And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
I recently came home from a trip to Ikea with my trunk full of possibility. There were boxes with the parts necessary to build a table and chairs, and I was eager to get to work. Starting with the table, I carefully removed everything, including nearly 40 screws and bolts, and a small Allen wrench to assemble it all. I had the parts and pieces, I had a picture of the finished product, and yet, I was missing a very important component—the instruction manual.
If you’ve ever had the joy and drama of building a piece of Ikea furniture, you can imagine the problem I was facing. There was just no way I’d be able to successfully assemble the piece without the instructions. Fortunately, Google came to my rescue and I was able to download the manual. About 40 minutes and a slight headache later, I had my table and chairs finished and ready for use.
There are a lot of things in life that are a lot more daunting than a box of Ikea parts. I wish a quick Google search could provide us all with the instructional manuals necessary to navigate life.
This passage in Acts 2 is about as close as we can get to an instructional manual for fully living in Christian community. The early church modeled for us how to be devoted and dependent on the Word and each other. They gathered together on a regular basis. They took care of each other’s needs. They welcomed others. Those steps spelled out for us make living in Christian community seem a lot more attainable.
Thought of the day: Are you embracing the Church and living in community as modeled in this passage? Maybe God is asking you to engage with other believers more regularly. Maybe you need to take a step in generosity in meeting the needs of those around you. Maybe you simply need to shift your focus outward a bit and welcome outsiders. When we take steps to live in fellowship as Jesus instructed, we are blessed by the community and we may become a blessing to those around us.
Prayer: God, I want to be known by others and used by You. Help me to know what steps I need to take and give me courage to take them to live more fully in community with those that love You. Amen.