Though we are justified by God and are continually being sanctified, we remain sinners who transgress his law each and every day. We continue to feel the shame and guilt of our many sins. The Lord’s Day offers us the opportunity to confess these sins and to be assured of God’s kind and complete forgiveness. Though no man has the right or responsibility to forgive sins, it is the joy of the pastor to lead the church in confessing sins and in assuring those who have repented that they are forgiven.
The longer I live—the longer I live out this life as a Christian—the more I see my desperate need of the Lord’s Day. Though it once seemed like the kind of day I could take or leave, I’ve since come to rely on it and to see God’s goodness in giving it. It’s a day we ignore at our peril. As I stood to worship on Sunday, I found myself considering just some of what the Lord’s Day is…
The Lord’s Day is water for the parched runner. This life is a race, and one that leaves us weary and dry as we constantly “lay aside every weight” and “run with endurance” the long race set before us (Hebrews 12:1). Like the stations along the marathon route provide water that will hydrate the body until the next interval, the Lord’s Day offers us spiritual refreshment to keep us going not for the whole race, but at least for the next week.
It is a meal for the hungry pilgrim. As Christians we are pilgrims, people moving purposefully through this life toward the heavenly city that awaits us. Like a kind citizen may provide a meal to the needy pilgrim, the Lord’s Day is God’s kind provision for our spiritual sustenance. It provides what we need and what we cannot generate from within ourselves.
It is a rest for the weary worker. God created us to work upon this earth. But as sin entered the world, so did weariness and frustration, for “the creation was subjected to futility” (Romans 8:20). The Lord’s Day provides a period of rest from our day-to-day labors in which we trust that just as God in Christ has provided for our every spiritual need, he will also provide for our every physical need.
It is a celebration to the sorrowful. Life in a world like this is attended with many sorrows.