In The Beginning

For reasons unclear to me, I have, since adolescence, had a compelling interest in church. As a grade school youth I would often walk several miles to attend church on Sunday. Occasionally, I was joined by my parents and brothers. Summer bible school was a special treat. For one thing, it was free–an important consideration for many families in our rural community.

As early as high school I developed a curiosity regarding the Church’s chosen day of worship, Sunday, that has persisted to this day. As many times as I read the bible it seemed to me that Saturday, the seventh day, was the day God had set aside, a special day, the day the Carpenter’s Son and the Apostles worshipped on.
As curious as I was, the distractions of adolescence and practical considerations took precedent over religious concerns. Who was I to question the Church? I wanted to go to college, get a good job, start a family, and have some fun. Having a car of my own would be nice too. The next forty years of my life seem typical of many American males of my age . I managed to put myself through college, acquire a professional career, marry a beautiful girl, and help raise two amazing children.
Despite or maybe because of the challenges of raising a family, a subsequent divorce, major employment relocations, a new marriage and starting my own businesses, I would most likely be found in church on the weekend. Church had been a great comfort yet the same question continued to challenge me. Through the years I explored my curiosity regarding the day of worship.
The Sunday-keeping churches all had explanations as to why they worshiped on the first day of the week. I was often disappointed in the content and scriptural basis of these explanations. Predictably, in the Sabbath keeping churches there was often a legalistic undertone associated with the observance. Occasionally the response to my inquiry regarding the choice for the day of worship evoked annoyance, as if my questions had hostile intent. In denominational written explanations there is a wide a range of quality and thoroughness given as reason for their particular choice.
While it is an insufficient explanation for me, I admired the Catholic Church’s claim, (in affect) “because we changed it”, (from Saturday to Sunday) a refreshingly frank reply. The Protestant denominations are not eager to acknowledge their contention and avoid making such a reference. It’s not my purpose to critique any church’s explanation for Sunday worship. Rather, in the essay to follow I will make an effort to answer the following questions. If Christ were here today (hypothetically), what day would He worship on? What blessing/s did God place upon the Sabbath?
Retired now, for ten years or so, I have been able to give some thought as well as informal study to these questions. As indicated, I find yself at odds with most of the Church regarding the preferred day of worship. That said, I want to make two things clear: 1) I respect the choice of those that worship on Sunday. 2) I believe it is possible to study the Sabbath in depth without reducing the effort to an argument about which day to worship on.      
          Using the Sabbath as my point of entry, I hope to share this layman’s insights into the beauty, wholesomeness and wonder of our faith with those of you that will follow and hopefully participate in the development of this research. I’m sure that I will offend some, disappoint a few but hopefully encourage others to know their faith with increased conviction and clarity. Your thoughtful and civil response to my monthly posting will be much appreciated by myself and possibly others following what I hope will become an informative, possibly formative discussion.
 By the way, I too am the son of a carpenter.