Wednesday Word 11.21.2018

Acts 4:32-35 New International Version

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

The idea of communal living is kind of foreign to most of us. We are such individuals! We are raised in constant competition and possessiveness. It takes a lot to get over that mentality and become secure within our own skin, regardless of how the world evaluates us. In Acts and in the Epistles that follow, we learn what it means to become one body, one voice in the name of Jesus Christ. All of us important in his work. All of us one in heart and mind.

What does that look like in 21st Century America? While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea to divest of all worldly possessions and give it to the church treasury, there are lots of things we can give up in order to serve the Living God. First up: let’s leave our ego at the door. We all have a gift to bring to the table, but someone else’s idea may be infinitely better than mine. I may want things to be done in a certain way, but no one else may see the value in that plan. That is okay! It is not about me! It is about what works best for the Hands and Feet of Christ. Next: Comparisons. If we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, we will never be successful. There will always be someone “better.” Richer, smarter, prettier, skinnier, maybe gets to spend more time with the Pastor! Pick an attribute. It applies to churches, too. Bigger congregation, more classrooms, p-a-r-k-I-n-g! My associate shared a quote with me from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I agree. Lastly: that possessive nature. It is a very good thing to feel as though you belong, as though you are part of something bigger and more wonderful than your lone voice in the wilderness. In this regard we claim Emmanuel as our church home. However, it is not mine or yours. It always was and always will be God’s church. We are privileged to serve him in it.

Scripture tells us to be one in heart and mind. What a beautiful goal. We must never forget that the one heart and one mind belonged first to Jesus Christ…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki