Luke 4:16-21 NIV
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Have you ever heard someone say that you don't need to go to church to be a Christian. Well, unless there are health type reasons, or genuine pastoral reasons why someone cannot gather regularly with other Christians, someone who says that is just plain wrong! It might be worth gently pointing out, to those with such a mistaken viewpoint, a simple phrase in this passage - Jesus went to synagogue 'as was his custom.' It seems to me that if regular gathering together for worship at 'church' was good enough for Jesus, it is a model we ought to follow. You see, at its root, the meaning of 'synagogue' is a gathering of a congregation. So is the root of 'church.' And Methodists who read this may well recall that John Wesley wrote that the New Testament knows nothing of solitary religion.
Today is Sunday, the Lord's Day. As is our custom, let's go to church.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your modelling the good practice of joining with others to worship and learn and share in fellowship. May we do likewise. Amen.