Psalm 92 begins like this:
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
Starting and ending the Lord’s Day with corporate worship fits well with that Psalm and perhaps suggests a good pattern for Sundays.
I don’t think that Sunday is the same as the Old Testament Sabbath. It’s not the law for Christians that we should stop work and go to church once on Sundays, let alone twice. I just think a Sunday evening service is such a great idea. If you’re hungry for God’s word and love God’s people why wouldn’t you at least want to be there even if that’s not always possible?
We have the freedom and the opportunity to use Sunday as a special day and most of us can choose to rest from our normal work and worship together with God’s people. So why not make the most of it? And by bracketing the day with a meeting at either end it makes the day special. Without the evening service it could just feel like we do our duty in the morning for an hour and the rest of the day belongs to us. With a day shaped by a desire to get with God’s people a second time it feels more like the whole day is special and is a means of God speaking as we reflect on His word and his ways.
In the case of our own church it can be a different kind of meeting with a much more close family feel to it without the driving schedule that’s more necessary on a Sunday morning. It also gives more opportunities for different kinds of teaching and to give other people opportunities to lead and teach.
I’m not saying church meetings are more important than family responsibilities; more important than loving your husband or wife and providing for our families in every sense. Maybe there are times when you have to say hello to your spouse or put the kids to bed. We each have to work out before God how the priorities set by Him work out in our lives. But it’s always worth asking whether you’re availability and awake-ness to come out on Sunday evenings is about the priority decisions you’re making throughout the week, not just about that moment on Sunday evening.
So I encourage you. Don’t give up on the Sunday evening service. Or if you’ve never been to one, give it a try.
This post was inspired by reading this blog by Kevin de Young.