Polesworth Baptist Church


Newbridge-on-Wye Baptist Church
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From the Minister


Thought for the Day Sunday 26th April


I said yesterday I would leave the disciples and return to them on Ascension Day (21st May), but as I was meditating about keeping the Sabbath, it occurred to me that there were five Sabbaths between Easter Sunday and Ascension Day. We know that Jesus appeared to the disciples on the first Sabbath but the Gospel writers are silent about what happened on the other four.

Acts 1:3 says: “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God”.

We know that not all the appearances of Jesus are recorded in the gospels. We have already looked at two that the Apostle Paul mentions in a letter to the Corinthians. There may be others that are not recorded. It is quite possible that Jesus appeared to the disciples on the four Sabbaths that we don’t know anything about.

As I thought about the missing information, it struck me that part of the keeping of the Sabbath is the desire to meet with the risen Jesus. Whether or not Jesus appeared to the disciples, I think there must have been within them a burning desire to see him again, a yearning to hear his voice once more.

The Sabbath is a day of rest and a day of worship. Yesterday, as I kept that day of rest and worship, it came to me that the desired outcome of the rest and worship was that I should meet with the risen Jesus and hear his voice once more.

In this time of lockdown where every day is a day of rest, how do we keep Sabbath in such a way that we give ourselves the opportunity to meet with Jesus? How do we open our hearts and minds to prepare ourselves, not just to hear the voice of Jesus, but to listen to what he has to say?

But I think the more important questions are about what we normally do on a Sunday. Does our normal practice on a Sunday lead us into the presence of Jesus? Are our Sundays too busy to find rest in him? Do we come to the day prepared to hear and listen to the voice of Jesus?

If the answer to these questions is no, maybe we need to take this opportunity of forced rest to think about what changes we need to make, so that we can really say that we are keeping the Sabbath.

Steve Wallis

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