How very good and pleasant indeed is this vision of the early church. All is shared. All are known. All are cared for. No one allows fear of scarcity or need into their hearts. Instead, each member of the community commits to their unity with no hesitation or discord.
Imagine participating in this new community—listening to the apostles. What powerful testimony offered by those who not only walked with Jesus and heard his words but who also had broken bread with the risen Christ!
Consider the energy in a gathering led by those whose tongues the Holy Spirit had unleashed on Pentecost. Ponder what it was like to be among those whose voices the Spirit unleashed and those who came to understanding in that chaos and cacophony, who heard the good news preached in their own languages.
Envision the excitement, the restlessness, the urgency of this group of believers. Picture their eagerness for the future, the anticipation of further miracles and wonders, the continued new thing done by God. So much had already been done! So much was coming to fruition before their very eyes!
In this excitement, in this energy, in this eagerness and enthusiasm, how easy to live in unity! How joyful to bring resources—large, mediocre, or meager—to foster the good of this group that believes Christ has risen. How very good and pleasant to live generously and graciously with kindred of faith, wholeheartedly sharing gifts.
What gifts have been shared with you? To what generosity might God be calling you?
Giving God, you know my every need, and you reach out with your grace before I ask. Help me see the needs of the world and reach out to help. Amen.
Easter promises us the possibility of new life in Christ, but what should that life look like? Scripture makes clear that one sign of union with God is unity with each other. How wonderful it is, the psalmist says, when there is peace among brothers and sisters. Unity and peace do not mean simply the lack of conflict but proactive care for one another. The Christians in Acts lived out this care in a practical way by giving of their material means to help one another. John in his epistle tells us that this fellowship with one another is ultimately modeled on the fellowship we share with God and Christ, while in his Gospel, John teaches that belief in Jesus the Messiah is what binds us all together in this new life.
• Read Acts 4:32-35. In what ways have you experienced the generosity of community?
• Read Psalm 133. How and where do you experience the wild, extravagant love of God?
• Read 1 John 1:1–2:2. How do you keep ever before you the urgency and joy of Easter?
• Read John 20:19-31. What fears keep you locked away from the world?
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