Dear Friends,

This Year the Clocks changed on Palm Sunday. Usually I change devices during the Saturday evening and inevitably when we ask what the time is the question is relayed back do you mean what is the time now or what it is in relation to tomorrow.

In New Testament Times the Romans and Jews operated a slightly different time system. This was particularly important for the Jewish Sabbath which lasted: According to the Halakah: The Shabbat lasts from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of the three stars in the sky on Saturday evening. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a Blessing.

It was on the first day of the week (Sunday) very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the Tomb given by Joseph of Arimathea for Jesus’ burial. They must have been very early indeed taking the opportunity to buy and prepare at the earliest opportunity after the Sabbath was over.

Luke, the Gospel which we are concentrating on this Easter, records a very interesting story on the first day of the week in Acts 20:7-12 which has caused some people to debate whether this was a Sunday Meeting of Early Church which had become their day now for meeting together for worship. Some say it hinges on what timing Luke was using Roman or Jewish. In the final Chapter of his Gospel Luke records three different Appearances of the Risen Jesus yet he writes as if its ALL on THE SAME DAY! Particularly interesting is that when the friends on the Emmaus Road invited the “stranger” they had met on the way the day is described by them as “almost over.” (Luke 24:29) The walk also began “on the same day” (Luke 24:9) When the man broke the Bread they recognised Him as Jesus and they rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the other Disciples. It may be stretching it to say that this was the first Easter Communion!

So much happened throughout the whole day when Jesus rose. The time scale which Luke describes it is very similar to ours. So its very fitting for us to celebrate Easter Sunday and understandable how Sunday has developed into a Day of Christian Worship. We must remember it as a Day of Celebration. Very different from the Sabbath day of rest. We must be careful not to trivialise it by saying what we can and can’t do. The early roots of Sunday were as a working day and of course the first day of creation. For us it’s a day to enjoy in worship and creativity.

Let’s not neglect the meeting together with the Church family, as some were clearly doing so even in the early years of the Church (Hebrews 10:25) May we take every opportunity of meeting with each other and perhaps most especially ON EASTER SUNDAY!

Your Friend and Pastor,

Anthony Orr

Leamington Spa Baptist Church
Tel: 01926 336650 or email us