09 June, 2009

Does the Bible support Sunday worship?

One of the things that the Seventh Day Adventists fail to acknowledge is that the practice of worship on the first day of the week is as old as Christianity and was instituted by the Apostles. It is important to recognize that this is eisegesis on their part supporting instead of the Ten Commandments the teaching of their prophetess and founder Ellen Gould White. They would say that this practice, which is as old as Christianity, is a violation of God’s eternal decree. Let us go to Scriptures and see if the evidence is there to support their conclusions.

Let us look at the basis, other than Ms. White’s visions, that SDA’s have this belief and criticism of the orthodox belief in observing the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath. According to Scriptures this is the “perpetual covenant” that was given to man through all ages. Therefore according to history the Jew’s have observed the Sabbath in commemoration of our Lord’s rest after creation. These are the verses in regards to the pre-Christian practice:

(Exo 20:8 DRB) Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day.

(Exo 20:9 DRB) Six days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works.

(Exo 20:10 DRB) But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates.

(Exo 31:16 DRB) Let the children of Israel keep the sabbath, and celebrate it in their generations. It is an everlasting covenant

(Exo 31:17 DRB) Between me and the children of Israel, and a perpetual sign. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and in the seventh he ceased from work.

(Exo 31:18 DRB) And the Lord, when he had ended these words in Mount Sinai, gave to Moses two stone tables of testimony, written with the finger of God.

(Deu 5:12 DRB) Observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

(Gen 2:1 DRB) So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.

(Gen 2:2 DRB) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

(Gen 2:3 DRB) And he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

(Gen 2:4 DRB) These are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth:

(Gen 2:5 DRB) And every plant of the field before it sprung up in the earth, and every herb of the ground before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and there was not a man to till the earth.

(Gen 2:6 DRB) But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the surface of the earth.

(Gen 2:7 DRB) And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

(Gen 2:8 DRB) And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed.

(Gen 2:9 DRB) And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

(Gen 2:10 DRB) And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads.

(Gen 2:11 DRB) The name of the one is Phison: that is it which compasseth all the land of Hevilath, where gold groweth.

(Gen 2:12 DRB) And the gold of that land is very good: there is found bdellium, and the onyx stone.

(Gen 2:13 DRB) And the name of the second river is Gehon: the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia.

(Gen 2:14 DRB) And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

(Gen 2:15 DRB) And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it.

(Gen 2:16 DRB) And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:

(Gen 2:17 DRB) But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

(Gen 2:18 DRB) And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself.

(Gen 2:19 DRB) And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name.

(Gen 2:20 DRB) And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.

(Gen 2:21 DRB) Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it.

(Gen 2:22 DRB) And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam.

(Gen 2:23 DRB) And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.

(Gen 2:24 DRB) Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh.

(Gen 2:25 DRB) And they were both naked: to wit, Adam and his wife: and were not ashamed.

(Gen 3:1 DRB) Now the serpent was more subtle tha any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?

There have been those who will say that the Catholic Church abandoned this commandment and practice but such a claim is incorrect. Instead the Church transferred the third commandment to observe the Sabbath to the first day of the week and called it the “Lord’s day” to commemorate the fact that it is through his resurrection that we become a “new creation” as is stated in the following verses:

(Act 20:7 DRB) And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, being to depart on the morrow. And he continued his speech until midnight.

(1Co 16:2 DRB) On the first day of the week, let every one of you put apart with himself, laying up what it shall well please him: that when I come, the collections be not then to be made.

(2Co 5:17 DRB) If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new.

(Gal 6:15 DRB) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but a new creature.

In about the year 60AD the Didache records and instructs the Christians to gather together on the “Lord’s Day”. Evidence from the Church fathers are in the writings of Justin Martyr around 155 AD to the Roman Emperor that stated that the liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath.

There are principally two reasons that the Church transferred the observance of the third commandment to the first day of the week. First of all this is the day that Christ rose from the dead:

(Mat 28:1 DRB) And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.

