A new pursuit in my life is to actually obey the Ten Commandments, even the fourth one. My brother has been on the Law of God obedience train for a long time now, but it took me a while to hop on too. Since seeking to legitimately remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, Lord’s Days have just been sweeter. To spend the whole day not deviating from drinking deeply from the means of grace, who wouldn’t love that? Who wouldn’t want that blessing?
Yesterday I visited a church that, like many Baptist churches, has a morning meeting but nothing at night. Wanting to end the day fellowshipping with the saints, I suggested to some of the members, Christians I’d just met, that we get together at someone’s house that night. One family had a particular liking for Martin Luther’s Table Talk and so was glad to volunteer to host.
What a joy it was to capture the ethos of Luther’s dining room table. And what a joyful reminder it was of the unity Christians have with one another in Christ, even if they’ve just met.
About a third of the church’s membership made it. We had plenty of food left over from the lunchtime church potluck (Baptists do potlucks). There was plenty of beer to lubricate the fellowship. The sermon from the morning was discussed at length. We worked together to consider its application to the challenges of life. And at the instigation of the man of the house, we covered a whole mess of controversial points of theology (Luther would have been proud). Can a woman work outside the home? Can a husband be the stay-at-home dad? What is masculinity and femininity? What’s the deal with 1 Corinthians 11? Does it really mean that men can’t have long hair and women need a head covering at church? Can women talk at church? Is Jen Wilkin out of line? Which is better, the Textus Receptus or the Critical Text, the KJV or the NASB? Yep, we covered all of it. The whole time, Bibles were opened. The whole time, even in the midst of heated debate, it was clear that the Bible was the standard and that mutual love abounded. It was a thoroughly Christian night, just as a Christian Sabbath ought to be spent.
Why am I writing about this? Well, it made me happy; and I like writing about things that make me happy. It’s a small picture of how good it is to spend the Lord’s Day with God’s people and the means of grace, and not the NFL playoffs. And it shows that Christians don’t need to wait for the elders of a church to start an evening service. We can simply get together around food and beer and Bible and prayers and hymns. Don’t have an evening service at your church? Meet together anyway. You already have permission from on high to do so.