Reading: Acts 2:42-47
Verse 44: “All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
This week’s passage in Acts 2 paints a beautiful picture of the early church in Jerusalem. These words represent the church at its best. In a world where division and argument seem to be the norm, maybe one wonders if this is still possible. We must remember that the world was far from perfect for these early Christians. They lived in an occupied land that was primarily populated by a majority religious group that was against their religion. Even so, this beautiful community existed and thrived.
The early church was built first and foremost on Christ’s love. Because of this great love, they wanted to know Jesus more and to grow more like him. They “devoted themselves” to his teachings and to his example. The Spirit was alive and well in this community – “wonders and miraculous signs” were happening. Generosity and mutual care were the norm. Being selfish and inwardly focused – these were absent from this community. Needs that arose were me by the faith community. The early church both worshipped and fellowshipped together. This way of living in community attracted attention: “the Lord added daily to their number.”
Yes, the political and social atmosphere today certainly work against such a community. And, yes, the culture and society that we live in can make it hard to practice a spirit of love and generosity and compassion. But the power to live and be such a community didn’t and doesn’t come from the body itself. It comes from the love of Christ in us and through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in and amongst us. Here is the love and power to sustain and nourish and grow such a beautiful community of faith. Day by day may we connect to this love and power.
Prayer: Lord God, at her best, the church is a place of love and welcome, acceptance and support, generosity and connection. Guide us to rely on your love and power to enable us to truly be such a community of faith. May it be so, O Lord. Amen.