“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

By David Susan, pastor

Beginning our week with Sundays

For Christians, Sunday is always “the first day of the week.”

My godmother returned from a trip to Europe a while back and gifted me with a new Berlin Wall calendar. I couldn’t wait to see the pictures, so I peeked ahead.

What amazing changes in that once-divided city. Berlin, Germany has a special place in my heart, since my wife and I lived and studied there many years ago.

One change in the calendar was less obvious but more telling. In another mark of our so-called “post-Christian” era, the new weeks in this Berlin calendar did not begin with Sunday.

That’s right — in each row of seven days (one box for each day), the first day on the left-hand side is Monday, not Sunday.

Is this yet another sign of the Lord’s Day (as well as our Lord, too!) getting pushed more and more to the margins of our culture?

In our own culture in the United States, in hidden ways, we also consider Sunday the end of the old week, rather than the beginning of the new one.

After all, what do we call Saturday and Sunday? The “weekend,” right? We just haven’t gotten around to printing calendars that way yet.

I’ve also heard folks say they wished for a “month of Sundays,” by which they meant “a whole lot of leisure time.”

As a pastor, that just never sounded all that leisurely to me.

But can you imagine a week that begins with Monday rather than Sunday?

Since those first great days of Easter, Sundays are the days we celebrate the Resurrection.

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19-20)

Who wants to face a Monday without the new beginning of Resurrection hope from the Lord’s Day before it?

  • How empty to enter a new week without the celebration of Christ’s Word and Table.
  • How lonely without the prayers and fellowship of other “sinner-saints” like me.
  • How deprived without the hymns of Sunday to echo in mind and heart.
  • How dreadful Monday would be without the freedom that comes from hearing on Sunday.

Praise God for Sundays, that in Jesus my sins and failures of last week are forgiven.

Monday is not the first day of the week. Please do not take a page from this calendar of mine.

We are greatly blessed in our work to begin our weeks with Sunday — with the Lord and with His people — and to bring what being “Sunday people” means to them.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.