Holiday on Saturday

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, I got question for you What is philosophy of Saturday as holiday in many Christian countries like USA, UK, Canada and etc....? as you know Christians believe that Sunday is  holiday Jews believe Saturday and Muslims believe Friday is holiday ,please help me in this matter in more detail.  God bless you

John Chris (by email)  Listen to the answer:  Listen

Answer:  If you go back a hundred years or more you will find that very few of the so called "Christian" countries had Saturday as a holiday. They all had Sunday, but for many servants or working class people even that was often only a half day.

Saturday as a holiday only became more popular with the advent of the 5 day working week. However, the choice of Saturday, as opposed to any other day is significant. You are right in pointing out that Muslims celebrate Friday as their holy day, and that Jews respect Saturday as their Sabbath. An increasingly large number of Christians are also recognising, along with the Jews, that the Saturday Sabbath is the day God set aside for rest and worship.

There are people right down through the ages that have kept that day holy. God's people in Bible times, of course. Then, as you look down through the 2000 years since Christ you find that the early Coptic church in North Africa celebrated the Saturday Sabbath [the oxyrhynchus papyri], as did the Celtic church in the British Isles until 640 AD (and in Scotland until as late as the 12th century), Christians in the East as far as India certainly as far back as 225 AD. During the Middle Ages the Waldensian Christians of the Alpine regions celebrated the Sabbath - - - and the list could go on.

With a significant number of Jews in "Christian" countries, and with a number of Sabbath keeping Christians as well, Saturday then became the logical choice for an extra day "off-work" at the weekend. Our only wish is that more people could take the opportunity to share in the real joy that can come from spending that days holiday as a "holy-day", in worship, in relaxation with God in his beautiful nature, and in doing all the exiting and rewarding things that God shares in the Bible that his followers can do on his special day. My suspicion is that if we did follow more what God said about his Sabbath, we would have less stress filled lives, and actually achieve more on the remaining days.

For more information we recommend the book by Mark Finley, "The Almost Forgotten Day".  Related questions: Christ, the law and the Sabbath, Keeping two Sabbaths, Sabbath on Saturday, Sunday and the Resurrection, Explaining Ephesians 2:15

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