Translation from the book:
Στεργίου Ν. Σάκκου, ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ἡ ἀναστάσιμη ἡμέρα,
ἐκδ. «ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ, ἔκδ. 4η, Θεσ/νίκη 2020, σσ. 27-32
(Stergios N. Sakkos [Read CV], SUNDAY: The Day of Resurrection, pp. 27-32)
Sunday: its gifts to believers
Sunday is by itself God’s free gift and offering to His children. We might think that God orders to dedicate a day to His worship, but in fact God gives us His day to be blessed and sanctified. Sunday provides us with its valuable treasures, which fill us with spiritual wealth. This offer is multiplied and covers almost every aspect of human life.
In terms of history, it attests the most fundamental fact in our faith: Christ’s Resurrection and it is indeed an everlasting monument of the Resurrection and constant evidence that Christ has risen.
In terms of theology, the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church brings God on earth with his body and blood.
In terms of ecclesiology, it helps us realize the notion of Church as a whole body: the visible part and the invisible, through the worship and preaching to the congregation.
Spiritually, it increases and renews our faith as it gives us the chance to be fed with the flesh of God, to quench our thirst with His divine words, to talk to Him through prayers, to live in his holy family by communicating with the other members of the Church.
Ethically, it helps us abstain from sin throughout the week. The sanctifying power that Sunday offers, as well as our pious desire to accept its blessings again and again, allow us not to fall victims to our desires.
Psychologically, it is a celebration, a happy break from the six-day labor, which every tired person comes across weekly.
Moreover, socially it helps to develop our relationships in the most wonderful way. People with numerous diversities (political-educational-financial) with only one common point, the same faith, with the same petitions meet in a peaceful congregation around the same table. We visit each other joyfully, but at the same time we take part in the pain, the poverty and the misery of our fellow humans. Is there another day, indeed, which has the social features we find on Sunday?
These are not the only presents that Sunday offers. We could enumerate many more but the list would not be exhausted. That is because what is offered by Sunday is multiplied, as it spreads in the life of every believer. So, something amazing takes place: Sunday is not just an extraordinary day during which we get the power to live through the rest of the days, but its grace penetrates throughout the week. Therefore, every time we open our arms to embrace Sunday fully, we move upwards in the scale of our relationship with God and this is certainly not diminished during the rest of the days, but we stay there the whole week, since our heart beats on the rhythm of Sunday. Next Sunday we move one step forward and stay there during the whole week and then we go on in the same way.
However, we are in danger of losing this invaluable day, because we do not appreciate it and we leave it exposed to be violated by sacrilegious people. Sunday, like every divine issue, is targeted by every power opposed to God threatening to replace or extinguish it. This attack against Sunday is, indeed, an attempt against God. Since God can’t be discounted the only thing to be achieved for humans is to hurt themselves, both spiritually and physically. If we lose Sunday, we lose our Lord and consequently we lose ourselves because this day we surrender ourselves to Him and take them back sanctified, transformed and resurrected.
Every Sunday is an Easter and a Resurrection. When we experience it and wait for it in this way, we can celebrate Easter every week and every Easter we can rejoice a unique Sunday. With this kind of experiences, our life is brightened and Sunday becomes the most desirable day. “This is the chosen and Holy Day, the first of the Sabbaths, the Queen and the Sovereign, the Feast of Feasts, and the Festival of Festivals” that makes our life beautiful and refreshes our soul. It is the day that our Lord offers us to be happy and rejoice with Him.
Copyright © 2021 by Orthodox Christian Association «ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ. Used by permission. All rights reserved.