Anticipation

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Last weekend brought with it all the brouhaha that seems to be the sadly-increasing norm among evangelicals with regard to 'holy week' and Easter Sunday. Now, I will deny no man the opportunity to preach about the risen Christ on any day that he chooses. Furthermore, if there is a possibility in a particular place and time that people's ears might be more readily tuned to a certain emphasis, I think it might be wise to take advantage of that. Perhaps there were some stolid brothers who ploughed on with their current expository series last Sunday, preaching their third sermon on the too-often-overlooked significance of Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, who judged Israel after Abimelech but before Jair, of whom an equal amount can be (and shortly - if that is the appropriate word, given that it might require a good month or two to address it - will be) said. I am sure that, in doing so, they have been and will be careful to draw out the redemptive-historical significance of Tola. Nevertheless, for myself, I gladly preached a sermon on the need to remember what the Lord Christ said about the empty tomb for our present and future hope.

And so the brouhaha dies down, at least until next year. After all, this next one is just an ordinary Sunday, isn't it?

If that is your attitude, might I suggest that your view of the Lord's day is sadly deficient and probably damaging. I hope you would not need to be a full-orbed sabbatarian to recognise the significance of the first day of the week, the day on which the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, the day on which he met again and again with his disciples, making himself known to them and impressing upon them the realities of his resurrection.

Christ did not leave his people with an annual opportunity to enjoy that distinctive fellowship with him which is enjoyed by the people of God gathering together for worship on the first day of the week. There may be regular Sundays, in one sense, but there ought to be no ordinary Sundays. Every first day of the week is a commemoration of the risen Christ, a day of worship and praise. The same truths are equally true, the same realities are equally real, the same themes are equally relevant.

Do not let this be the Sunday when you step down. Let it be another step up, another waymarker on your heavenly pilgrimage, another resurrection day. Preach no different sermon, in that sense, certainly no different Christ. Let the same sweet assurances cloud the day, the same underpinning certainties bear up the soul, the same glorious hopes inform the worship. Come to worship this coming Lord's day with just the same eager anticipation as you did last week, and - I hope - the week before that, and before that. Come with the same earnest request of the ministers of the gospel: "We would see Jesus." Come with the same joyful prospect of a fresh sight of and renewed fellowship with the risen Christ, and may he draw near to you as you do so.
Posted April 25, 2014 @ 9:12 AM by Jeremy Walker


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