The 1950s song by Sarah Vaughn with the same title as this article could not have rung more true. Indeed a day can make quite a difference. The routine of our lives is usually measured in days. There are seven days in the week. This does not vary under any circumstances. It is the same today as it was centuries ago. It is the same in the United States as it is in China. Earth-wide, our week is comprised of seven days.
What does vary, and that to conflict, is the regard assigned to the first day of the week. Christians and the world are at odds as to which day that is. For example, I received a calendar as a gift from my local bank and on the calendar Monday was designated as the first day of the week. In the Bible, however, Sunday is referred to as the first day of the week.
It may seem like much ado about nothing, but it makes me think of the basic differences between the world and Christianity. The secular world sees Monday as the first day of the week because Sunday is considered part of their weekend. Sunday to the world is a day that belongs to them. It is a day for hedonistic indulgences. It is the end of their hard work week and a time to relax and enjoy their hobbies and pass times. Consequently, they do not attend church.
For believers, Sunday is not the close of a week, but the beginning of a new one, and a new opportunity to serve the Lord. The first day of the week has special meaning for the Christian, for scripture designates it as “The Lord’s Day”. It is the day that the early church met to worship. It is also the day that the Lord rose from the grave and the day Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples after his resurrection. For the Christian, it speaks of a new beginning, not an ending.
The contrast in perception reflects a deeper problem than just a squabble over which day is which. It reflects the inclination of the human heart to disregard the Word of God and its teachings in order to embrace one’s own personal beliefs. Is this not the basis for almost all religious error? The Bible says of the human heart “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?”
Despite the warning that our hearts (or own understanding) will deceive us, people readily shun Biblical authority and replace it with their own. Once a heart starts down that slippery slope, it is unlikely that it will ever embrace truth again. It may seem much ado about nothing to argue which day is the first day of the week, but oh what a difference a day makes.