life in community

7 May

One of the reasons that it is a challenge for me to write a blog is that one idea goes it a number of difference directions in my head. I find it difficult to follow and harder to communicate.

The reading from Acts 2 for this week bring along with it tons of questions about how we are to be living as Christians.

Acts 2:42-47
The Message (MSG)
41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.

43-45 Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.

46-47 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

I think we are suppose to take this text seriously and consider what it means to live in community. I think when we stand outside this radical commitment it seems an impossible utopia. However, throughout history it has been tried, been successfully, and given blessing to those inside and outside the community.

Saint Benedict created a community of brothers to live with a rule guided by the scripture. Benedict’s rule stated that each person should be provided with what they need to do their jobs, but no one could hold anything in private ownership. There are books and books and books on what the Rule of Benedict has provided for civilization since it was written in the 6th century. Mostly, I know the peace I have found at the monastery that continues to live by the rule today.

Clarence Jordan began what he called a “proving ground for the Kingdom of God” in Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farms not only became a witness to peaceful coexistence between whites and blacks before the civil rights movement, but provided a place of inspiration for Millard and Linda Fuller’s concept of Habitat for Humanity.

So often the church complains that God is not doing anything. The United Methodist Church runs from one Great Program Idea to another. It is not really a mystery what we need to do to live the power of God’s grace in the world, yet, it is not a very popular idea. We like our own house, our own money, our own church, our own way.

As always, I don’t have an answer. Just questions about how I can be more faithful in my decision making today. Blessings and peace to you all.


One Response to “life in community”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger May 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    This passage was extremely helpful as I sort, purge and pack! I am always challenged by the stuff I have that usually controls me more than I do it.

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