(Joh 20:1 DRB) And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre: and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

The second reason is that the Church wanted to make clear their separation from Pharisaical Judaism which included ritualistic animal sacrifices because the ultimate and final sacrifice had occurred to take away the sins of the world. Christ’s sacrifice had replaced the Passover lamb which was slain and eaten as a symbol of sacrifice for sin. In addition we see that Christians also rejected other rituals of the Jews such as the Kosher food laws and dietary restrictions imposed by the law of Moses. Nor does the Christian Church observe Passover or the feast days as the following verses show:

(Joh 1:29 DRB) The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him; and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.

(Joh 1:36 DRB) And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God.

(Deu 12:15 DRB) But if thou desirest to eat, and the eating of flesh delight thee, kill, and eat according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which he hath given thee, in thy cities: whether it be unclean, that is to say, having blemish or defect: or clean, that is to say, sound and without blemish, such as may be offered, as the roe, and the hart, shalt thou eat it:

(Deu 12:16 DRB) Only the blood thou shalt not eat, but thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water.

(Deu 12:17 DRB) Thou mayst not eat in thy towns the tithes of thy corn, and thy wine, and thy oil, the firstborn of thy herds and thy cattle, nor any thing that thou vowest, and that thou wilt offer voluntarily, and the firstfruits of thy hands:

(Deu 12:18 DRB) But thou shalt eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou and thy son and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and maidservant, and the Levite that dwelleth in thy cities: and thou shalt rejoice and be refreshed before the Lord thy God in all things, whereunto thou shalt put thy hand.

(Deu 12:19 DRB) Take heed thou forsake not the Levite all the time that thou livest in the land.

(Deu 12:20 DRB) When the Lord thy God shall have enlarged thy borders, as he hath spoken to thee, and thou wilt eat the flesh that thy soul desireth:

(Deu 12:21 DRB) And if the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, that his name should be there, be far off, thou shalt kill of thy herds and of thy flocks, as I have commanded thee, and shalt eat in thy towns, as it pleaseth thee.

(Deu 12:22 DRB) Even as the roe and the hart is eaten, so shalt thou eat them: both the clean and unclean shall eat of them alike.

(Deu 12:23 DRB) Only beware of this, that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is for the soul: and therefore thou must not eat the soul with the flesh:

(Deu 12:24 DRB) But thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water,

(Deu 12:25 DRB) That it may be well with thee and thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

(Deu 12:26 DRB) But the things which thou hast sanctified and vowed to the Lord, thou shalt take, and shalt come to the place which the Lord shall choose:

(Deu 12:27 DRB) And shalt offer thy oblations, the flesh and the blood upon the altar of the Lord thy God: the blood of thy victims thou shalt pour on the altar: and the flesh thou thyself shalt eat.

(Deu 12:28 DRB) Observe and hear all the things that I command thee, that it may be well with thee and thy children after thee for ever, when thou shalt do what is good and pleasing in the sight of the Lord thy God.

(Deu 14:3 DRB) Eat not the things that are unclean.

(Deu 14:4 DRB) These are the beasts that you shall eat, the ox, and the sheep, and the goat,

(Deu 14:5 DRB) The hart and the roe, the buffle, the chamois, the pygarg, the wild goat, the camelopardalus.

(Deu 14:6 DRB) Every beast that divideth the hoof in two parts, and cheweth the cud, you shall eat.

(Deu 14:7 DRB) But of them that chew the cud, but divide not the hoof, you shall not eat, such as the camel, the hare, and the cherogril: because they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof, they shall be unclean to you.

(Deu 14:8 DRB) The swine also, because it divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, shall be unclean, their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.

(Deu 14:9 DRB) These shall you eat of all that abide in the waters: All that have fins and scales, you shall eat.

(Deu 14:10 DRB) Such as are without fins and scales, you shall not eat, because they are unclean.

(Deu 14:11 DRB) All birds that are clean you shall eat.

