Scripture: Acts 2:37-47
Key verses: (44-47) All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Reflection: Do you ever think you can be a better Christian if you do it by yourself? Avoid “organized religion” and just be spiritual. Worship God while on a long walk, enjoying the wonder of a beautiful sunrise or the majesty of ocean waves. Give away some unused items and donate a little money to charity. That works, doesn’t it?
Not according to scripture. From the very beginning of the church, those who chose to follow Jesus Christ were called to participate in community life. The writer of Acts offers a pretty ideal picture of early church life. They took care of one another financially (yes it sounds like socialism), they worshiped together, they ate meals together. They chose to spend time together. We might like to think their lives were simpler then and their schedules were less demanding. Or we might imagine that they were all wonderfully kind people and found being together so delightful that it was easy and fun to share everything. We might come up with all sorts of excuses for why this worked THEN and for THEM but would never work NOW for US.
I find sometimes I don’t want to go, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to participate. But when I do anyway, I am grateful. And even when the experience itself isn’t fabulous, I can see how God used the experience to deepen my faith. God used me and my gifts to serve others, or God used others to teach me about love and grace. Being church together is about making choices to share ourselves, our gifts and our lives in community. We choose to get up, get dressed and come to the church to worship God together. We choose to pray together, to sing together, to study scripture together.
The early church grew exponentially when outsiders saw what their community was like. Imagine if the world saw all of us living like this today — wouldn’t they want to be part of something that meaningful, that transforming? It starts with you choosing to show up!
Prayer: You knit us together into community O God. You have united us in Jesus Christ. Strengthen our connections to one another so that our community of faith is a witness for the power of your love at work in the world. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].