“The Ideal”

Acts 2:42-47

Luke now gives his friend Theophilus, a bird’s eye summary of those early Christians.  After the mountain-top experience of Pentecost we get a peek at Christianity at its best.  Some churches today try to duplicate this model but I read it as a summary before we now enter into the challenges that faced early Christians, and ourselves.  One of the complicating truths is that we at some point come down from the emotional highs of spiritual experiences to applications in real life.  We will see trials and challenges begin to unfold as we go through Acts. 

         Lest I sound sour, though, let me look at those early characteristics of faith we hope to grow into.  Those first Christians fellowshipped together, ate together and prayed together.  Wonders were performed and there was communal ownership of goods.  They were generous with each other.  They lived a life of praise and many more people came to believe.  To me it speaks of community where we have identity and belonging and are valued.

         Interestingly, very similar stories are coming out about the Christians experiencing the horrors of war in Ukraine.  Generosity, sharing, prayer, music, and a sense of being together in the struggle characterize trauma.  Perhaps support groups pick up this flavor without faith.  For Christians, faith will be core to the story. 

         So the question is how do I measure up in my relationships with my communities I participate in.  Reflect on your level of fellowship – a habit or lifegiving?, of communion – tradition or soul cleansing? Of prayer – occasional or personal? And of generosity – skimming the surplus or meaningful?  We all need to take a moment and take an inventory of our faith life.  Perhaps we need to tweak something or maybe we have allowed the business of life to slow down spiritual discipline.  Pray for a moment and see what God brings to mind.  Blessings.

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