Which is the first day of the week? Is it Monday or Sunday?

Last updated on February 22, 2021

Traditionally within the Judeo-Christian tradition, the first day of the week has always been the Sunday. God created the earth in six days and set apart the seventh day for rest, the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11). Most Christians today celebrate the Sunday as the day of rest to remember that Christ rose on Sunday, although a minority holds to the belief that the Saturday still is the correct day to keep the Sabbath. (See article: What is the true Sabbath?) The Sunday is the first day of the week whereas Monday is the first day of the working week.

Internationally, the Monday has now been connoted as the first day of the week as spelled out in ISO 8601. This is an international standard covering time and date-related data, and was issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Setting aside time for God

But seeing Monday as the first day of the week and grouping Saturday and Sunday together as the ‘weekend’, betrays a secularized way of looking at the week. Putting Sunday first is a beautiful way to live. We start the week by setting aside time for God, by resting in His presence, before we jump back into the business of our jobs or school. Just like many Christians devote the first half hour or hour of the day to reading the Bible and praying, so they give the first day of the week to God.

Resting in God

Resting in God is central to the life of a Christian – at least is should be. Jesus invited His disciples to come and find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28,29). God has prepared a rest for His children (Hebrews 4:3,11). This refers to the eternal rest found in Christ, but in this life it can already be experienced by observing the day of rest God has given us, and putting it first in our agendas. And we can find it daily in our walk with Christ.

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