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Holy Spirit Interactive Youth: Bible Geek: Why Go To Church On Sundays?

Why Go To Church On Sundays?

My friend says that he doesn't go to church because he says the Bible doesn't tell us to. I was wondering if you know of any Scripture verses that talk about church and why we need to go.

This is a great question – I’m glad you asked it.

"The Bible doesn’t tell me to." and "Show me where in the Bible it says…"

I wish I had a nickel for every time I read or heard those phrases in the course of a week…Sincerely, I’d take that money, solve the world’s hunger problem and still have enough left over to buy a car, new collars for my dogs and enough pizza for every teen on the planet.

As a Catholic Christian it is vital to understand that we do not approach the Bible as the sole source of truth. We absolutely regard it as TRUTH, make no mistake. But we also consider the Oral Traditions of the Church that were taught and handed down to be of equal value and importance. Learn More Here

That being said, there are plenty of places that the Bible makes very clear God’s position on the subject, and the Bible further supports the Tradition of Sunday worship given to us by the early Church.

Obviously, the most direct place that we are told to set aside Sundays and spend it in rest and worship of the Lord comes from the Old Testament. After God set the Sabbath aside for rest, He reminded us to keep it holy by refraining from work and entering into worship.

"Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work He had done in creation." - Genesis 2:2-3

"He told them, "That is what the LORD prescribed. Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, the sabbath, sacred to the LORD. You may either bake or boil the manna, as you please; but whatever is left put away and keep for the morrow." - Ex 16:23

"Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day…the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done …the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." - Ex 20:8, 10-11

He gives it to us as a gift and then commands it to insure that we would do it…that is, if we were acting like children who obeyed, instead of brat’s who need to be forced. Now brats might sound like a strong word, but if you want to talk about strong words, consider the following:

"Therefore, you must keep the sabbath as something sacred. Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death. If anyone does work on that day, he must be rooted out of his people." - Ex 31:14

God knew not everyone would want to go or might need a "nudge". God also knew that people would want to be selfish with their time and foresaw that many would not want to honor Him on the Sabbath.

"If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD'S holy day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice--Then you shall delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." - Isaiah 58:13-14

As for the Bible’s position on why we need to go to Church on Sundays, there are plenty of places where we see folks modeling what Christian behavior is, and it entails entering into worship and rest on the Sabbath. The example and expectation comes from the Early Church Tradition as outlined in the Scriptures and as carried on and safeguarded through the Apostolic Tradition. A few citations in Scripture would include:

"As they were leaving, they invited them to speak on these subjects the following sabbath. On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord." - Acts 13:42, 44

"For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every Sabbath." - Acts 15:21

"Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue, attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks." - Acts 18:4

"Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God." - Heb 4:9

Other verses like Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2, show the evolution and tradition of meeting on the first day (in celebration of the Lord’s resurrection) and observing the traditions laid out for them by Christ and His closest followers, the apostles.

Most of all, try to convey to your friend that while personal prayer and private worship is, indeed, very important, that we were also born into a family and into a community, and that communal worship and the need to enter into it is part of our design, our make up and part of who we are as a creation of God. For God is a family. The Trinity is the perfect family and we are called to model that example of holiness, love and perfection, by coming together as a family of faith, the Body of Christ.

See you at Mass!

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