Have you ever noticed how the Ekklesia (Greek for "Church") in the Newer Testament, that Paul kept commending, was always in a home?
- Romans 16:5
- 1 Corinthians 11:22 (implied)
- 1 Corinthians 16:19
- Colossians 4:15
- Philemon 1:2
You see, the historic predecessor of the church, the synagogue, was an invention of the post-exilic Jews and not a mandate of Yahweh. There was only one place of worship under the Old Covenant - the Tabernacle, later Temple, and there was only 3 Feast per year in which every able-bodied man was required to come to Jerusalem. Furthermore, there was no precedence for traveling out of the house on the Sabbaths, and one of the highest of holy days, The Passover, provided for families or neighbors to celebrate it together as need or opportunity required; otherwise the mandate given as the Rule of Worship for the People of Yahweh was..
These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk with them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Worship was to become a daily way of life then, and is promised to be so in the millennium to come:
Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the had to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God and they shall be my people: and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying 'Know Yahweh'; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
I would like to suggest that the current patterns and practices in the evangelical Christian church community is in no way different from that of the Roman Catholic Church. By creating a Christian dependency upon 'church' instead of 'Christ', they have simply made their excuse to require the tithes of the Levites. Today, churches have exalted the visible church leadership beyond that of Christ (See my post, 'Copycat Churches').
I think a better plan for the Israel of God today would be to honor the Sabbath within their homes, and CELEBRATE their Redeemer as a body in a Love Feast on the New Month-Day (Chodesh), with food, singing, testimonies and the sharing of God's Word as a body - with Elders and Deacons that serve, instead of lord, and a body of fellowship that sees one another's faces instead of the backs of their heads. Break bread, share in the abundance of blessings, and love on one another.
What is nice, is that the New Month-Day always affords us a double Sabbath, two days awaiting the first sliver of light. The celebration can be over a meal, in either of those days, to reflect on the month just past, and encourage the body to serve, worship and wait patiently through the next.