Christ is seen and worshipped not in our becoming like the world, but in our testifying the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, becoming like Christ, and worshipping and honoring Him on the Lord’s day according to His commandments alone. True rest on His day is set down in holy Scripture. To do anything other than what He prescribes on the Lord’s day is heinous, and doing so in His worship is strange fire in the sight of our holy, holy, holy God.
All of us can remember memorable events in our lives: earning a diploma, getting married, seeing your child or grandchild for the first time, and the deep comfort of knowing an older loved one has passed into glory. Add as well, the first time you acknowledged your sin and turned unto Christ for your salvation. There is only one thing in this life that surpasses all of those wonderful experiences, and that is the great privilege of entering into the Lord’s presence and resting our bodies and souls in Him Lord’s day after Lord’s day (Hebrews 4:9).
Sadly, we fill up the Lord’s day, the first day of the week, with those things that hinder our entering into the presence of the Lord and our resting in Christ alone. The Church needs to meditate deeply upon the truths of Scripture and our Standards and turn from this errant way in which we are burdening ourselves with the things of this world (Nehemiah 13:15-19). Besides work, entertainment, sports, games, and other pleasures, there are a great number of burdens we place upon ourselves in body and soul. This month, many in the Church and outside the Church celebrate Christmas. Additionally, many congregations celebrate other man-made days such as Easter, Father’s day, and even Reformation day. Such days are burdens that compete with or overshadow Lord’s day worship. Consequently, they cloud our minds and hearts from focusing on the Lord and His worship.
Regarding the activities that we attend to on the Lord’s day the Westminster Confession of Faith 21.7 first reminds us,
As it is of the law of nature that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him…
Unlike the previously mentioned celebrations, a day for the worship of God has been appointed by the Lord, not by man. This day in Scripture is called the Lord’s day, and it binds us all by God’s commandment (Revelation 1:10). The origin of the Lord’s day is unique in that the Lord set us an example by resting on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:1-3).