AIM: To explore different Christian approaches to Sunday
OBJECTIVES: By the end of this unit participants will have
discussed a number of situations involving choices about Sunday;
studied some Bible passages on the subject.
Introduction 5 min
Discussion of Situations (page 8) 20 – 25 min
Bible Survey (page 9 – pairs study, then report back) 10 – 20 min
Recap of Christian Mind (page 4) 5 min
“Also to think about” (page 9) – discuss 5 min
Conclusions and introduce unit 6 (hand out page 10 THIS week) 5 min
“The Sabbath was made for man” but some traditions reject any idea of Keeping Sunday Special while others are almost Pharisaical in their observance. The priority here is to focus on practical decisions we all have to make about Sundays, rather than theoretical arguments about the morality of Sunday Trading. The challenge is for each of us to honour God by keeping one day special for Him, for worship, learning, fellowship, family and recreation, as a sign of our love and commitment to Him.
Many folk have firm convictions in this area, often deriving from their upbringing and church traditions rather than from any Biblical thinking.
ANECDOTES: Invite some of the older members of the group to share some memories of Sundays in their childhood. Ask them how their attitudes differ from those of their parents.
POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO SUGGESTED QUESTIONS:
Situations : (2) would be common practice for Christians in USA.
(6) buying the Bible used to be illegal
(9) the Early Church met early in the morning on “the Lord’s day” to celebrate the Resurrection. This was the FIRST day of the week, and so for a long time a WORKING day.
(10) You may care to discuss the peculiar situation of the Christian Minister. How does he/she “Keep Sunday Special”?
BIBLE PASSAGES – some surprises here! See page 9 of Participants notes
Jesus did NOT repeat the 4th commandment in the gospels. Acts 15 did not impose Sabbath observance on Gentile believers. A strong case can be made that keeping the Lord’s day special is a command for believers as a sign of the covenant (Ezek 20). It is not necessarily for the whole of mankind, although a very beneficial idea for workers and family and community life.
WORK TO DO BETWEEN SESSIONS: Prepare for unit 6 (page 10). As a leader look at the Leader’s Guide and decide what issues you want to concentrate on next time.