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42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
two short passages in today's reading are long on challenging things
to think about. The community described sounds so intense and radical,
just the way I would expect the beginning of something as amazing and
explosive as Christianity to be. But what of these experiences of the
early church should be a part of my church experience today?
wedding day is one thing, but living out a marriage over years and
decades is quite another. Similarly, the first days of the church are
not the same as living out Christian community over many centuries and
across many cultures. When I attend a wedding service, the songs, vows,
scriptures, promises, and the faces of a young couple make me think
about my thirty-some years marriage. In the same way, reading Luke's
description of the first days of the church helps me think about being
part of the church two thousand years later.
Response and Action:
can and need to be devoted to the apostles teaching. By reading and
studying the New Testament scriptures, I can follow the instruction and
the example of the apostles. I can follow the patterns and
precedents of the early Christians. I can and need to be devoted to
fellowship. By faithful and self-giving involvement in Christian
community, I can help, support, and encourage others. I can and need
to look back to the early days of the church with awe and wonder. And
today, I can still expect God to be at work in my life and my church
in miraculous ways that inspire and amaze.
God, thank you for your church. Help me to seek you with all my
heart, to share my life with others in generous, authentic, and
meaningful ways, and to serve others in the power and grace of Jesus.
Thank you for the church. Help the church of today be a shining
testimony of your truth and grace. Help me to be a devoted and giving
member of the Christian communities I'm a part of. Through Christ, I
Spiritual Formation Verses:
1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer