“And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles…”
What a picture we have here of the beginning of the church! I have this picture painted in my mind of this thriving community of believers, something like a blossoming cherry tree on high speed camera. Joy, peace, encouragement, generosity, fellowship, sactification, and smiles are exploding everywhere. One man gives to another freely, and each is mutually encouraging to the others.
As I meditate on this picture, I’m reminded of the Good Shepherd internship that drew me here in the first place. Living together with other believers, eating “community” food, listening and learning from Ted and Michael everyday, encouraging one another, rebuking each other in love, inviting ourselves into family’s homes for dinner, serving this community, crying, laughing, and fighting together. Really it was one summer of adventure together, listening, learning, growing, eating. No wonder I’ve found a home here!
Here in Acts we see such a great picture of how nuanced the Christian ought to be. Our religion is multifaceted, with many parts each building up the others. Study, generosity, community, solitude, service, worship, and many others feed upon and strengthen one another. Study without service becomes shallow and worthless. When we faithfully come to worship, yet don’t find ourselves to be all that generous, we are in danger of “worshipping” God with our mouths while our hearts are far from him. Certainly each of us has different gifts and personalities, but when our faith becomes lopsided, the body becomes truncated and cannot grow and thrive.
What is the body of Christ missing out on because you’ve been saying “that’s just the way God made me?”
Where have you found the sweetness of gospel community bringing joy to your heart today?
Ultimately, I long for the words of this passage to ring true here in Ocala… “and awe came upon every soul,” at the woder of what God was doing in and through them.