“Early Christians had a weekly celebration of the liturgy on the first day (Sunday), observing the Resurrection. Hence, among Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, Sunday is a liturgical feast; Protestants, applying the idea of the Jewish Sabbath to Sunday, forbade all but pious activity.” There are those denominations that hold ‘religiously’ to Saturday being the right day, and we say Sunday. The Bible puts it in context – “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Rom 14:5). God, I am sure, will not bar us from heaven because we have mixed our days up, that’s if we have.
Basically it is wise to preserve the essence of the fourth commandment to ensure our well-being, for ‘hurry sicknesses’ or syndrome infects current society and is the malaise of the modern world. Many in the West are perpetually in search of materialism and money as they climb the ladder of success. London Times writer Celia Brayfield commented that “thirty years of greed have given us luxuries undreamt of by previous generations and no free time to enjoy them.”
Before becoming a full-time minister at 50, I was the subject tutor for three degrees in surveying at the University of Central England, which necessitated, besides lecturing, writing the philosophy and pioneering new concepts before the CNAA. I also had my own private consultancy firm called ADD (Amalgamated Design and Development). We designed all types of buildings through the West Midlands. Coupled to this were my duties as associate pastor of the Renewal Centre, Solihull, and to cap it all I took a higher degree. But, that was not the end, for I bought bungalow and turned it into a house by constructing four rooms and a bathroom in the roof, almost by myself.
It worked out at about 16 hours a day and sometimes more, and although life was a whirl it was tremendously exciting. Now, thirty years later, I wonder how and why I did it, and I certainly miss the cut and thrust of secular life and the enrichment of the associated mix with other professionals. You had to be sharp and able to keep abreast of all that was happening.
I sometimes listen to the excuses that folk make because they cannot attend certain meetings, and I just shrug my shoulders, for I never missed a service at any time during that hectic period. You can do what your really want to do, if you really want to do it. I think there is no better time than to spend it in God’s house amidst the praise and worship of sincere Christians who are on the stretch for God. It may be that God shows up that Sunday in a unique manner which will start a new spiritual move in the church – how wonderful to be in at the beginning?
When God turns up he tells no one in advance. He didn’t do it with the birth of Jesus, why should he change his system just for us? He visited some ragged shepherds and said in effect: “Hey lads there’s revival down in Bethlehem – don’t miss it!” if I think a revival touch has descended on a church, I’m there, I want to know why, and why it isn’t in HICC. I live to see God work, and touch His people, that’s why missing a Sunday is painful for me. Next week may not come, for none of us can boast of tomorrow, you must grab it while you can. At my age, 81, that is especially so.
When on holiday in California we used to go to church on Saturday night, because that is their first weekend service which is repeated three times on Sunday. Some people work and cannot attend Sunday hence the early weekend. However, I would also go on Sunday morning not to miss the repeat. You may think that is fanatical, but to me it was rest, a Sabbath rest, restoring my soul. Restore your soul today as you worship in HICC, member or visitor; enjoy the luxury of sitting in a lovely church, drink in the wine of His presence, and imbibe the living word as it is preached. Above all give Him your worship for that will transform your day, hurried or not.