“The devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42)”
“All the believers were together and had everything in common (Acts 2:44)”
“Every day, they continued to meet in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:46-47)”
The beginning of the book of Acts includes details about the first believers. These believers had heard the proclamation from the disciples after Christ’s resurrection and Ascension; as well as at the time of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon those gathered in Jerusalem. The imagery of the first believers may appear to be a bit too good. From the verses listed above, a person can get the impression that all was well with the people. It is as if nothing could go wrong.
If you read further in Acts, though, you will find this not to be totally true. There would be tensions that arise, and issues that need to be worked out. However, the beginning imagery allows a person to see an example that can be returned to when disagreements or other tensions arise.
The example includes (3) primary characteristics and habits. To begin, the believers had a devotion to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, to communion, and to prayer. These habits are exemplified through our weekly worship services. It is in this time of hearing God’s word, sharing the Lord’s supper with one another, and lifting each other up through prayer and fellowship that the believers were able to establish a connection. Next, the believers were all together and had everything in common. I believe that having everything in common refers to the truth that no one tried to appear stronger or above anyone else. There was a mutual base for the believers, which allowed them to come together. Finally, the first (2) habits displayed continued daily. Even as they probably had other commitments in their life, they stayed true to these habits to be grounded in their lives and live amongst the other believers.
In our current setting, it may not be completely possible to “gather together” in person. However, we are aware of the need to stay connected with one another. As fellow believers, may we not give up staying connected. May we seek ways to lift each other up through prayer and social distanced fellowship. May we find ways to stay rooted in the practice of hearing God’s word proclaimed and entering a time of worship. May we embrace the moments of sharing a meal together with family. May we also see that no matter our social status in this earthly life, we are all a part of the body of Christ together.
In returning to the central focus established by the first believers, I believe that we can face the difficult situations in our earthly life with a renewed strength. We are all in this together. We have all been redeemed through Christ’s death and resurrection. May we join in this proclamation, expressing God’s grace, mercy, and love to our families and neighbors.
Jesus Christ has Risen! Alleluia!!
Pastor Arlyn ><>