(Deu 14:12 DRB) The unclean eat not: to wit, the eagle, and the grype, and the osprey,

(Deu 14:13 DRB) The ringtail, and the vulture, and the kite according to their kind:

(Deu 14:14 DRB) And all of the raven's kind:

(Deu 14:15 DRB) And the ostrich, and the owl, and the larus, and the hawk according to its kind:

(Deu 14:16 DRB) The heron, and the swan, and the stork,

(Deu 14:17 DRB) And the cormorant, the porphirion, and the night crow,

(Deu 14:18 DRB) The bittern, and the charadrion, every one in their kind: the houp also and the bat.

(Deu 14:19 DRB) Every thing that creepeth, and hath little wings, shall be unclean, and shall not be eaten.

(Deu 14:20 DRB) All that is clean, you shall eat.

(Deu 14:21 DRB) But whatsoever is dead of itself, eat not thereof. Give it to the stranger, that is within thy gates, to eat, or sell it to him: because thou art the holy people of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in the milk of his dam.

(Col 2:16 DRB) Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths,

(Col 2:17 DRB) Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ.

(Col 2:18 DRB) Let no man seduce you, willing in humility and religion of angels, walking in the things which he hath not seen, in vain puffed up by the sense of his flesh:

(Col 2:19 DRB) And not holding the head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth into the increase of God.

(Col 2:20 DRB) If then you be dead with Christ from the elements of this world, why do you yet decree as though living in the world?

(Col 2:21 DRB) Touch not: taste not: handle not.

(Col 2:22 DRB) Which all are unto destruction by the very use, according to the precepts and doctrines of men.

(Col 2:23 DRB) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in superstition and humility, and not sparing the body; not in any honour to the filling of the flesh.

This was all done by the earliest Christians to witness to others the true meaning of the Sabbath which came to complete fruition in the New Covenant of Christ, in whom we find true rest.

(Mat 11:28 DRB) Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

The Old Covenant Sabbath with its temple ceremonies and animal sacrifices was an imperfect prefiguration of Christ’s perfect fulfillment through His New Covenant. The Old Covenant practices were only a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. As the Scriptures say once the perfect has come, the imperfect passed away. Just as Baptism replaced circumcision the Church saw the third commandment differently.

(Heb 8:5 DRB) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. As it was answered to Moses, when he was to finish the tabernacle: See (saith he) that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shewn thee on the mount.

(Heb 10:1 DRB) For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, by the selfsame sacrifices which they offer continually every year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect.

The rituals of the Old Covenant are not binding on Christians according to St. Paul and he even rebuked Christians who continued with the Old covenant restrictions and ceremonies. In Christ, the demands and the observance of the Old Covenant demands and obligations of which the Sabbath are a part are no longer binding and have passed away, being replaced by the spiritual observance of the Sabbath of the New Covenant. One other thing, when the rich man asked what he must do to be saved Christ told him several commandments to follow and none were to keep holy the Sabbath.

(Gal 4:9 DRB) But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements which you desire to serve again?

(Gal 4:10 DRB) You observe days and months and times, and years.

(Gal 4:11 DRB) I am afraid of you, lest perhaps I have laboured in vain among you.

(Col 2:16 DRB) Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths,

(Col 2:17 DRB) Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ.

(Mat 19:16 DRB) And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?

(Mat 19:17 DRB) Who said to him: Why askest thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

(Mat 19:18 DRB) He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.

(Mat 19:19 DRB) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

(Mat 19:20 DRB) The young man saith to him: All these have I kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me?

(Mat 19:21 DRB) Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

(Mat 19:22 DRB) And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions.

Now, I have been told by our critics that the Catholic Church has no authority to change the third commandment but as I have pointed out Christ gave that authority as well as the teaching authority:

(Mat 18:18 DRB) Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

(Luk 10:16 DRB) He that heareth you heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me: and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

(Mat 28:18 DRB) And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

(Mat 28:19 DRB) Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

(Mat 28:20 DRB) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Jesus made it very clear that He is the Lord of the Sabbath Day and stated that the day was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, that being true it would logically follow that the Church shares that authority as was said to Peter when He passed the keys:

(Mar 2:28 DRB) Therefore the Son of man is Lord of the sabbath also.

