Monday, August 6, 2012

Looking Beyond Acts 2:42

People are hard. Relationships are hard. Community is hard. Church is really hard.

As Christians we are called to be in fellowship with each other. It is no small thing to be a part of a larger group of people and live life together. It ends up messy and ugly and people get hurt. But its also beautiful and full of joy and life and hope. The Acts 2:42 church is probably one of the best examples of church/life/fellowship in action:

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  

Acts goes on to describe a beautiful picture of a faith community that lived together, worked together, served together:

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

It's funny how, when we talk about the church in Acts, we focus on verse 42 and the devotion to teaching, fellowship, eating and prayer. Which, of course, are all good
things. The part that trips me up every time is verse 44 "all the believers were together and had everything in common."

I'm sorry. What? 

All the believers were together and had everything in common. 

No one has everything in common; that is just crazy talk isn't it? We all have stories of times we felt unloved by the church because our opinions didn't jive with everyone else's. We have all been hurt because people didn't do enough to make us feel welcome, or we felt our gifts weren't appreciated.

We were created as individuals with individual gifts, interests, ideas. This individuality can't help but create division, right? What could it possibly mean to be together and have everything in common?

Well, what if we were so connected in our fellowship that our individual gifts, ideas, talents weren't a source of contention? What if we were so focused on Christ and selling our belongings and giving to those in need that we didn't have time to focus on other's shortcomings? What if we were so passionate about sharing the love of Christ that there wasn't time for preference? 

Then we, as a church, as a community, would be together and have everything in common, wouldn't we? We wouldn't be able to help it. Anytime we are focused on God and not ourselves beautiful things happen. 


  1. I'm having a rough day and it's all because of some frustrations I'm having around community and the church. I prayed that God would give me a new perspective, and I think He used you to answer! :) Thank you for being willing and able.

  2. I'm glad to be used! I hope you have a better week/afternoon. Those particular frustrations are always a bummer. :(

  3. I see so many with so much, and then so many with not enough, right in our own body at Arcade. God's love gives all. We see that demonstrated in Him giving His Son to pay for our sin. That is also what I see in verses 42-47. As we truly devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching, fellowshipping with others, eating together, and praying together, we will naturally have a sense of awe at what God can do, and does do. At which point, all these other things will naturally follow too. That is, we will see how we can give of all we have for the benefit of others. IMHO, we isolate ourselves to be more 'comfortable' because with too many others around we will lose control of our leisure time and our extra money.
    Good article Claire.


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