The apostle John wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…” (Revelation 1:10). In the previous verse, he mentioned how he was a companion of the churches of Asia in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, but was presently on the island of Patmos. He had been exiled to this rocky, barren, uninhabited island as part of persecution he had suffered for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The churches of Asia, to which he wrote (Revelation 1:4), were suffering persecution as well, and the apostle’s thoughts turned to them. It was the Lord’s day after all, and John surely thought about what the Lord’s day meant. He was all alone, separated from his brethren, and had time to reminisce on all those previous Lord’s days in which he had broken bread with fellow saints to remember Christ’s death as the church did regularly from its inception (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:26). John, unlike many others who have become Christians since, would eat the bread and drink the fruit of the vine not recalling something he had only read about, but rather remembering the body and blood of the Lord he had seen with his own eyes (1 John 1:1).
He called it the Lord’s day because it belonged to the Lord, just as the Lord’s supper is called such because it belongs to the Lord. He would remember that the Lord’s day, the first day of the week, was the day that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9), the day that he himself outran Peter to the tomb to find it empty (John 20:1-10). It was that evening Christ first appeared to him and the other apostles when they were gathered together, with the exception of Thomas (John 20:19), and then again on the first day of the next week when the disciples were again gathered together, this time with Thomas (John 20:26).
He would remember the Lord’s day, that first Pentecost following the resurrection, where Jesus’ reign was declared by Peter, opening the doors of the kingdom (Acts 2:30; Matthew 16:19, 28). He would remember the roughly 3,000 souls who were added to the church, the kingdom, that day because they responded to the Gospel through repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38; 41, 47). Through the years, many more had been conveyed from the power of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus, the Son of God (Colossians 1:13). And, now John was all alone on Patmos, but still a brother in the kingdom of Christ (Revelation 1:9).
What John must have been missing having to spend the Lord’s day all alone! No brethren by his side to worship God, to hear their needs and tell them his and go to God in prayer; no assembly of saints to teach and admonish one another by singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16); no collection to give to Christ’s church and further His cause (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). The Lord was with him, but he could only communicate with other saints by letters. Where are we on the Lord’s day? Do we take for granted all the spiritual blessings that are available to us each Lord’s day through the worship assembly and the warm fellowship that surrounds it? Or do we long for it like this exile would have when he received the revelation of Jesus Christ?