Why go to Church when I work so much?


A lot of people work. And people are commanded to work, for the sake of providing for his family. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1Ti 5:8 ESV) And often managers and supervisors schedule their employees without regard to Sunday worship. Often work is cited as an excuse rather than the real problem.

In truth, the Scriptures call for one day in seven for rest. This is called keeping the Sabbath. Those that would take this seriously would remember that God rested on the seventh day, and so we ought to as well. And so some will say that “Sunday is my only day off. It is my day. I don’t want to have to get up early to go to church.” But these folks are not off the hook yet, as Sabbath-keeping in Scripture was about spending the day in worship. This was a day to remember that Lord made the universe. This was a day that the Jews went to synagogue, and spent several hours there. People then were expected to work for seven days (this long before the labor-saving devices we now employ) and then to spend one whole day not doing any work (or play for that matter).

Now, Christians observe the first day of the week for worship, as this is the day that the Lord rose from the dead. We have applied Sabbath-keeping rules to Sunday, allowing us to use Saturday as a work-day. This is not mandated by Scripture, but something we do anyway. But this statement “my day off” is a smokescreen, since people will get up early on Sunday to take in a sports event, or watch their kids play. If you schedule a church service in the afternoon or evening, there would still be excuses. The root issue is the heart. If Church was important to this person, he would rise early on Sunday because he couldn’t wait to get out of bed to see His Lord.

Many people in foreign lands walk miles on Sunday morning, before the sun comes up, after six days of grueling labor, just so they can worship the Lord. The problem lies in the heart, the rebellious heart that resists the calling of his Lord. Admittedly, some have to work on Sunday morning, or work the night before. But someone who avoids church on account of work is giving voice to a symptom rather than the underlying problem. Rather than condemned for not coming to church, that person too needs to be loved into the kingdom. You do not know if that person is working extra hours to pay off a debt, or to care for his family. If you see a person working on a Sunday, offer to worship with them at a time convenient for them,

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
(Mat 18:20)

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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