we celebrate the Paschal Mystery in this holy meal. We know from our history that Christians have gathered on Sunday for the word and meal even before one Sunday a year was kept as Easter. Sunday as the day of resurrection is certainly one of the primary reasons we gather. But there’s more.

Before there were days, before time, divine love overflowed and God said: “Let there be light!” So Sunday is the first day, the day when the Creator began creating, separating the light from the darkness. Sunday is the day of beginnings, the day when God first looked at creation and called it good.

What better day to see Christ rise? So the first day is also the third day, the day on which Christ rose from the dead. On the third day, a trinity of women came to know God as savior and redeemer. For when they went to the cemetery in the predawn darkness, they were dazzled by the glory of an angel and a neatly folded shroud in an otherwise empty tomb.

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