Archive for January 2012

First Day of the Week

January 9, 2012

Concerning the time and frequency of these early Christian meetings, Paul has little to say.  He does request that contributions for the Jerusalem collection be set aside “upon the first day of the week” (I Corinthians 16:2). But this refers to an individual rather than communal action, as the words “lay by him in store” indicate, so may not allude to a weekly gathering. This expression, “upon the first day of the week,” recurs in Luke’s account of Paul’s final meeting with the Christians in Troas (when all were “come together to break bread” (Acts20:7)). But we cannot tell for certain whether the church regularly met on that day, or had chosen it because of Paul’s departure the following morning …

The Lucan passage describes a night meeting – understandable enough in view of the obligation upon most people to work during the day. Which evening is in view then, the Saturday or the Sunday?  It is generally assumed that Luke had in mind the latter. But it is just possible that it was on the Saturday night that the Christians in Troas gathered together, the “first day of the week” having begun at sunset.

Robert Banks
Paul’s Idea of Community, pages 40‑41

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A Pastor Who Hated Going to Church

January 6, 2012

I began to ask the question. Do you know the question? It is the question of reformation. It’s what Martin Luther asked that fateful day as he was crawling up the stone stairs of the cathedral, paying penance for his sins. With bloody knees, he asked himself, “Why?” “Why am I doing this?” “Why are we doing this?” …

I began to experience distaste for organized “Christianity.” I found myself asking why incessantly … I didn’t know it at the time, but God was leading me into disillusionment, where I’d long for something different. He was positioning me to be right where I needed to be.

The question continued to haunt me, and I asked myself, “Why?” every Sunday morning as I drove to “church.” For a whole year the depression would hit me each Saturday night, as I anticipated the church service the next day. What was happening to me? My belief in what I was doing was diminishing …

As the “pastor” I was under a tremendous pressure to make things happen. I hated the feeling that I was a performer. No matter how much I preached about all believers being ministers, I was fighting against hundreds of years of tradition that said otherwise. It was bigger than me. I also felt that the people I was leading didn’t need any more “feeding.” There comes a time when believers should mature to a point where they are able to feed themselves and others in need. We know so much today. Why are so many Christians staying in infancy? …

Everything inside me was saying “Leave the building!”

Paul Vieira
Jesus Has Left the Building
Pages 20, 21, 33


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