Ok, so my friend Remy a few months ago went to a Willow Creek Conference Called A2 (Acts 2). And well its been a while since i have read it and in my studies for my Greek class last night I flipped passed it and took a second to read it and well read it again this morning. Here is the Passage from Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) courtsey of Biblegateway.com:
The Fellowship of the Believers
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Ok so, what struck me about this? Well its the way the church was in the very begning. It was community. People caring for each other, sharing with each other. It was what God called us to. I have had a few experiences of real community in my life and they are things that I hold onto fondly. There are times when I so much miss them, and times that I long to find a way to create community where I am at.
So whats stopping me?
Well for one, to develop community it takes a lot of work, not that I’m afraid of work, but you also need people who are like minded and want to build deeper more meaningful relationships within the context of Christian Community. Times have also changed since the time of the early church, so I have to figure out for myself what does this look like translated into the year 2005. What does it mean to break bread together on a regular basis, to have everything in common.
How do we do this when our cultures mindset is so individualistic. When we don’t want to open ourselves up to others, we are afraid of exposing ourselves for who we are. We don’t want to admit that we are sinful, broken people who need to be loved by God, the Church, and our brothers and sisters. Our culture has created the ability to be open and honest about who we are to others that we don’t even know through chat rooms, but yet we can’t bare ourselves to those we know and who honestly care about us. So what is the problem? I believe it all comes down to a few key issue. Pride, fear of rejection, criticism, fear of being known fully, the inability to fully love ourselves which in turn causes us to not be able to love those like or unlike us. The church often feels like an unsafe place to admit our weaknesses, our faults, ours sins. Yet it should be the most safe and accepting place. Not saying that we approve of all behavior but that it should be a place where people can come, admit who they are and what they’ve done and seek to find God’s healing throught the physical presence of the body of Christ…..
Ok, so I have rambled on, and i’m not even sure that it made sense. But one of the most stunning things that I realized in reading this passage is the last sentence where it says: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
So whats keeping us back from living this way? God will bless it and use it to draw others to a relationship with Him. The kingdom of God is at hand! Its not a future thing but something that is here, now, and we are a part of it. We are called to go into all the world and make disciples……
So yeah, I guess I’m trying to figure out what this looks like in the here and now…… A2?