Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

Dear fellow servants of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Last week at the end of Sabbath School, I sat as a visitor in a small Adventist church in England. (My Sabbath plans had been unexpectedly changed!) There is a stereotype that ‘Southerners’ are not friendly so I expected there would be a time of quiet as the congregation waited for the beginning of the service. To my surprise, as I looked around, almost everyone was quietly talking to their neighbour. Old people were smiling in conversation with the young. Trendily dressed professionals were listening and engaged to those without work. A child was happily drawing on a work sheet lovingly supervised by a parent. Nobody was being ignored. I experienced a beautiful moment of wonder – holy awe.

The stereotype of southern coldness was shattered by the love of God showing in the members’ interactions. It did not take a degree in psychology to realise that these people really liked each other and enjoy being together. The pianist stopped playing, the worship leaders walked in, and conversations were replaced by a moment of silence as the worship time started. During the service there was a focus on teaching from the Bible and prayer. After the service ended, almost everyone stayed and talked together over drinks and snacks.

In Acts 2:42 it says after the Holy Spirit was poured out, the early church ‘Devoted themselves to:
1. The apostles teaching. 2. The fellowship. 3. The breaking of bread and 4. To prayer.

I came away from that service having experienced great teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer and I was truly blessed. How is your experience of church on Sabbath morning? What can you do to ensure that everyone leaves church on Sabbath having experienced the presence of God and the love of His family? Even though there are many different approaches to meeting together, let’s ensure that we do what the early church members did. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and following the practices of the early church, I believe that God will really bless and grow all our churches.

Let us pray for the Spirit and love one another and trust that God will perform miracles of love among us.

Pastor Bernie