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From the Minister

April, 2020

Thought for the Day Saturday 5th April


It is Sunday tomorrow and so in preparation I have been pondering on the idea of keeping the Sabbath.

Some years ago, when I was chairing a Church Members Meeting, a discussion arose about what it was we were doing meeting together on a Sunday. Some said it was about worship, and others had a wider view that it was about fellowship and worship. The discussion got rather heated and as is common when that happens people were only listening when they, or someone in their own camp, was speaking. After the meeting had closed and I had time to reflect, it seemed obvious to me that our coming together on a Sunday was about fellowship and worship. There is nothing that happens in a Sunday service that I cannot do by myself if I stay at home. I can give prayers of praise, offer thanks, confess my wrongdoing, intercede on behalf of others, read the Bible, preach myself a sermon and even sing songs of worship, albeit not very tunefully. If it is the case that I can do all these things by myself there must be more to our coming together than just worship.

There are two things that strike me: The first is that Jesus promised that in some way other than the normal way of him being with us (Emmanuel), he comes to be with us in a new way, a special way when people come together in his name. The second is that worship always seems to me to be much more meaningful when I gather with other Christians that I know, people with whom I share the love of Christ.

All this leads me to believe that fellowship is as important as worship when we come together. As I wrote after last Sunday, I can use the Sabbath more as a day of rest in these times than in normal times. I can discipline myself to worship, but where is the aspect of fellowship? Where is the fulfilment of the promise of Jesus if we do not gather together?

I do not know the answer to these questions, but I hope as the weeks roll by in isolation that I find some insight as to what it means to be a worshipping community when we canít gather together.

Our Father God, teach us how to be church in these strange times, teach us the blessing of your Sabbath as we keep it in isolation and solitude. In Jesusí name. Amen

Steve Wallis

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