They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship … and to prayer.
If you are looking for a summary of what it means to live as a communion of Christian believers, you find it in this passage. The church gathers to worship, study Scripture, and offer prayer to God. The church gathers to remember God’s blessings and fellowship with Christ around his table. The church reaches out and enfolds new members into church life. What the church was doing only days after Pentecost is what the church still does today.
But perhaps the most amazing reality is the sacrificial sharing that happens when ordinary folks follow Jesus. Luke tells us: “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Is it really possible to experience this kind of “communion of the saints”?
The answer is yes. This doesn’t mean that the early church rejected the idea of private property. After all, Peter later told Ananias and Sapphira that the money from the sale of their land was theirs to dispose of as they wanted (Acts 5:4). Yet the church did something a pagan world never imagined.
People with plenty shared with those whose cupboards were empty. In the Christian community, everyone’s needs were met! Such lavish giving is in response to the lavish love of the church’s Lord, Jesus Christ. Lavish giving is still a mark of God’s grace today.
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to follow your example of generous giving. And may all who receive our gifts see your love and care in the blessings they receive. Amen.
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