Act 2 – Scene 2
As we read the closing verses of Act 2 we see something very spectacular happen; if you’ve not read it yet, have a read before reading on.
We see that following Peter’s sermon and the overwhelming response to the good news offered in Jesus, people hearts were changed and the work of transformation began. Rather than continuing to devote their lives to something meaningless or misguided, they devoted their lives to something of significant and eternal value and became devoted to the teaching of the apostles which would have clearly centred on Jesus and his teaching, to fellowship, to breaking of bread, and prayer. These were the things that were central to the church then and should they be central now?
The things that I find really interesting about this passage are that there was a great sense of community unleashed. As we read these verses I see a group of people that had been united by Jesus. They held things in common so that none amongst them had need and the generosity that God had extended to them in Christ gave fruit to generosity in their own lives. They praised God and had favour with all the people.
Have you ever stopped to think about this? [Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below]
What did it look like for this community to be praising God? Was it simply singing songs? It probably worked out in song but could it have actually been an attitude of the heart that then worked out in songs of praise? What does it mean that they had favour with all the people? Why? Was there something about this newly formed Christian community that was attractive and engendered a positive response from others? Was this what Jesus had in mind when he said, that the love demonstrated by his followers would show the world that they are his disciples? (see John 13:35)
Whatever the answers are to these questions, one thing is for sure the Lord added to their number daily! So if we think about this that even the very togetherness and generosity expressed within the Christian community is used as a avenue of mission to a lost, broken and fragmented world. At Bethel there is great unity and generosity, but let us use that not just for our own good but to the advantage of the mission of God. Let the people who do not believe see that there is something radically different about us and that they can be a part of it too.
My prayer is that the Lord adds to our numbers daily those who are being saved! Let us all, pray and work to that end. Who’s with me on this?