Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Newark Central 6-20-12

Newark Central – Notes From My Knapsack 6-20-12


Wednesday nights we're having a great trip at 6:00 pm down "Route 66," a long summer ramble through the Bible without a particular plan or itinerary, just the road before us, and plenty of places and markers to stop and see along the red line across the map.


We've begun at Acts, chapter one, and we're not making time because Route 66 is no interstate freeway express: three weeks in and we haven't finished the third verse. Truth be told, we'll probably take a July vacation from this journey, what with the Fourth of July coming on a Wednesday, and conflicts two of the next three. But August, we'll put down the top and cruise back out onto the road, and maybe even make it into chapter two!


There've been a few small changes this summer, like moving the study from 6:30 to 6:00 pm, or switching the hymn and prayer at the opening of the Sunday service. A few people have asked, and not in a negative way "do you have other changes in mind for the Sunday morning service?"


Actually, for an answer, I want to reach back, waaay back. Back to about 160 AD, and the earliest description of Christian worship we have for the early church. Justin Martyr's writings were also referred to by Alexander Campbell in the founding years of our fellowship, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), when people asked him how worship services should go.


"And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succors the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead."
Sounds to me that we're on the right track!
In grace & peace, Pastor Jeff

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