“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people” (Acts 2:44-47).
These verses from the Book of Acts have always intrigued me, especially 2:44-45, where those who belong to the early Church sell their possessions and give to those in need. This is challenging to read because we like our possessions and goods. Our houses are full, our cars are full, and the garage is so full we cannot even park the car in it. And lest we forget that rented storage unit. At the same time, we also know that a different, simpler life would be more fulfilling. We know that others are in need and we could provide. But where do we begin?
As I reflect on this reading from the Book of Acts, I am struck by God’s gift of Christian community. Sure, community can be messy and difficult. But it can also be joy filled and inspiring. So, maybe community is the place to start.
In verses Acts 2:46-47, we read that the disciples spent a lot of time together. They broke bread together. They ate together. They praised God together. They formed community together. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the “Jesus community” was able to do great and inspiring things together. They were able to “live the life” that “gives life”.
Over the next few weeks in October we will have a chance to experience the early church as we gather in community together. During our Fall Gatherings we will be immersed in an experiential evening of food, fellowship, worship, and art.
This will be a new experience that I hope will inspire and encourage us to be the community Jesus calls us to be. We will break bread together and enjoy some wonderful, homemade desserts. We will praise God through art and music, led by talented local artists. We will form community as we celebrate how the Holy Spirit is moving in our parishes, look forward to 2020 the Year of Mission, and crown the winner of the annual Bishop’s Bake-Off.