Chick-fil-A was in the news not long ago in connection with the new Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta that will be home to the football Falcons, Atlanta’s professional soccer team as well as other venues throughout the year. The story was about the fact that Chick-fil-A is a vendor there but would nonetheless be closed for business for seven of the eight Falcons’ home games because they are closed on Sunday. ESPN came out with the story and other media outlets jumped on it. It really wasn’t news—Chick-fil-A has always been closed on Sunday and they’ve been very up front about the reason for doing so: to give their employees a day of to be with their families and to go to church if they so choose. But it was a shot across the bow at an organization taking a stand for something due to their faith.
Since Paul makes it clear in Romans 14 that it’s okay if you view all days as being the same or if you regard one day as more sacred (v. 5-6), it seems clear that the Lord’s Day is not like the Sabbath in that the day itself is special or Paul wouldn’t have said this. What is special about the first day of the week is the significance of what has happened and what continues to happen on that day. God started creation on that day. He started re-creation as well when He raised Jesus from the dead on the first day of the week. It is also when He created the church and it is when His new creation meets together to remember all of these things. So we don’t “keep the day” as much as we celebrate the things associated with it.
Be that as it may, when someone in the corporate world like Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby makes it a point to close on Sunday (i.e., turn down the opportunity to make money) so their employees can have a day off and the opportunity to go to church—it is refreshing because they are putting the Almighty ahead of the almighty dollar and that’s something we don’t often see. It also ought to challenge us to ask if we put God ahead of our potential Sunday activities like going to the lake, ball playing or any of the countless diversions our culture has for us. The world will continue to schedule things on Sunday so we know the choice they’re going to make, the question is what choice we will make? Will we honor God with joyful hearts by coming together and celebrating His goodness in Christ? When we do, we are proclaiming to ourselves and the world that Christ has risen and will return (1 Corinthians 11:26).
It is a God-honoring choice.