“43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 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, 47 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.” – Acts 2:43-47
Since the day I accepted my calling as a pastor, this passage from Acts has been my go-to passage of scripture, and it came up as one of the daily readings in my prayer time this week (makes sense since this coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday.)
Why am I so drawn to this passage? It’s a description of the earliest Church. And, I think it is what Church (and every congregation) should strive to be. (As a pastor, I feel called to lead people into a shared life that fits this description as closely as possible.) We should be doing signs and wonders according to the gifts of the Spirit given to us. We should be “together”; I don’t mean just once a week but all of the time that we’re not out doing the work of Jesus in the world (and even then, we should be together with some of our number.) We should share everything (I know – that’s not a very capitalistic notion.) We should help people. We should be happy for the simple abundance of the things we have. We should praise God. We should have the goodwill of all the people in our hearts, minds, AND actions.
If we, the Church, lived like this, God would add to our number those who are being saved, as well. What’s holding us back? In my estimation, it’s the stuff we’ve learned from our culture around us. Jesus called these cultural things “the world”, and he didn’t have very flattering things to say about them.
Just out of curiosity, is there anyone who would be willing to live like the first Church as described in Acts 2:43-47? – Pastor Brad