SUNDAY WORSHIP vs DAILY FELLOWSHIP
To the Apostles, Sunday worship was for Breaking of Bread (Act 20:7; 1Cor 16:2) and remembrance of the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10) of His Resurrection on the First Day of the week (Mat 28:1; Mar 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 10, 26) but it is not commanded or expected to be the only day of worship. CONTINUOUS and steadfast Church meeting means DAILY fellowship.
The Apostles exemplified for us in the Scriptures that the New Testament Church is meant to meet DAILY not Sundays only:
(46) And they, continuing DAILY with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their food with gladness and sincerity of heart,
(47) Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church DAILY such as were being saved.
(42) And DAILY in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
(1) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the DAILY distribution.
(5) And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number DAILY.
(11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures DAILY, whether those things were so.
(17) Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market DAILY with them that met with him.
(9) But when some people became stubborn, refused to believe, and slandered the Way before the people, he left them, took his disciples away from them, and had DAILY discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
SUNDAY HOLIDAY vs SABBATH HOLIDAY
Initially, the Apostolic Church used Sunday (i.e. the First Day or the Lord’s Day) for only evening worship in addition to their daily evening meetings; but when Sunday became an international public holiday for all religions to worship and pray for the Roman Empire (321 AD), Christians began to also use it as a day of rest similar to the Sabbath. The non-Christian public however misused it for many frivolities which later led to prohibition of Sunday theatre and sports, to ensure that people attend worship of their various religions to pray for the Empire.
Christ and the Apostles joined their fellow Jews at the Synagogues for Sabbath worship in the Jewish homeland (Luk 4:15-16; Act 17:1-2; 21:20-26). But sometimes when necessity so demands, they refused to fully observe it as a day of rest as prescribed by the tradition of the elders (Matt 12:1-12; Luk 6:1-11). Early Christian Jews joined the weekly Jewish morning worship held on the Sabbath at the Synagogue if the other Jews allowed them, but also had to fellowship daily with the Church in the evenings. To the Church, every day is holy not only Sabbath or even Sunday (Rom 14:5-6; Col 2:16-17).
As Europeans, the Romans did not have weeks but calends (Month beginning) and ides (Mid-month) during the time of Christ and His Apostles. The seven-day week came into Rome partly through the influence of Jews, Christians and Egyptians. But today apart from in England the pagan Rome’s “the Day of the Sun” failed to gain prominence in Europe not even in Italy, over the Church’s “the Lord’s Day” (whence came the Latin Dominica, the Italian Domenica, the Spanish Domingo or the French Dimanche).
The Babylonians first began the seven-day week from antiquity long before Moses, and named the week-days after the Sun and Moon and the then known five “wandering stars” called planets, but it was from Egypt that the seven-day week and calendar was formally adopted by Rome in the fourth century AD – long after the Apostles had all died. Before the First Day of the Week began to be called Sunday in the Roman Empire, the Apostolic Church had already established Church Eucharistic (the *Lord’s Table* 1Cor 10:21) worship on the First Day of the Week which they called the *Lord’s Day* (Rev 1:10).
The Jewish Christians outside the Jewish homeland continued to join their non-Christian folks at the weekly Sabbath Synagogues, because the Roman Empire granted Jews the rights of exemption from work on their Sabbath. Non-Jewish Christians, most of whom were not prominent enough to have personal liberties, could not enjoy this privilege, but had to work for their masters and so did not observe the Sabbath Rest with the Jews. These only met with their Jewish Christian brethren at the evenings of the next day, being Sundays (or the *Lord’s Day*), for Eucharistic worship (The *Lord’s Supper* Act 20:7; 1Cor 11:20) after their day’s work.
For congregational activities other than the Lord’s Supper, the early Church in the Apostolic period customarily met DAILY, usually in the evenings after the day’s business (Acts 2:46-47; 5:42; 6:1; 16:5; 17:11&17; 19:9).
By I. U. Ibeme
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