Acts 4 church
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. ~ Acts 4:32-37
This is what is frequently referred to as the Acts 4 church.
It's how we began as a church.
What similarities do you see with the church today?
And maybe more importantly...
Why is probably the question I most often hear asked in a church.
Why are we here? Why aren't more people coming? Why am I feeling the way I'm feeling? Why does God love me? Why does God let bad things happen? Why did God choose that person? Why did God choose me? Why don't we have enough resources?
Why aren't we more of a community? Why is leadership not doing what I want them to be doing? Why do I sometimes feel connected here and sometimes not?
So we might easily then ask why the early church functioned so symbiotically - at least according to Acts 4.
And we might ask why it didn't seem to last.
And maybe we have answers or maybe we don't. A lot of ink and web space is certainly given over to the answering of why.
I don't have an answer. At least not one answer. As with everything, there's a whole lot of reasons.
So what I come to with this reading then is not an answer but a hope.
A hope that we can live into the knowledge that even if we are no longer Acts 4 churches, great grace is upon us all.
Lord, sometimes we get caught up in the details and forget that we can simply lean into your great grace and live. Amen.