Finally, let’s talk about Sunday (or Saturday evening when Sunday begins). After he was crucified because of his proclamation of the kingdom of God and his work for it, Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week. This was such a radically new thing that Christians, very early, began to gather for worship on the first day of the week, our Sunday. In that sense, it took the place of the Sabbath, but it wasn’s simply a matter of rescheduling. Sunday was sometimes spoken of as the “eighth day,” the day of God’s new creation–or it might be better to say, “God’s renewal of creation.” With Jesus’ death and resurrection, the world’s history is turned back toward the goal that God intended.
The fullness of the kingdom of God lies ahead, but in the gospel story of Jesus we are shown what it is like. And in the words of the old hymn, we are indeed “bound for the promised land.” But we are not just being carried along passively. We are called to be the instruments God uses to continue healing the world, putting into effect what Jesus accomplished by his life, death, and resurrection.
From a sermon by the Reverend Doctor Richard C. Ditterline, Priest Associate on the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany, January 28, 2018.