44 All who believed were together and had all things
The second chapter of Acts is divided into three
“sections”; 1) The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost, 2) Peter Addresses the
Crowd and 3) The Believers Form a Community. Today’s portion is
taken from the third section where we see the formation of the early
Church. The focus here is on fellowship. The first Christians
met together, worshiped together, shared meals, and shared everything all
the while praising God. Their fellowship with one another was a
form of worship that was pleasing to God, as “each day the Lord added to
their fellowship” (vs. 47).
Today, it has become even harder to share everything with
one another; and not just in material terms but also in regards to how
vulnerable we make ourselves to one another. Social media has
become a canvas on which we post the best parts of our lives creating the
illusion that everything is just great. James 5:16 says “therefore,
confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may
be healed”. The early Christians empathized with each other by
sharing not only their prosperity but their burdens as well (Galatians
The early believers worshiped together at the Temple each
day (v. 46) meaning that their worship was not confined to just the
Sabbath. Today, our-fast paced world makes it inconvenient for us
to even spend a few hours one day a week worshiping together.
It’s easy to assume that others may “have it all” but do we
take the time to sit down and have real conversations with each other, to
find out the needs that we can pray for and the praise reports we can
celebrate together? What if we tried to just uphold one family or
one friend’s need each day in our personal prayers? Although we may
not be able to physically be near each other, the Holy Spirit can bless
our fellowship by interceding to the Father on our behalf.
Then “by this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Father, help us to see one
another through the lens of Your love. Tear down any strongholds of pride
or fear that we may possess and help us to love each other freely.
May this be a pleasing worship to You. Amen.
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things