All the believers were together and had everything in common. – Acts 2:44From David King:
One of the features of the present crisis has been how we have had to stop so many of the things that we normally do as a church. The danger of this is that it can leave us feeling as if we are less than church during this time. The reality though is that we are discovering what it truly means to be the church in worship.
Recently a group of school students visited our church in order to find out more about Christian worship. The challenge I faced, as I led the session, was how do you describe Christian worship when so many churches do things so differently. I decided to start with the irreducible heart of worship.
Underneath the many forms of worship that we find in the true church are some deep and common features and they are described in Acts 2.42-47. There we find: bible teaching, fellowship, prayer and the breaking of bread. Some of those we are continuing online and in letters. Others we are doing in a different way. And some are not possible at the moment (breaking of bread).
But I think that one area might grow, because there is a fifth mark of the first church in Acts 2: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” This doesn’t describe an early form of communism, but the regular acts of love between members of Jesus’ family. When someone in Jesus’ family of followers hit hard times, others in the family would help them out. In those days people’s wealth was held in property and possessions more than money, and so, in order to help out, they would sell some of their possessions to give money to those in need.
In the weeks, months and years ahead, members of our group of Jesus’ family at St Patrick’s are going to be in need. We have an opportunity to grow as a family of Jesus followers, by offering and receiving help from one another.
In Roman’s 12, it mentions a surprising charismatic gift: “giving”. Some of us have been given that gift – we know that, because we have money. Romans 12 goes on to say, “If your gift is giving, then give generously.”