By Jeff Faull
“I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus. . . . On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet” (Revelation 1:9, 10, author emphasis).
John was being punished. We are not.
John was suffering. We are not.
John was alone. We’re not.
John was an apostle. We’re not.
John was an eyewitness. We’re not
But we are trying to listen to God, and it is the Lord’s Day!
I’ve always been intrigued by that designation: “the Lord’s Day.” From childhood I’ve been taught the importance of gathering around the Lord’s table on the Lord’s Day.
This is the only time the phrase is directly used in Scripture, though it must be the day referred to in Acts 20:7 and
1 Corinthians 16:2 and John 20:19.
Without getting bogged down in the details, there are multiple voices from early church history and from Bible scholars confirming the Lord’s Day as the first day of the week. For instance, Justin Martyr wrote, “On Sunday we all hold our joint meeting; for the first day is that on which God, having removed darkness and chaos, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead. On the day before Saturday they crucified him; and on the day after Saturday, which is Sunday, having appeared to his apostles and disciples, he taught these things.”
I won’t drag this on. But Jesus rose from the grave on the first day. The church began on the first day. Early believers met on the first day.
Interestingly, Eugene Peterson in The Message simply renders Revelation 1:10 as “It was Sunday.”
Few believers would have dreamed of disputing the meaning and placement of the Lord’s Day in the infancy of the church.
Well anyway, it’s Sunday—the Lord’s Day—and for centuries believers have gathered on this special day to break bread and remember Jesus. Today we follow that beautiful example and we proclaim the death of Jesus on his day until he comes.
Jeff Faull serves as senior minister with Mount Gilead Church in Mooresville, Indiana, and as one of CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s contributing editors.