SUNDAY WAS “MONDAY” TO THE JEWS
Can you imagine the sweeping changes that must have taken place in the lives of the first disciples that responded to the preaching of the apostles? Many of the first disciples were Jews living in Jerusalem, still very much connected to the traditions of Judaism and yet they had embraced the teachings of Jesus and and were being introduced by the apostles to a new and better covenant.
One of the changes these new disciples faced was a new day of assembly. Under the Old Covenant, they had kept the seventh day of the week, or the Sabbath, as a day of rest and of sacred assembly. (Leviticus 23:3). Yet, under the new covenant of Christ, they met upon the first day of the week to “break bread” or observe the Lord’s Supper.
The problem that these new disciples faced was that the first day of the week was a work day for the Jews. Sunday was to the Jews of that day, as Monday is to us today. They were expected to be at their respective jobs and businesses ready to work as soon as the sun was up and most had to remain on the job until the sun had set.
Have you ever considered how these early disciples were able to assemble and observe the “Lord’s Supper” on a regular work day? The answer to this question is simple…they met either before sunrise or after sunset. In Acts 20: 7-11, we are told that the disciples in Troas came together on the first day of the week to break bread and that Paul preached to them until midnight, that they ate together and then Paul talked until daylight.
Apparently the disciples at Troas had met together after sundown and had stayed at the assembly all night. No doubt many had to be at work the next morning. In a letter to the Roman Emperor Trajan from Pliny, Governor of Bithynia, he tells how the Christians met together “on a stated day before it was light.”
Can you imagine the dedication it would require to get up and get the family ready to be at the assembly by 3:00 or 4:00 O’Clock in the morning so that everyone could get to their jobs by sunrise? Would we have that kind of dedication and commitment today? Let’s all give this some thought as we enjoy our leisurely Sunday mornings and as we struggle to get up, get ready and be on time for our 9:00 or 10:00 Sunday morning assemblies. -Wendell Ingram