The apostle John makes a declaration in Revelation that is easy to quickly pass over. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…” (Revelation 1:10 ESV). It is easy to spend time studying what John means when he speaks about being “in the Spirit.” However, John is also careful to point out the day on which this vision began. It was not merely the first day of the week. It was “the Lord’s day.”
It does not take much effort to understand why John and Christians from the second century on described Sunday as the Lord’s day. First, we see Christians were gathering on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). Second, we know that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1). Finally, we observe the disciples gathering on the first day of the week after Jesus rose from the dead (John 20:19). Sunday was a very important day to Christians from the moment that Jesus rose from the dead. Sunday was the day that Christians gathered for worship. Sunday was the day that the Lord’s Supper was commemorated. We could even add on to this that the day of Pentecost also fell on the first day of the week, being 50 days after the Passover Sabbath. In Acts 2 we read that on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus, the apostles preached the opening of the kingdom of God and the forgiveness of sins to those who repented and were baptized (Acts 2:38).
It is not only unfortunate, but I believe devastating to see the growing trend of churches moving worship services from Sunday to Saturday or offering services on both days as if we get to pick which one we would rather attend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with gathering as Christians to worship God and study on Saturday, Wednesday, Monday, or any day of the week. What is wrong is to have Sunday replaced by these other days of worship. In turning church services into a drive-thru menu, we are inadvertently destroying what John specifically called, “the Lord’s day.” Yes, we want to make our services accessible to all people and I understand that some people have to work on Sunday. But to advance the idea that we can worship on another day like Saturday instead of Sunday flies directly in the face of why Sunday was chosen by our Lord and kept by first century Christians. Sunday was not a day picked out of thin air which has no more importance than any other day. Sunday has great significance. Sunday is to be different than any other day. Sunday is the Lord’s day. Sunday is the day we worship the Lord. Sunday is the day we remember the resurrection of our Lord. Sunday is the day we partake of the Lord’s Supper. We can have other days in the week when we gather for worship and study. But please do not suggest or imply that Sunday is just one of seven days and is an optional day of worship. Let’s not lose that Sunday is the Lord’s day.