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From the Minister

March, 2020

Thought for the day Sunday 29th March


To continue my ramblings: Today I have been thinking about Sabbath and in particular the question: What does it mean to keep Sunday special, when there are no services to go to?

The two constituent parts of Sabbath are: Rest & Worship of God.

Since becoming a Christian in the 1970’s, on nearly every Sunday I have been to one or two meetings. Since starting ministry in the 1980’s I have regularly led one or two services each Sunday. Since moving to Wales nearly 5 years ago, I have led worship regularly twice a day on Sundays and sometimes spoken at three or four meetings. On reflection this timetable does not leave a lot of time for rest.

Having thought about this early on the Sabbath, I spent the morning resting – either asleep or in complete idleness. I noticed as I idled away the morning that I had occasional moments of guilt and also a kind of fidgeting desire to get on with some of the DIY jobs that I had started the day before – I resisted the temptation.

I did intend to attend a virtual service on the internet in the morning, but as I had lost the link I was saved from that.

The second part of Sabbath is the worship of God – this is usually a communal thing, Christians coming together in a chapel to sing hymns, pray and listen to the word of God read and preached and sometimes to join together in a Communion meal.

I tried to centre the day not on complete idleness but on God. In order to do this I followed the Celtic hours of prayer using the material from the Northumbria Community. I read scripture and resisted preparing and preaching myself a sermon.

I also read part of the books I mentioned yesterday. In Derek Wood’s book ‘Lord, Find Me a Parking Place’ I was challenged about the idea of ‘awe’. We live in a nation that has a proliferation of church and chapel buildings. God seems to be on every corner. In the buildings people come together to worship, going through similar rituals each week. We sing hymns like ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus’. In all of this God has become commonplace, a friend that is always with us (and there is nothing wrong with that) but do we still feel that sense of awe as we join together in worship?

I think maybe we are in danger of losing that, and here in our enforced isolation is a time for us to think about such things. Yesterday my thoughts started with the text: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ On this Sabbath I reflect on the old treasures that might need to be reclaimed but, also ask the question what new treasures can God reveal to us about how we keep his day?

For those of you who can’t do without a sermon you will find some of my old ones on YouTube - follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC30NPaRXk15X25q7Cb4Gl3g
I also recommend the sermons of Andrew Philips which you will find on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3USicJAVk_OuzYK7dx6KEA

There are no new prayer requests today. Please keep your eye on the prayer page.

Steve Wallis

Newbridge Baptist Church
Llanafan Road, Newbridge, Powys, LD1 6LY
Telephone The Minister: 01597 860185
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