who decides what the ground rules are for church? in the old testament, god says for his people to remember the sabbath and keep it holy. ultimately, this is a command about resting and trusting and acknowledging that god is in total control. at a minimum, though, this command defined the day that god's people set aside for special worship...for thousands of years.
after jesus was raised from the dead, it appears (from both historical records and the tradition of the church) that the special day of worship for the church shifted from saturdays to sundays. i grew up believing that sundays were "the lord's day", and that sunday mornings were the most important time of the week for god's people.
not only were sunday mornings sacred, but so were the times. my family would be at the church building at 9:00 for "opening exercises" before sunday school...a time where we would sing a couple of choruses to get our minds and hearts prepared for study and then we would be dismissed to our classes. at 10:20, we would finish our classes and then begin moving back over to the sanctuary to prepare for our worship service at 10:45. on good days (when the preacher wouldn't preach too long), we would conclude with a rousing chorus of "blest be the tie that binds"...not one of my all-time favorites...and we would all be pulling out of the church parking lot by 12:15.
that was 40 years ago. and i still go to a church that keeps the same schedule!
i know it's ok for the church to gather for worship on friday nights or saturday afternoons or sunday mornings or whenever. there is no rule that says we must meet at a particular time. i know this...and so do all of you!
in three weeks, we are going to change our sunday morning schedule. we are doing away with the 9:00 hour...mainly because we are a church family that functions a little better a little later. we are going to have a 10:00 service and an 11:15 service. and even though i am totally convinced this is an awesome decision for all the right reasons and...there is absolutely nothing wrong, bad, unlawful, illegal, immoral, unscriptural, or unspiritual about the decision...i am still a little uneasy about how people are going to respond.
but not uneasy enough to change the decision. i mean, come on...who wouldn't want an extra hour of sleep on sunday morning?