(Luk 6:5 DRB) And he said to them: The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

(Mar 2:27 DRB) And he said to them: The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.

(Mat 10:40 DRB) He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.

(Mat 16:19 DRB) And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

(Mat 18:18 DRB) Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

(Mat 18:19 DRB) Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.

(Mat 18:20 DRB) For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Thee are other parallels in Church authority other than the observance of the Sabbath from the last until the first day of the week and in all cases it does not represent an abandonment of the law as Church critics would suggest but is rather a fulfillment of the law in a more perfect manner. We must remember what Christ said:

(Mat 5:17 DRB) Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

(Mat 5:18 DRB) For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. Hello Josesph, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am not an SDA, but I do spend Sabbaths with my Father.

    I have two separate issues I would like to discuss. Because of its length, I have had to split it into three posts.

    First, I do not have a problem with the church as a "pillar and support of the truth". I think that is the ideal role of the church. I think in many ways, this requires the church to act as God would on earth. God cares for the orphan, widow, poor, and foreigner, so we do that as agents of His will.

    However, I emphatically do not agree that this gives the church the authority to dictate what God's will is even in instances where it runs counter to His established mandates and commandments as recorded in the scriptures. I cannot accept that "the Church transferred the observance of the third commandment to the first day of the week" based on the two reasons given. I will examine each in turn.

    1) Day of Resurrection. This is worthy of celebration. But even God kept the Sabbath when it came to resurrecting His Son. Celebrating the day of resurrection does not do away with keeping the Sabbath. And what better way to symbolically acknowledge that we are no longer justified by works than by celebrating the risen Lord of the Sabbath on the day God set aside for no work? I don't have to worship on Sunday, because even on Saturday I know God will fulfill His promise the next day. A promise from God is the same thing as it happening. We should celebrate the day Jesus spoke of the sign of Jonah.

    2) Separating from Judaism. All of the early church were Jews. According to Acts, when Paul was persecuting the "disciples of the Lord", "the Way", and "saints" he went to synagogues, and both Damascus and Jerusalem are named. Even when he began his missionary trips, he frequented synagogues as much as he was able. He was not seeking to separate himself from Judaism. He was trying to fulfill Judaism by following in the footsteps of the Messiah. He participated in the sacrificial offering system. He desired to go to Jerusalem for Pentecost. He mentions sailing after the Fast (likely the day of Atonement). The idea was not to separate from Judaism, but bring Greeks into the fold, to graft them in the olive tree, to tear down the enmity so they could be fellow citizens of Israel. Yet no longer was circumcision of the flesh the sign of the covenant. It was a circumcision of the heart.

    So I, as a child of the Most High, cannot accept this change to God's will for us from the church.

    [Continued below]

  2. [Continued from above]

    The second issue is Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11. I'll start with the one that should be easy, and that is Galatians. We can't interpret this to mean observance of all days is bad. If all days were bad, doing Sunday worship would be bad. One possible meaning is condemnation of the justification of observing days, continuing in the theme from earlier in the letter (although in Galatians 3:26-29 there appears to be a transition in thought). We are not justified by works. In the new covenant, it has to be heartfelt love. If we're observing any day out of habit or ritual, we have again fallen slave to sin. We must do it out of joy for our God and what He has done. We do not have to do it, but we should want to do it. It isn't a legalistic command, but a relationship.

    Another possible interpretation is that they were observing the wrong days, as indicated in:

    "However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements which you desire to serve again?"

    For several reasons this implies pagan influence. We know they were not circumcised, so they were not Jewish and were not "turn[ing] again" to Jewish observances. They were not known by God which indicates pagan religion. "by nature are no gods" seems to imply pagan gods. "elements" is also used in Colossians 2 (written to another Gentile church) where Paul describes the authority of God and Christ over all other powers. This implies pagan gods as well.

    Either of these interpretations fit with the context, and neither do away with the Sabbath. To do away with one of the ten commandments, it would have to be much more explicit.

