Today's Scripture Reading
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
In this brief description of the early church after the first Easter, my attention is often caught by verses 44 and 45. Everyone shared and everyone had enough. Can you imagine your congregation, your neighborhood, your city a place where no child is hungry? I’ve been in discussions with other U.S. Christians who say this is not a useful or realistic model of being church together in this day and age. The practical side of me reluctantly agrees, but I don’t like to let go of the vision of everyone having enough. To me it’s a compelling taste of the kingdom of God, of that wholeness and peace for all creation which Jesus proclaimed is near and that God is actively working toward.
Human effort won’t make the kingdom come into its fullness, that’s God’s work. Even the earliest Jesus-followers didn’t have all things in common simply as an end. For them, it was a sign of their active faith. It bubbled up out of their study of the apostles’ teaching, of fellowship, of communion and prayers. Sharing was one of the expressions of their deep relationship with God, a relationship that was nurtured and expressed in community
What nurtures your relationship with our living God? Do you recognize the expressions in your life and your relationships of your faith? Is there a community of faith in your life in which you can worship and live out your faith, and can nurture and share with you?
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