    Colossians 2:16-17 is often poorly translated, although the one you use is pretty good:

    "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths"

    Interestingly enough, the Jehovah's Witnesses, who do not keep the Sabbath, translate verse 16, the key verse, a little bit more fairly:

    "Therefore let no man judge you in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath;"

    From my study of these verses, I think the most accurate is this:

    "Therefore, do not let any man judge you in eating or in drinking, or in part of a feast, New Moon, or Sabbath (which are a shadow of the coming things), but the body of Christ."

    The key difference between these translations and the one you list is the translation of "meat" as "eating", and "drink" as "drinking". I'm sure to most translators this appears to be a minor, even an insignificant difference. But eating is the first listed definition, and although this exact same word in the same tense appears nowhere else in the NT, it does in the LXX in Leviticus 19:7 among other places.

    Next, what does "drink" or "drinking" have to do with anything if this statement was directed against Judaizers? The only unclean drink was blood, which clearly remained unclean according to Acts. It doesn't make sense. So what could this be saying? It is easiest to tell by looking at the rest of the letter for context to see what the false teachings are.

    [Continued below]

  3. [Continued from above]

    The buildup leading from chapter 1 to this verse seems to be establishing God and Christ's authority over all other powers including man-made traditions. Again, this appears to be a clear denunciation of pagan influence. Looking past this verse, we begin to see some specifics of the wrong teachings. I have selected those that are repeated most often:

    v18: Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement
    v21: decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"
    v23: appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement
    v23: and severe treatment of the body,

    Now, I hope, it is clear why Paul needed to say:

    "Therefore, do not let any man judge you in eating or in drinking, or in part of a feast, New Moon, or Sabbath (which are a shadow of the coming things), but the body of Christ."

    Paul is saying it is okay to eat and drink! Don't delight in the man-made, self-righteous false humility of "self-abasement" and "severe treatment of the body". By extension, he's also saying these other events, which are associated with feasting (eating and drinking), are good to keep doing. What's more, they are shadows of the coming things! Future tense. More to look forward to. More reason to keep doing them.

    Lastly, the astute may have noticed that Paul repeatedly in Colossians denounces "man-made" religion. Some are included in the above verses, but there are many more examples I haven't listed. Which leads to my next point...

    Many who have looked into the Greek of Col. 2:17, have wondered about "τὸ δὲ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ". With a word-for-word translation (and sliding the article over) it says, "but the body of Christ". Paul established in 1:18, 1:24, 2:19, and 3:15 that the body of Christ is the church. This is important for two reasons. First, it is contrasting with purely man-made teachings: Don't let anyone judge you, but the body of Christ.

    Second, there is a very clear allusion here between growing the body of Christ through growing the human body, and afflicting the body of Christ through afflicting the human body:

    1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
    2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

    All the more reason to eat, drink, and participate in feasts and Sabbaths. Strengthen and grow the body of Christ in a very real way! For a far more detailed and scholarly look into Colossians 2:13-17: http://lionlove.org/colossians-2-13-17/

    Have you ever considered that the verses in Matthew 5--where Jesus says he came to not abolish or change, but to fulfill--were being fulfilled by his teachings, such as the very next verse (21) in that passage? And in the verses right before that passage?

    Do you ever wonder why so many of the teachings of the church seem legalistic (in the sense of loopholes, requirements, and mechanical reasons for doing things) and contrived (sometimes even convoluted and confusing, like what would "in drinking" have to do with Judaizing)?

    It's all about love. If we love God, why do we go against his expressed desires? The feasts are so powerful and meaningful, so why ignore them?

    Today is the 3rd day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and has so much meaning for Christians still. As a mirror for obedience: 1 Cor. 10:1-12, Jude 1:3-5, Heb. 3; as a symbol of God and Jesus using our flesh as a tabernacle: John 15:4-10, Rom. 5:5, 1 Cor. 6:19; as a shadow of the coming things: Zec. 14:16, Rev. 21:3-4, Col. 2:16-17

    Brother, I will eat a joyful meal today and think fondly of these things and you. May we be united through love, and together strengthen the body of Christ.

    "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the uniting bond of perfection." (Col. 3:14)